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Electronic Document Conference 2019
June 18, 2019, Seattle, WA, USA
Electronic Document Conference 2019
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An accessibility label for electronic documents
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About the talk

Robert Martinengo, Consumer Accessibility Information Label Association (CAILA) | Electronic Document Conference 2019

About speaker

Robert Martinengo
Founder at Consumer Accessibility Information Label Association (CAILA)

Robert Martinengo has over twenty years' experience in accessible publishing for education. In the 1990’s as a Studio Director for Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), he saw how the unmet demand for accessible textbooks was rapidly spilling over to publishers. In 1999 California enacted AB422, its pioneering “etext law”, and Robert set up the first large-scale publisher file request system for the Alternate Text Production Center of the California Community Colleges (ATPC). This system became the model for the AccessText Network (ATN), launched by the Association of American Publishers in 2009 to streamline the file requests process for publishers and post-secondary institutions. Robert managed the growth of the ATN from the initial eight publishers to over thirty, and from several hundred college members to several thousand. In 2019 Robert founded the Consumer Accessibility Information Label Association (CAILA) to further establish accessible publishing in the mainstream.

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Titles that goes to Taco Festival elabelz electronic documents. My name is Robert Martin dingo. Call me Bob. I'll be here through the rest of the day until I was here yesterday. I hear there's some good presentations. There's some exciting stuff today Karena. I will be speaking later and another gentleman. I will be talking about accessibility issues ready to another interesting thing. So I hope this is something useful for you. It's a little different

but I got some good news and this is something that I just realized from the last talk. So I just came up with this point is you are all accessibility experts going to fight you but experts in the sense that you know, what's acceptable to you and when I'm going to try and Push this idea of Texas ID again that I'm a little bit different than going to make a pitch that accessibility is something that we can all understand. We don't need to have a special connection with disability something

we can all understand because we're used to thinking about what's acceptable to us. So I just don't think I could use this format. I like to read paperbacks on the beach a person with a disability. Is the best judge of what successful to them just like you are a good judge of what's acceptable to use. So let's not get away from this thinking accessibility strictly tactical specialized topic is something that we can all relate to I think we can all apply and we can all be good at. So, why do we need accessibility label? I got to get to know each other. I'm going to go through this is

really fast. So that people disabilities are the best judge what's acceptable to them? So information about electronic documents is something that person with disability should be able to get information about it. So they can determine if they can access the electronic document the way they want to accept the label or provided Vital Information for people with disabilities and the idea of all so excessively is an issue. We want to raise the brightness in the public. I'll get two examples of that. How may be inaccessible eel able

to help raise accessibility is as an awareness issue and Label Society of the information label that's widely used and culture and I'll help an example that coming up. So first of all, Consumer's right we're all consumers. That's one of the things that we unfortunately get labeled as well be like that term or not. So that consumers were familiar with label. So I'm standing here. It's a product some snack, but it's made in Seattle. So I figured that was a local connection, but you've got a basically, you know product information. We're used to seeing that

nutrition facts label, right? It's here in the photo. If I'm the last it's basically nutrition facts you go. Oh, yeah, there's the data right? It's a formatted thing. We know that's the official Pax always look the same were depending on the packaging but we know that that's different from a marketing and marketing formation. Say this tastes great good for you. You don't healthy things like that. The nutrition facts are facts about the idea. Right? So the government said, hey, we want people to understand we want them to be concerned about their diet. So we want them to know what's

in their food, right? So we will we will mandate will require oxygen have information about nutrition on the way. That was a federal mandate. So that's society speaking through government to say. Hey, this is important health is important. So we're in a mandate. Through by having all these manufacturers do the safe food manufacturers were crazy about this the other day they pushed back but the idea's everybody had to do it, right so it wasn't even playing field the label didn't say hey nutrition facts didn't drive

but it did let people know what's in the food. Right? So gave you information as a consumer to say, you know, this has more sodium that I thought and I'm on a low sodium diet something like that. So why at this conference that why talk about it here electronic documents and when I just I really got to thank Jonathan who's always showed up at accessibility related conferences. That's how I met him. So I figured you know, maybe he's letting me return that favor a little bit and talk to some of you folks and have a lot more technical experience and knowledge and connections and accessibility

than I would but electronic documents, you know are the both the answer and the prop problems, but there are the answer the technology. We have the technology electronic documents can make my computer parts dental technology to make information so much more available to people disability. So it's important that we just read that word. Jump right to it electronic documents here, right there were talking about kind of somewhere in between the technical jargon and Technical and today

because they're getting brand recognition night. There's nothing sells going to do one on PDF, you know V the mirror reported such and so I'm going to think that would consumer awareness right? There's there's a company until it's sold the product that was used everyone was using but they didn't know it right but she really knew about it. So they decided why don't people why don't we you know this brilliant Innovative marketing idea. Let's let people know that our company our company's products are inside your computers inside, you know, the phones and tablets of this Intel

Inside Camp was his idea that tactic Olympia people a company wanted to be seen as a driver of innovation, but it's not something you could see right? It's something they had to use marketing and I don't know where it is. So the people would know intel was in there if you know until wasn't cider products. Consumer wearing at the docket Farmers. I just touched down this I've got this the action with the conference. This was The Rachel Maddow Show. They they talked about the some some legal documents right that were improperly redacted with

information blacked out but not digitally removed so that people are able to read what was underneath the reduction. So that was awareness, right? So, Call Cassidy now. This is shifting a little bit closed captioning is something where you might see this EC label and it's not, you know, you may or may not have hearing impairment. So that maybe something where you don't think I know you know, this has got to be something I can access but that you become aware. You're more aware of it. And in people use example of a noisy sports bar, which we all go to text Martha. Like the sports

bars to have a monitor on and our television on and the closed captioning or they allow you to keep track of something that you know, what's going on in the screen even over when the noise level is high. That's the same again. It's something for accessibility issue that has mainstream acceptance. Right so you're aware of it whether or not to use it and people could say Hey, you know that I understand the fact that you're an expert on the excessively what's acceptable to you and it could be situational excessively, right? That's really noisy here. I'm so glad you know that these

captions are on the screen. So you realize the benefit of it in that situation. Person with hearing loss would want you to be able to hopefully use that it should be available. Stop sounds like a quick very quick thing of like accessibility labels or what they may be cultural impact would be what goes into it like a more specific to electronic documents. Now, I'm resuming in odd. So first you label Sopris with disabilities going to say, how can I navigate the document now generally speaking. I came from the area of textbooks being accessible to

students with disabilities to text navigational challenges, right? You know, you probably think of some examples of how navigation is even a challenge for a sighted person write a dictionary where they use the other boss A to Z in the pages of the edge of the dictionary pages, so you can flip directly to it color coding the edges right side when you're flipping through pages contents, obviously, which of the navigational tool right that we all use or familiar with headings and tag, you know, eventually moving through document what level of structure this is page numbers. Leave if you

got to go to a specific page number that I'm thinking of large paid to documents on these numbers that if you if you start reading a document and you let your software simply run that the document will sensually read in a logical order and not just jump around that something obviously. That's it that's similar to web web accessibility web page. And if you say a blind person a person who's behind a screen reader starts to read The Logical reading order is going to start the beginning and

that makes sense or heading or hey, there's a glossary definition to start a floating here in the margin that someone hopefully has determined that this is the spot of a text to go over and reference that text box again. Information about accessibility that hopefully would be representing the label. I can have example of a label to tell you so we'll get a little more. Information about content obviously the content. Is he stop navigating are you reading? Is there an image has it been described? I can pick you can't

see the image you want the Scribe for you, that would be content to hear more about math, which is excellent scientific symbols against symbolic information that The Cure maybe your screen reader doesn't read aloud knowing that that information has been represented excessive way to use the weather looks foreign languages are really foreign languages any any languages, you know, even a person in PDF accessibility is that the basic language of the document is tag, right not to be English Cedric, right? Just because the document doesn't have I would just rip. It must be an English

like know, you know, that's not true. Right so saying hey, this is the language of the document but also if there's another language, you know, this section is in Spanish or the section is multiple languages having those languages called out or tagged in the document would be helpful for person with disability music notation again, just another example of non texting. Nation so this label would say hey this stuff is in the document, you know heads up. You're going to feel good. You could encounter this. Is it go through it? Other metadata weather there standards-compliant Maytag in things

like that. The words standards are great and compliances. Wonderful if it's a happening, but you know that the consumer is like it's just going to work for me. No standards. I eat out. I may not understand those standards. So knowing that it's there is great. But I still need this other information that we talked about whether any testing was done. Once again, testing is wonderful and safe. This product passes all together what stopped all these tests and you say that's great. I still have questions as a consumer. I have these particular question. So this would be something

that this able to talk about. So any technical protection mechanisms, we won't have that have went to that but DRM you can have an Epub. Sorry for that and say well this is accessible right is an open ePub but the technical protection record also the DRM would block me from using the software that I like to use as a person with disability for With this document PDF right could be that you can apply depending on your business case, but you need to know about

security that you're putting on their it could interact with a person a person with a disability access to your document. It's you you're at your title to put that Iquitos security that you want on your document, but tell me the person that it's there just ghetto is disability to say, okay, you know, I might have trouble getting it to this document because of that security disability issued not just separate security issue consumer and any known issues which you could say. I know that there are not we didn't describe the images in this document. It's so

saying putting that out there up front instead of letting instead of letting the consumer discover them, you know kind of accidentally would be a nice accessibility. Feature. So that's like super fast. I know but you guys are smart and it's early so I know you're ignoring me was really quickly and hopefully you'll have to get up some questions that will come back but anything along the line, you know, whether it's the first part of second part. I definitely want to touch you want to talk about it. So I need to breathe. So we still got 15 minutes left from

stickers for me. Alright. So proactively answer questions. I hate that pictures with that. So the label it's not a rating system. Okay, so some of you might and I know but we want to do this we want to jump immediately to rain. Is it good or bad for the consumer to decide if it's information nutrition facts can be on you know, two different types of products one of which you may say That's not healthy and then which is healthy, but you're deciding what's healthy for you, you know, so it's not a rating system. It just says this is what this is accessibility in the

document. We will have the purpose is to give the consumer sufficient information. So the user can determine if he'll accept one of them already covered that Okay. So another important point this is the information provided by the the vendor of the document the author whoever puts this document or distributed. It's not necessarily verified by anyone so it can contain false information. I don't want to make a big thing about the VPAP but some of you may know the voluntary product accessibility template the

vpat. I have a slightly casual off my head and get off handedly cynical attitude know you can't trust them. Well, you know what? You can't trust something then it's not a real good source of information. Is it so, you know, you should look at why maybe somebody pass or not trust her some people think that's not correct the vendors putting out this information, but maybe they don't understand what they're putting in there or they haven't really done it that we're not right out right accusing somebody of saying, you know, they put false information, but maybe just wasn't very useful or

well-thought-out or comprehensible. So that's not that's maybe business-to-business. Yeah, I can work it out as a business buying a product with your son giving information to Consumer and the consumer can't understand that. You're not helping them your your you know, you're basically making life harder for them to be understandable but using a label will get this a little more in the how it would be done with similar to be Pat. You catch a change of pee pad still call if there is an organization that distributes of a pot and they would like to use it. They would like you to use it a

certain way by taking acceptability label say if you're going to use this excessively label that were talking about you need to be honest and forthright and give complete information. Don't try and hide, you know, only hot you hide the bad stuff. And my vision at 4 it is it's always free to use this is not something that can be magnetized product is actually something I will go back story. But you know, we developed with the grand. I want to be something that can be freely given away and I'll get the touch on where that stands in the real world, you know, as of today for GM

company that is a part of ingrown armpit distribute electronic textbooks in amongst many other thing was part of the working group together when I was working on this project is a grant now looks like this is now over by the source has gone forward and Dunn turn accessibility labels. What's let me slow down here now. They thought they thought enough of doing this that they took this they went to their appeal vendor and publisher Partners rubber vinyl distributor. They're not going to suddenly put this out there without you know there. Textbook companies

for example is Kate Pierson agreeing to say okay, you know will will here's the information that we have. We are okay with you showing this. So this is the final product page for multiple textbook College textbook. Again, we're suddenly there's an icon for accessibility. So if you were to cook that You get accessibility features list. So I let you investigate this at your at your leisure at some point you want to do this. But it basically I was just showing some accessibility features and there's some I don't want to criticize him too much but there are some issues with it just in terms

of the accessibility of the excessively label. The features are abbreviated got to follow link to find the definition of the term and the link leads to the schema.org site, which collected basically does a lot of technical definition of acceptability. I'm going to say it doesn't feel super consumer-friendly at that point. It's hard to say. Hey, we're not even if you want to know what we mean. You got to jump over and interpret the technical standard. Right. I think you could see you as a consumer. You might feel like whoa, you know, like it's just a current example like miles

per gallon or car. If it suddenly just had to go like to understand that, you know, you've got to read now the technical Manual of get out. Combustion engine or something you'd say I could you just explain it to me here and in the words that I can understand. But you're the cutest this is really important. Just I think you can apply this you can really jump to see why this important not all of their products have the label. So if you're looking at these different products and you say hey, I like to successfully label and I'm trying to understand

what it means right and now here's one that doesn't have it. What would you assume? The real question, what would you assume that? It's not accessible. That seems like a big jump Alief, you know, and that's not what vital Source says on their product page book without a label them showing it might be almost as accessible or the same as the other book, but they just haven't provided the information for the consumer standpoint. I think that's an issue. If you some if you give somebody information on one and then you don't give it to him. They're going to assume that that

doesn't it's the opposite that that's not acceptable. So close to Miss You by saying hey, we're only going to put labels where we have the information but all this other stuff we don't have information on you know. Doesn't feel consumer-friendly. It feels kind of like these are they marketing those books is better than the other books again about what you talked about it and nutrition fact, that's why it's a law right? Everybody supposed to use if you sell this kind of food You're supposed to products without nutrition

information are we doing? All right. Zuma 3 so what I'm proposing that just it just a wrap this all together basically saying okay, I introduce this content accessibility label and what would be in it. I said, here's an example that you saw within, you know right now available from from a major distributor actually the largest distributor electronic textbooks where they're taking some steps forward. I suggesting that California. This is where I'm living now down the road are they paid

us immunization Innovative things in higher education basically record getting Publishers to be helpful to students with disabilities could and should be regulated. So it would be and I'm proposing just at the stage down to be honest. I'm just simply proposing this idea trying to get them interested build up before I go forward much farther with this in some idea requiring the label because this is this is something that needs to really arise as colleges and universities have a legal obligation to provide services for students with disabilities. Right and that's a lot of how it's done. Now so

many familiar with this disability can go to college but if that student with disability has a print related disability such that they can't read the textbook. You don't even the one that might Well Service is selling the College University will remediate that shouldn't you should make that accessible to them so and they go beyond maybe they look up that page of vital Source has here's some information about accessibility. What do you think in the student says, I don't really know what that means. I'm glad

they're doing this but You know, I don't know what that label means or publish terminology means or what if they get that other text with the one without a label that all you know, they say hey, I don't know maybe that's not even what I'm not even going to try it right because it doesn't have a label. So I'm proposing that is something that again. I think this electronic document folks you can see how the documents that you're working on eventually becoming you know, and the folks here one. To the W. How do you super powerful tools to design basically and publish this stuff could be

seeing maybe some utility to say. Hey, we're putting the stuff out there and if people want to buy it, that's great. You know, it's a boo got the best textbook on physics or whatever the doubt there, but we got upset. We got a population that basically needs to have and I hate that word special but you know who has access requirements that are a subset but there's two three four five percent of the population. Going to maybe be accessing this with different types of software than what we're providing it when he's a

screen reader software something like that. Should we put that information into PDF? We all know that you open up Acrobat Reader, you know, maybe you can see the document properties, right? And there's some things about maybe accessibility but it just to be proposing a friendly format, you know, when the specifications I just kind of throw some things out there that it we did some work on a grant but I don't want to jump to conclusions. I don't want to say people with disabilities should be the ones I meant for this to what is understandable to them

what makes sense to them and what you know the information how they would like to see it. So I'm not going to come out and I'll tell you what this label is a finalized format. I don't want to do that. It's not super technically you saw it even with vitalsource did it's not a matter of you know, a 40-page there 20 Page or even a two-page spread sheet of technical terms or Wicked checklist. It would be hopefully, you know fairly easy to grasp information about the excessively the documents you could say, it's okay. I understand, you know that this has has pictures in it

and they are not described. I understand that that's very clear to me now and I'm going to go forward I going to get this book and then we'll work on that or other issues. So they get its Pride actually boil down the information either to use so I'll write. I'm glad you want to stay there was one that I thought I can eat a great presentation this morning about this is why I love coming. He's kind of conferences. We're going accessibility related conference where I feel like I know not everything that people are going to say but right where it's

talking to each other this is something you know, but they could certainly have employees with disabilities. You know, it's so applying this is saying accessibility is something that obviously Boeing it their all their docket how much they would need to know about. There, you know, they got a huge amount of other concern but one of the things that I really like that he said we should wait You have to declare what's important to you. And I think you be there was a you have to declare that the first one we talked about as a company. So if

you go to vitalsource and there's another great company called red shelf in this other companies that distribute books and Publishers. They have a pay you have a page on accessibility and I talk about you know that it's important to them is up to do and I think that's great. I think all companies need to basically knowledge that but what's important is that to me and I believe I fixed support the people with disabilities have that same Powerman empowerment that we don't necessarily need a specialized group or Department to speak for them that. You know, if they should be able to read

you buy a product or approach it as a consumer like we all do and I understand if that's something that's going to be usable to them. Right? That's what's important to me that we begin putting them into the driver's seat as if it were and that had to cut the cable would help you that we got 5 minutes left. Breather a question stock comment. I guess we're just is it okay if we just do we need to the mic cuz I wanted to be on I'll try to repeat it. How about I try to repeat it, please?

To have access to information in a method that they are able to consume or model. They can consume. I'm curious. how momentum is gained through some of the association's out there that advocate for people with visible and hidden disabilities and how we could engage them to make this a more relevant topic to get momentum make change happen. Is that something that's been proposed or is impossible in California? That's a great price limit. I recover Roku supports the idea

General having this information right as a consumer be powerful and references organizations that do exist National Federation of the blind other organizations, and I'm going to give you that's the reason I'm here. My particular take on that is not any of these organizations are against that but they are not organized to protest a to transition from start of this what I call that, you know, sort of reactive model or saying we're going to fix what's out there right that's important, right? We need to be able to remediate the content but Can I speak for pushing it up the chain and making

it, you know available Topman. There's an organization called that I have a bit of a mixed relationship one called Bookshare in this been attacked as their parent company and they have a board with trying to talk to Publishers and do that at the same time. And that's wonderful that they're pushing at the same time. They're also taking Publishers content and putting it through the into their Walled Garden which is only available people disability because that's how it works. And that's what they're allowed to do. So there it's a transitional issue and you can see that

is not necessarily just enough we need to go farther than that and that's a great thing. I think I'll Eagle that's worth that's what type of laws come in. Right but we get our things are really changing in the mainstream a regulation, you know could help move. That's why I moved towards more of a regulated mod. I was just going to say when you talked about 80 label. I was thinking about Bible names and how violins are really for labels for what the contents are

and a lot of time to a person like what you showed is kind of a marketing device or before something that goes along with the marketing material and what people sitting at a computer might need is somebody to open the file and have something in it that immediately revealed level of accessibility that file has that's a great question and not really you're basically saying that you know, we don't really have an easy way to do this within the real, you know, the actual world of using electronic document opening a file in files, like right on your desktop.

We got a PDF would click on it. What what I'm getting at is is a consumer like especially in this higher its face when you're buying something you haven't you can open it yet. You know, you're you have to kind of go Do the marketing information and is he said vitalsource is kind of looking at this as I will finish though. It's my soapbox for another minute. Right, which is I think their worst mistake is using the word features and I'll tell you why because if you require something you're personally disability and that's required. That's not a feature. Right? It's it's it's

slightly. I put it to me to say, oh we founded some features so you can now access this document. That's a requirement. So your floor is a person with disability your floor. They're saying oh, that's the Steely we're going to get to that level where you can finally use it. That doesn't seem right to me that to me. Those are requirements, right? It shouldn't be so now more people can use our document. So putting that information out there. It's not marketing right? Not just hype that's where I label comes in handy, right because of

standardized label sort of makes it look more neutral as a neutral space. That's why I pushing that's an excellent point there. Once you bought it then right you've made that commitment. And yes, absolutely. You need to be able to dig in the metadata and all that. But if you're just looking at it and having to take the vendors word for it that label would be something that would be more reliable than just whatever marketing copy of this company uses whatever marketing company just coffee company uses to talk about accessibility. But thanks again. So that that's my time. I'll be hanging around

but I'd love to talk to any of you individually about any but what we were doing here and there is some great sessions later today at accessibility and hopefully I'll be able to contribute something that and I'm actually driving. Thank you to definitely the PDF Association first Adobe proof for that.

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