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How CommonLook’s Expertise Helps Google With PDF Accessibility

Two years ago, Google reached out to CommonLook because of our expertise in PDF accessibility.

“At the time, we recognized the potential impact on PDF accessibility due to the massive number of Chrome users around the world.” – Monir ElRayes, President and CEO, CommonLook, Inc.

Google knows that online content publishers are required to have their PDFs accessible and compliant to standards. Unfortunately, most organizations do not support directly generating a tagged PDF.

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Google used CommonLook’s PDF Validator and consulted with CommonLook to ensure their PDF accessibility plan was going to provide the biggest impact.

“By building this into Chrome, we’re hoping some organizations that already use HTML as part of their document workflow might be able to take advantage of this new functionality and generate compliant PDFs more easily.” Dominic Mazzoni, Technical Lead, Chrome Accessibility.

After significant progress, Chrome is rolling out this feature to all users every time they generate a PDF from Chrome.

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“We are pleased to see Google leading on social justice issues like this. Information technology is the new frontier of equality. By adding accessibility features to the Chrome browser, they are improving the experience of users with disabilities,” said Douglas Towne, the Chair and CEO of Access Ready, a cross disability advocacy organization. “Tagged PDF’s are a requirement for accessible documents and this new capability should help ensure access to a greater audience across e-commerce, work, school and in the home.”

With this being the 30th anniversary of the ADA this month, we cannot think of a better tribute to the ideals of the ADA than to see Google adding additional accessibility features to the Chrome web browser that is used by 1 billion people worldwide.

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