Patent-pending PDF Accessibility Solution Meets Legislative Requirements for Generating High-Volume, Transactional Documents
PARIS, France, European eAccessibility Forum – April 12, 2010 – Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTU), the people behind BIRT™, today announced Xenos Axess™, the first enterprise-class solution to produce high-volumes of accessible PDF documents for the visually impaired. Xenos Axess is a patent-pending technology, and the culmination of two years of extensive research and development. It is ideal for organizations that consistently produce and present high-volume documents such as monthly banking, credit card or investment statements. Xenos Axess enables organizations to transform high-volume print streams and standard PDF documents into tagged, accessible PDF documents for customers with limited or no vision who are using assistive technologies.
"Personal computing online has become central to the way we live," commented Robert Kugel, SVP of Ventana Research. "Those that have limited or no vision are all too aware of the difficulties they face in accessing electronic documents and websites. While there are accessibility tools that can read simple text adequately, information contained in tables, financial statements, bills, charts and photographs are far more difficult to communicate clearly and easily. It gives organizations the ability to convert high-volume print streams and standard PDF documents, such as monthly statements, into tagged and accessible PDF documents in a way that makes them much easier to understand."
The number of individuals requiring accessible documents as a result of visual impairment is significant and growing:
- Today, 3.3 million Americans over the age of 40 are blind or have low-vision. This number will surpass 5 million within the next decade;
- A vast majority of visually impaired individuals have bank accounts, credit cards and investments and need the ability to access information, and/or purchase products and services. This includes aging baby boomers, who rank among the wealthiest of the population.
Xenos Axess is currently in beta testing with a major global credit card services company. It is in compliance with Section 508 and adheres to ADA Standards. Additionally, the company is working extensively with advocacy organizations dedicated to helping those who are visually impaired to ensure that Xenos Axess addresses the needs of this vital community. A percentage of Xenos Axess license sales will be donated to these advocacy organizations for the visually impaired.
"People with vision loss expect to be full and equal participants in society and independently keeping track of spending, savings and investments is essential,” said Paul W. Schroeder, Vice President, Programs and Policy of the American Foundation for the Blind. “Too often, financial information cannot be read because it is not available in accessible electronic formats. Solving this challenge is one important step toward full independence and equality."
“While strides have been made to address online accessibility for visually impaired people, the issue of PDF accessibility has been a thorn in the side of financial services organizations, for whom an estimated one percent of customers are blind or have low vision,” said Pete Cittadini, President and CEO of Actuate. “With Xenos Axess, we have a real solution to this growing problem and are helping companies mitigate the risk of reputational damage and lawsuits by proactively addressing this issue and ensuring compliance.”
PDF is the most commonly used format for statement presentment; however assistive technologies used by those who are visually impaired, such as screen readers, are not designed to describe graphs, logos and charts. If not properly tagged, content contained within PDF documents can be difficult to understand for those with limited or no vision. Xenos Axess works by integrating with an organization’s existing enterprise content management (ECM) infrastructure and capturing and transforming high-volume print streams and standard PDF into tagged, accessible PDF documents that can be easily interpreted using assistive technologies.
"Organizations have traditionally invested in outsourced document accessibility services such as Braille and manual PDF tagging. But with the introduction of Xenos Axess, they now have a new option that ensures that every transaction-oriented document they generate can be accessible on demand to every customer, reducing the need to outsource special services," adds Cittadini.
Xenos Axess is designed for organizations that manage high-volume transactional output such as statements. Xenos Axess will be available before the end of June 2010. For further information or to view the demo, please visit: www.actuate.com/xenos/accessibility or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Xenos – An Actuate Company
Xenos (TSX:XNS) provides high-performance solutions that optimize enterprise content management (ECM) implementations by streamlining the movement of information across the enterprise and slashing document storage costs. Xenos solutions, based on the scalable Xenos Enterprise Server™, process, extract, transform, repurpose and personalize high volumes of data and documents for storage, real-time access, ePresentment, printing and delivery in numerous formats across multiple channels.
Effective Feb. 1, 2010, Xenos became an Actuate company. For more information, visit www.actuate.com/xenos.