Is PDF the ideal format for accessible exam papers?

Yesterday (7 April) Dig Inclusion director Ted Page gave a talk at the Digital Accessibility in Higher and Further Education 2016 Conference in London.

The talk was on the subject of whether PDF is the ideal solution for accessible exam papers. It examined briefly the relative advantages and disadvantages of a range of formats (HTML/EPUB, PDF, apps) for different types of assistive technology users, across a range of subject areas and content types.

It also offered some practical tips on what can be done to improve things, both immediately, particularly the elimination of simple content accessibility problems through dialogue between accessibility professionals and educators, and in the longer term, through technical developments, particularly XML-based workflows.

The conclusion of the talk was that PDF still has many advantages over other formats for many (but not all) content types and users. However, no format is perfect, and much work remains to be done.

Download the files from the talk bcs-conference PDF (376KB)

BCS, The chartered Institute for IT

BCS, The chartered Institute for IT

About this post