Equidox PDF remediation software now supports accessible PDF forms! Remediators can now add tooltips and headings and correct reading order on fillable forms quickly and easily in Equidox. Equidox supports field types including checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown lists, date and time fields, submit buttons, and eSignatures.
How does assistive technology interact with fillable forms?
Assistive technology (AT) users can access PDF form content in two different ways- using Reading Mode to review the form and its content, or using Edit Mode, which allows them to fill out the form. Reading Mode and Edit Mode are accessed separately for an assistive technology user. Toggling back and forth between the two modes does not always return the user to the same place they were in the previous mode. This means that in order for a form to be accessible, both Reading Mode and Edit Mode must contain clearly defined descriptions.
Each form field requires a field description for the visible text associated with the form field. That “visible” information is presented to AT users when using Reading Mode but does not show up in Edit Mode. Form fields also require tooltips. Tooltips are read to the assistive technology user when they access the form in Edit Mode, so they know what to enter when filling out the form. People accessing the form visually won’t see the tooltips. Tooltips should include instructions on the required format for the field (such as the date format mm/dd/yyyy). Existing formulas, calculations, or signature fields built into the original form remain intact when using Equidox to remediate the form.
How does Equidox remediate accessible fillable forms?
Equidox accepts functional and tagged form fields within fillable forms upon import. Date/time fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, and calculations will remain functional, and in their groups. Links, eSignatures, and submit buttons will also remain intact. Remediators can then add accessibility elements such as headings and tooltips, correct form field descriptions, and manipulate the reading order quickly and easily.
Equidox Development Team Lead Ron Runyon said, “Our goal was to cut out as much of the manual process of tagging forms as possible. We’ve designed our form functionality to identify any existing form items and place them directly on the page in Equidox. The only work the remediator needs to do is add appropriate tooltips to explain to the end-user what information should go in the form field- name, address, date, etc; or what a radio-button or checkbox means when selected. We’ve had so many Equidox users ask for this feature, and we think they’re going to love our new solution!”
Where are fillable PDF forms hiding in your organization?
There are probably more PDF forms than you realize in your organization. The Human Resources department might use fillable PDF forms for job applications, health insurance forms, and 401K forms. Marketing might send out surveys and questionnaires to gather market data, or to have prospective clients register for an event. Your legal team might use them for contracts, and the accounting department might enter tax information on fillable PDF forms. It’s important to remember that fillable PDF forms on your website -whether it’s your public-facing site or your internal intranet portal- all count as part of your web presence and need to be accessible. If they’re not, they can leave you vulnerable to digital accessibility lawsuits.
Forms don’t have to be hard!
Equidox now makes remediating fillable PDF forms quick and easy by allowing remediators to add tooltips. Remediators can tag headings, set reading order, and add alt text, all while maintaining the existing tags and form elements. To learn more about making your fillable PDF forms accessible for everyone, check out our forms webinar and contact us!
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Nina comes to Equidox with years of sales and marketing experience from a variety of industries and holds a BS in Language Arts Education. Nina has a passion for words, storytelling, and information, which she believes everyone should have access to regardless of ability. After spending time as a teacher with a blind student, she became much more aware of the limitations and abilities of web accessibility, and how essential it is to those experiencing disabilities. “Being able to access information equally ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity for education, employment, and success in life.”