Two months ago, we jumped into the deep end of a temporary statethat is quickly becoming the new normal. Fortunately, working remotely was nota big adjustment for me since we have a culture of working and trainingremotely at TCSAccess. However, my kidsand their school district faced a big paradigm shift. By and large my kids’transition to distance learning was smooth. I would even say my visuallyimpaired kids gained greater access to curriculum, as all information was beingdelivered electronically and my kids can easily access digital content usingAssistive Technology.
There was one exception. My son’s elementary school had a plan for homework submission: they asked students to “scan” documents using the Chromebook’s camera. This is a creative solution for an unforeseeable situation. Unfortunately, the solution presents barriers for the visually impaired student. As demonstrated in the above photograph, using a laptop camera to "scan" a large-print workbook is challenging. One must maneuver the document into the camera’s field and review the “scanned” copy to ensure it was complete. This solution is neither fully accessible or efficient. It assumes sufficient dexterity and vision to manipulate large documents and to verify successful submission. The reality is an editable pdf would be much more efficient and accessible to all.
As I pondered this crazy solution, I was once again reminded,accessible solutions not only allow access for all, they are just good businessor in this case, good education. Thursday, May 21, 2020 is Global AccessibilityAwareness Day. For me, my family and TCSAccess, accessibility awareness dayis every day. But for many, accessibility is not at the forefront of theirwork. Take some time to look at the Global AccessibilityAwareness Day website and think about your work. Is your work trulyaccessible to all? If it is not, we can help.
While we can help you with custom access solutions, the following tips are useful when you have a PDF that is a scanned image or one you would prefer to read in Word, when words are reading together and configuring Chrome so PDFs always open in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Sending PDF Files to Word - AddingWord Shortcut to SendTo Folder
PDFs that are images are not readable to a screen reader user and notsearchable for the general public. Thefollowing two techniques illustrate how to open a scanned PDF in Word or GoogleDocs.
Opening PDFs in Word is possible usingthe Send To feature when the app key is pressed on the PDF file. The following should be setup in advance tofacilitate the use of this feature.
Note: a Microsoft Word dialog box will appearstating that the conversion of the PDF may not be exact
ConvertScanned PDFs to Text Using Google Drive and Google Docs
PDF Troubleshooting – Words Reading Together
If words arereading together when reading PDF with JAWS e.g. thequickbrownfox then changereading options in Adobe Reader as follows:
Chrome Setting so PDF Always Opens in AcrobatReader