Document Remediation Increases Accessibility in WA

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A longstanding Avantpage partner in Washington State invited us to collaborate on an initiative to render their online publications fully accessible in over 20 languages. In what amounted to a significant expansion of our contract services with this government client, our in-house accessibility experts joined forces with their design team to achieve this ambitious document remediation goal.  


The term document remediation describes the process through which a digital text file (most commonly PDF) is made fully accessible for readers with disabilities. The documents included in the scope of this project are housed under the umbrella term “Forms and Publications,” and include files related to workers compensation, benefit applications, safety alerts, community outreach flyers, training materials, and so on. The agency needed a partner who could not only understand and follow their internal document remediation requirements but also integrate project management processes to ensure swift completion of each stage. 


The document remediation process involves amending the original file so that a user can properly access it through assistive screen reader technology. At this WA state agency, their internal client design teams were already familiar with document remediation of English language files. What they needed was help applying that same process across 20 different threshold languages. Avantpage’s solution was twofold. 

Technical Remediation Solution

Our in-house accessibility team worked closely with the client’s designers to fully understand their internal process. While the accessibility goals of document remediation are universal, each agency or organization may have different style guides and specifications that must be followed. A vital part of Avantpage’s role is to ensure that all foreign language files mirror the way the original English file was designed. Typically, this includes:

  • Identifying and tagging digital elements of the PDF document (provides a structure that dictates the order in which file elements are read) 
  • Translating and inserting alternative text (allows a screen reader to describe visual elements, such as images or tables). 
  • Building fillable fields (for online forms) 
  • Adding buttons (signaling clickable actions such as check boxes or radio buttons) 

Project Management 

Retroactively remediating scores of vital documents into multiple languages is a complex task in and of itself. Add to that the complexities of working with both internal staff and external vendors and it is easy to lose track of projects and create unwanted overhead costs. In this project, Avantpage’s Account Manager, Eduardo Diaz, and lead accessibility Project Manager Fernanda Aguilar consulted with the client on how to most effectively request document remediation projects and handle the review process. Streamlining this shaved off time that the client was able to better dedicate elsewhere. 


By both listening to and teaching the client’s project team, Avantpage created a 360degree learning cycle that ultimately led to the success of this ambitious document remediation project. Over 500 foreign language files were remediated and returned to the client across a 12month period, and our teams continue to work together, providing language and digital accessibility to Washington state’s diverse communities. 

Do you or will you need document remediation soon?

Contact us today to get a rate sheet on our document remediation services. When your project is ready we’ll be waiting.