PDF Accessibility Checker Announced

Swarthmore College ITS has completed preliminary work on software to check PDF files for accessibility across many campus systems.  The software examines PDF files to look for readable text as well as title, language, and outline metadata which indicates how easy it is to access the contents of the file.  We’ve also written a Moodle plugin to provide information to faculty on the accessibility of all the PDF files in their course.   This information will be accompanied by instructions for how to get help to remediate the files.

We anticipate the software will be running on our Moodle site for the Fall 2017 semester.

This software development project is part of a larger effort on campus to communicate information to all individuals in a manner that enables them to achieve their academic and professional goals and aspirations.

The File Scan server software accepts submitted PDF files and returns accessibility information.  Source code and technical details are at https://github.com/Swarthmore/filescan-server.

The Moodle File Scan block sends PDF files from Moodle to the File Scan server and stores the accessibility information within Moodle.  Faculty can see a list of their PDF’s and accessibility information.  Source code and technical details are at https://github.com/Swarthmore/block-filescan.