November 2, 2023

Your Firm’s PDFs and WCAG Compliance

Are the PDF documents your firm uses accessible? The client-facing documents firms share the most – Fact Sheets, Statements, and Pitch Books, often created using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel, are not naturally accessible. This means that people using assistive technologies (such as a screen reader) cannot accurately consume the content.

According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) any content on your website including hosted files must be accessible to people with disabilities. If your files are not accessible, you are also exposed to the same legal risk as the website.

As awareness around corporate responsibility for accessibility grows, firms are applying these standards across their organization to all content made available to clients/prospects whether through a client portal, website, or email.

Making files accessible involves a variety of document features including using searchable text, images with alt text, bookmarks for documents longer than 9 pages, tags and more. While some of the requirements can be accomplished while the file is being created, most require additional work in Adobe to ensure compliance.

The challenge for most firms with document accessibility is scale. How do you tackle the hundreds of documents published by the firm every month? Templates can help, but they do not solve the challenge entirely. Knowing where and how to begin the document audit and conversion can feel overwhelming.

We are here to help.

Not sure where to start? Contact us to discuss how we develop a plan for, and work with your documents to meet WCAG standards. Together we can figure out a solution that’s right for your firm.  

Typically, conversations about accessibility have revolved around websites. But now, it is time to change the conversation to all content. Ensuring that everyone has access to the same information about your firm, services, results, and perspective is a legal requirement and makes good business sense.

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