Compart - Document- and Output-Management


Digital Accessibility in Archives

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An infrastructure that automatically converts all archive document types into digital accessible PDF/UA and HTML5

Accessibility and compliance, as dictated by Section 508 Federal Law in 1998, has had its challenges. Over the years, one particular challenge is to make historically grown archive documents digital accessible.

  • Many were created without regard to accessibility standards
  • They are often stored in formats that cannot be supported and read by common tools (e.g. PDF or AFP)
  • They do not meet the current Section 508 compliance requirements and the current corporate design guidelines

The aim must be to establish an infrastructure that automatically and securely converts all archive document types into digital accessible PDF/UA and accessible HTML5. Three central approaches are conceivable.

1. Full migration of archive documents

Full migration involves transferring all archived documents to a new, future-proof archiving system. The advantages are the standardization of data storage, improved search and access options and the fulfillment of current compliance requirements.

2. Demand-oriented document conversion

Documents are converted individually and "on demand" into accessible PDF/UA. This method enables a flexible and resource-saving approach in which only the documents that are currently required are converted. This significantly reduces costs and effort compared to full migration.

3. Flexible conversion strategy for archive documents

A combination of both options is also conceivable. For example, a company could convert older documents as required and transfer "dynamic documents", which are subject to frequent changes, to a new PDF/UA archive to make them more easily accessible.

Considering the strategies

The decision between full migration and on-demand conversion depends on various factors.

  • Document volume and usage: Archives with regularly accessed documents may benefit from full migration, while on-demand conversion may be more efficient for archives with many infrequently accessed documents.
  • Resource availability: Full migration requires significant investment in time, staff and technology. Companies need to consider whether the long-term benefits of a unified archive justify these costs.
  • Technical feasibility: The quality of the original documents plays an important role in selecting the appropriate strategy.
  • Legal and regulatory requirements: Compliance requirements can influence the archiving strategy. Companies must ensure that the chosen method complies with the legal framework.

No matter which option you choose. Compart has developed solutions that make archive documents, print data streams and also new documents digitally accessible. Talk to our experts to find out which strategy would suit you best. We will show you how to implement and comply with the Section 508 Federal Law effectively and securely.