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From 23rd September 2019 anyone who posts a document on the website of a UK public sector body has to meet the requirements of the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018. This affects many LaTeX users, e.g. all those working at public UK universities and supplying lecture notes or problem sheets to their students.

Is it possible to produce pdf files with LaTeX that meet these regulations?

Is there a (preferably free) way to determine accessibility of pdf files other than Adobe Pro? There's an EIII checker based on the WCAG2.0 (linked below) but it seems to give false positives - I can beat all the non-experimental tests with pdf files that definitely don't meet the requirements.


The regulations essentially require documents to meet section 10 of EN 301 549 on documents, which come from the W3C's WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0. You can read them in detail at the above links, but here is a quick summary of the relevant criteria. Some of them, like requirements for high contrast, or zoomability, or embedded titles and languages, are easily met (e.g. hyperref can set the relevant pdf properties), so I have only included the ones I think are difficult.

  • 10.2.1 and 10.2.14 imply that non-text content, e.g. graphics or images of equations, must have a text alternative. This is a particular problem for equations. The axessibility package goes some way to meeting this.
  • 10.2.7 "Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text."
  • 10.2.8 "When the sequence in which content is presented affects its meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined." I think these last two are essentially requiring the pdf to be marked up for structure, i.e. tagged pdf, and I don't know how to produce those.
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    There is pac3 to validate: access-for-all.ch/ch/pdf-werkstatt/…. You can create tagged pdf with the (experimental) tagpdf package. – Ulrike Fischer May 16 at 15:58
  • @UlrikeFischer typical that accessibility site is inaccessible :-) Home Page If difficulties persist, please contact the System Administrator of this site and report the error below. #404 Category not found. but I did not hear any klaxon, good job I can read. – user170109 May 17 at 1:31
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    I can't comment, but I would like to point to the deliberations already done here tex.stackexchange.com/questions/19279/latex-accessibility – 927589452 May 17 at 7:31
  • For the last two points hyperref may also help - the PDF outlines containing the sectioning structure are programmatically accessible, and the same holds for hyperlinked references to other sections, tables, bibliography items etc. Maybe I misunderstand the requirements or maybe they are more involved than just sectioning and internal references, but accessibility tools can definitely use this information (whether they actually do use the information is a different question I guess). – Marijn May 17 at 15:09

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