The Deal with Low-Cost Accessible DocumentsPublished on
Hey there, bargain hunter. We know you’re looking for a great deal on just about everything on your shopping list. BOGO’s, semi-annual sales, and close-outs are your jam! And, we get it. It’s fun to brag about the low price you paid for an epic find.
But, in all your years of bargain hunting, you realize that some things are worth a little more money. After talking to several people, both with and without visual disabilities, it’s become clear that accessible documents are one of those things that’s worth the extra money.
Let’s take a look at the difference between low-cost and quality accessible documents for two accessible formats: braille and digital documents.
Low-cost braille often results in a sea of jumbled content, without any discernible way to navigate the document. This jumbled mess is void of headings, formatted tables, and important image content. Getting a braille document like this would be like getting a menu or billing statement that arrives as pages of one long paragraph without punctuation in the same font that you read as one continuous line until you find something that resembles what you want. And it runs on; much like the previous sentence!
Let’s look at a real-life example. While visiting a new restaurant, you’re craving a burger and need to check out your options. A low-cost braille menu would leave you hunting for the burger section. And when you find it, you’d have to figure out where one description ends and another begins. You may have to ask someone else to interpret the mess for you. Which defeats the reason for purchasing the accessible braille menu.
In a quality braille document, there are headings, formatting, and information known as alternate text which describes the important images on the page. In our real-life example, you’d find a table of contents at the beginning of the menu. On the correct page, you’d find the “Burgers” heading. And, finally, you’d find consistent, defined separations between each burger option. It’s very similar to a printed menu with clear directions and distinctions between sections and items. The only difficult part would be choosing which delicious burger you’re going to try.
“We really go above and beyond to make sure the end-user is not only getting a COMPLIANT document; but an ACCESSIBLE one, too.
I think knowing Lou [our co-founder], and hearing the struggles he had at one point, makes things so much more personal for us at Braille Works. We know what kind of difference it makes to deliver a document that is both compliant and accessible. Other companies don’t have that personal connection to anything like that.”Courtney C., Braille Works’ Document Accessibility Quality Specialist & Subject Matter Expert
Digital accessibility is a big deal right now. It was a big deal even before COVID-19 but, since this pandemic has people doing most things from home, it’s more apparent that digital accessibility is important to our everyday lives. There’s also the possibility of a website accessibility lawsuit. Many people don’t realize how crucial digital documents are to the accessibility of their websites and avoiding this type of litigation.
We find that bargain hunters often end up paying more for their digital files in the long run. The lowest price is enticing but often results in inaccurately tagged files that aren’t properly checked for compliance. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to have a customer tell you your documents aren’t actually compliant. But, often you’ll end up in court over a lack of accessibility. Then you have to find a reputable company to fix the digital documents that you thought were accessible. Plus there’s the added cost of potential damage to your brand. The costs add up and aren’t worth the little money you thought you were saving.
“You get what you pay for.”
Many people think that accessible documents are all created equal. But, as we’ve seen, that’s just not the case.
Low price often means low value which adds to increased cost. Make sure you consider quality and refrain from focusing solely on price.
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