In brief: Adobe schools public service on PDF accessibility

Vendor to educate staff on combining PDFs with assistive technologies

Australian public servants will receive a crash course on using Adobe’s popular Portable Document Format (PDF) in an attempt by the Federal Government to make the typically secure format more accessible.

The software vendor’s group product manager, Andrew Kirkpatrick, will hold the education sessions run by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) in Canberra on 2-3 March with hopes of teaching government employees to make all documents released in the format more accessible.

The education sessions were initially planned for other cities but due to time constraints, will only be held in Canberra.

The sessions rise out of a study conducted by the agency, which concluded government departments had on a number of occasions failed to make PDF documents appropriately accessible and compatible with assistive technologies.

The agency attributed these issues to authors’ inability to properly design a PDF file and improper use of assistive technologies.

Adobe will attempt to provide designers, web developers and content authors with additional skills in creating and exporting PDF files for external consumption.

The Gov 2.0 and whole-of-government procurement lead agency recently attempted to redevelop its common operating environment (COE) guidelines for all government departments, suggesting Office Open XML (OOXML) document as a government-wide standard document format.

However, after much criticism from both the public and private sectors, AGIMO reopened the issue for discussion.

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Tags pdfadobeAustralian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)Portable Document Format (PDF)

More about Adobe SystemsAndrew Corporation (Australia)Federal Government

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