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New VASTEC Video Documents How to Make PDF Documents Accessible to Section 508 Standards

Tampa, FL, May 16, 2012 --( VASTEC, a document conversion, digital services and content accessibility provider, has released a video demonstrating the advantages that can be achieved in making PDFs compliant to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and fully accessible to the visually impaired.

Now available for public view on YouTube, the video titled “VASTEC Section 508 User Experience Demonstration” takes a step-by-step look at the challenges PDFs pose to people with disabilities, and shows the difference between PDF documents that are automatically tagged and those remediated by VASTEC.

“Visually, people do much more than simply read text when comprehending a document,” said Fernando Faria, President and COO of VASTEC. “There are often graphics, pictures, headings, tables and charts that must be understandable. VASTEC has processes and procedures in place to transform electronic information so it becomes accessible to people who may not be able to see it, as this video demonstrates.”

In the ten-minute video, VASTEC takes a “before and after” look at a variety of information challenges faced by the visually impaired when using Adobe Reader, a free downloadable software program used to open PDF files, and to automatically tag and prepare a PDF for a screen reader user. Screen reader software, such as JAWS, is used by the visually impaired to read electronic documents that they cannot otherwise see.

In one instance, Adobe Reader interprets a series of tables and the text embedded in them simply as graphics, and the document information is not communicated to the visually impaired. The video shows how that information is made accessible after VASTEC remediates the automatically tagged PDF.

“In the case of this document, it was totally inaccessible. I had no clue what was on the page,” said Keith Watson, a visually impaired VASTEC accessibility expert who is featured in the demonstration. “Post remediation I was quite surprised there was even a table on that page. After that I was able to discern there was a table there, I was able to utilize JAWS commands to maneuver through the table, and get a feel for the column headings and what the table was trying to impart to me.”

The video also demonstrates VASTEC’s remediation of more challenging information, including a chart that illustrates a fluctuating company stock price.

Section 508 refers to an amendment of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, requiring federal agencies to make public facing electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. VASTEC has processed millions of confidential government records to Section 508 guidelines for a wide range of agencies that include the Office of the Surgeon General, Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and the US Army Physical Disability Agency.

Section 508 remediation is a specialty for VASTEC, which is a premier provider of document scanning, digital services, document and records management systems and solutions, and Section 508 document repair and training. VASTEC can process sensitive and classified information through its secure production facilities or at customer sites nationwide.

“As a visually impaired consumer, it behooves me to get information from these documents, and having to do these things by myself,” Watson said in referring to the PDF before remediation. “I much prefer having a document come to me that’s already been remediated, that already has clean and clear tables, headers, links that are already labeled. It’s just so time consuming not to have that information there for me.”

VASTEC Section 508 User Experience Demonstration can be found on YouTube and will soon be posted on the company’s website at, where additional information can be found about VASTEC products and services.

About VASTEC: VASTEC, Inc. is a national provider of solutions in the area of document capture and conversion, document accessibility, and Section 508 training for both Federal Government and private industry clients. VASTEC offers accessibility compliance and solutions for document capture, retrieval, workflow and records management, with the capability to convert and remediate electronic data into accessible formats in compliance with Accessibility and Section 508 standards. An authorized partner of the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), VASTEC’s facility holds a SECRET level security clearance issued through the Department of Defense with processes, procedures, and security controls been audited to DOD standards established by FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act). More information on products and services can be found at
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Chris Jadick

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