Almost 4 1/2 years after initiation of the PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility) project, ISO has now granted “Approved Work Item” (AWI) status to PDF/UA, the first formal step in the ISO process which ends (we hope) in an ISO Standard for accessible PDF.
From this point forward, the US and International Committees for PDF/UA will be working feverishly to complete the PDF/UA draft in preparation for the Orlando, FL ISO meeting in late October of this year. From there, we hope to get ISO/AWI 14289 to the DIS (Draft International Standard) stage in the first half of 2010.
As of ISO 32000-1:2008, PDF itself is incapable of supporting the stringent accessibility requirements imposed by PDF/UA. In addition to drafting ISO 14289 (PDF/UA), therefore, the Committee has also spent a lot of time developing many new elements for ISO 32000-2, the next version of the PDF Reference.
For more information on PDF/UA, please visit the PDF Standards Wiki.
By Duff Johnson