August 12, 2020

The Post-Composition Approach To Accessible Documents

Jen Goulden | Accessibility Compliance Specialist

If you’ve been tasked with implementing accessibility in your organization you’ll know that there are many questions to consider. Which formats should you offer your customers? Should you prioritize certain document types and what should you do about legacy content? These are all valid questions but one of the most important considerations is whether your files will be remediated at- or post-composition. So how do you determine which is the best approach to take?

Although it’s possible to remediate documents at composition, implementing a post-composition process has several advantages. To begin with, accessibility experts will ensure that your content meets both legislative requirements and industry standards. Regulations are updated periodically and standard-setting bodies sometimes make changes to the guidelines for a particular format. When this happens your documents will not be left behind. They’ll continue to be both accessible and compliant. Similarly, if you have multiple engines and you remediate files post-composition, you wouldn’t need to modify all of your engines whenever these regulatory or format-based updates occur.

Another issue is that post-composition is also a more efficient process for dealing with legacy documents and accessibility on demand. It enables you to focus on providing files that customers have actually requested in accessible formats rather than converting all of your content.

Finally, when files are remediated at-composition there tends to be an excess of empty tags, thus increasing the file size unnecessarily. Post-composition remediation only adds tags that are needed to make the content available to the end user’s assistive technology. These files are larger than the original versions, but the difference is much less significant than it is for files remediated at-composition. The cost of storage alone makes this a major benefit of the post-composition approach.

For more information on the post-composition tools and document accessibility services that Crawford Technologies offers please click here.