Progress Over Perfection in PDF Accessibility

Team formulating a progress over perfection accessibility plan

Many organizations want to make their digital content accessible but quickly become overwhelmed by the scope and complexity of the project. It’s easy to abandon the pursuit of accessibility altogether if you think you’ll never achieve perfect accessibility, but a better solution is: “progress over perfection.” This philosophy underscores the importance of steady improvement, even when the ideal of perfection appears out of reach. In the context of accessibility, this mindset urges us to make ongoing enhancements to our websites and documents, recognizing that each step forward enhances inclusivity, reduces the risk of digital accessibility lawsuits, and expands our audience.

The Importance of Strategic Planning

Achieving accessibility, especially on a large scale such as making all documents accessible, necessitates strategic planning. Designate an individual or a team to spearhead the effort. Establish and enforce an accessibility policy across the organization to set the groundwork for success. Develop a comprehensive plan, even if the timeline is fluid, ensuring a structured approach toward achieving full accessibility.

“Progress over perfection” emphasizes not just achieving accessibility but also the journey toward it. Your website and content may change over time, requiring ongoing remediation for accessibility. Implementing a strategic PDF accessibility plan enables organizations to consistently advance toward full accessibility compliance, accommodating changes and ensuring inclusion as content evolves.

Steps Toward Achieving Accessibility Excellence

Progress over perfection means working towards perfection, and that happens one step at a time. Here’s a practical workflow to start:

  1. Craft an Accessibility Plan: Begin by devising a comprehensive accessibility plan for your website and documents. Demonstrating proactive efforts in accessibility can serve as a preemptive defense against potential digital accessibility lawsuits.
  2. Appoint an accessibility team: Assign dedicated individuals or a team to oversee the execution of the accessibility plan. Their responsibility is to ensure the plan’s implementation and monitor its progress.
  3. Train employees and provide tools: Empower your staff with training sessions and accessible tools to facilitate the creation of accessible content. Educating employees on accessibility best practices fosters a culture of inclusivity within the organization.
  4. Prioritize remediating high-impact PDFs: Start by addressing the most frequently used and highly visible PDF documents. By prioritizing these materials, you ensure that a significant portion of your audience gains access to accessible content promptly.
  5. Tackle low-hanging fruit: Progress efficiently by addressing simpler PDF documents first. This approach allows for the rapid implementation of accessibility improvements, maximizing accessibility gains in minimal time.
  6. Consistent backlog management: Commit to steadily working through your backlog of PDF documents until you achieve full accessibility compliance. Consistency is key to maintaining momentum and ensuring long-term accessibility success.

Learn how to meet ADA, WCAG, and Section 508 compliance in our Guide to PDF Accessibility

Incorporating Accessibility Tools and Resources

To streamline the accessibility process, consider leveraging accessibility tools and resources tailored to your organization’s needs. From outsourcing to PDF remediation software, investing in the right tools can significantly expedite the accessibility journey. 

Equidox Software is a great tool for remediating PDFs. It incorporates AI-powered tools to simplify the more tedious, manual tasks of PDF remediation.  Equidox AI is a fully automated tool that can be used to very quickly and accurately remediate large batches of similar, templated PDFs. Both will save significant time and money over using other tools. 

Embracing Progress, Embracing Accessibility

Embracing progress over perfection in PDF accessibility is not merely a pragmatic approach but it’s the right thing to do. By continuously advancing accessibility efforts, organizations foster an environment of inclusivity and demonstrate a commitment to serving all individuals, regardless of ability. Striving for progress, one step at a time is the way forward to a more equitable digital landscape for everyone.


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Tammy Albee

Tammy Albee | Director of Marketing | Equidox Tammy joined Equidox after four years of experience working at the National Federation of the Blind. She firmly maintains that accessibility is about reaching everyone, regardless of ability, and boosting your market share in the process. "Nobody should be barred from accessing information. It's what drives our modern society."