Document is Empty
Black screen with white text in the middle reading “Document is Empty”
Male voiceover: So when you make universal accessibility a matter of course, you improve things for everybody.
And, you know, it’s not just about the people who have a disability today. It’s about the fact every single person
is one stumble away from being person with a disability.
[Faint piano music in background]
Screen reader: There are no headings on this page. There are no tables on this page. There are no links on this
page. Document is empty. Document is empty.
Background remains black but the black and white headshot video of a woman appears in front of this. She is middle
aged, has short dark hair and pale skin and is wearing dark glasses. She is facing the camera.
Woman: One of the problems that I’ve come across as a blind person is that the screen reader is not always able to
access PDF documents.
video of woman disappears and black and white headshot video of blind man appears in its place. He is a bit
overweight and is wearing a polo shirt. He is facing the camera but his eyes are closed. He is positioned slightly
to the left side of the screen.
Man: Often the PDF content really isn’t formatted in an accessible way.
The video of the man disappears and black and white footage of another man’s head appears. He has dark skin, an
almost shaved head and is wearing a suit and dark glasses.
Second man: I want to be able to navigate electronic documents in an accessible, independent way.
The second man disappears and is replaced by a third man. He is middle aged, has a shaved head, dark skin and is
wearing a dark polo shirt. His is facing the camera but his eyes are not focussed on it.
Third man’s voice: The reason it’s important for me to have immediate access to information is cuz I want to do
things that sighted people do. I want to be able to make financial decisions. I want to be able to have access to
my bank statements in case I have to dispute something credit card charges or what have you. I should have equal
access to my information without having to seek assistance from someone else.
The video of the third man disappears and is replaced by a fourth man. He is older, with short white hair, a suit
and dark glasses. He is facing the camera and talking.
Fourth man: When I’m on websites and there’s PDFs involved, it’s very, very difficult sometimes to go through
those because the PDF is scrambled or is not a good order and therefore it makes it very difficult because you’re
having to go all around the screen. Many times the screen reader won’t even convert the document and so it’s just
a lost cause. Most times I just give up.
The video of the fourth man disappears and is replaced by that of the third man.
Third man’s voice: When it comes to personal information like health care and financial information, I don’t like
relying on sighted people because it it denies my ability to have privacy and, you know, I really don’t want my
mother knowing what I spend money on. (laughter) It’s true.
The video of the third man is replaced by that of the second man.
Second man: Um, I think that companies have an obligation to ensure that their documents are accessible to
regardless of, you know, who the person is.
The video of the second man is replaced by that of a fifth man. He is overweight with pale skin and short,
straight hair and is wearing a business shirt and tie with two badges on his collar (a small metal cross and small
Fifth man: For the last 25 years, since the passage of the ADA, we have accepted accommodation instead of
inclusion. We need to start talking about inclusion of people with disabilities in society at all levels not
accommodation as a matter of law.
The video of the fifth man is replaced with video of the first man.
First man: If technology was available that could truly automate the creation of completely accessible documents
that would mean in a lot instances a great deal to to those of us who are consuming that content.
The video of the first man is replaced with that of the woman from the start of the clip.
Woman: I would encourage all software developers to embrace accessible formats and accessible software because
again if you do it for the major market then it should be available to all
The video of the woman is replaced with that of the first man.
First man: It is so important for me, as a blind person, that I am not left behind at the back of the mob that are
running into the and the future, the future for us seems to be a mobile future, an electronic future.
The video of the first man on the left side of the screen fades out and is replaced with video of the same man
positioned further to the right side of the screen.
First man: Don’t forget don’t forget you’ve got folks who are holding those same instruments and devices in the
palms of our hands and we want very badly to be able to do the stuff that you do even if we’ve got to do it in
The video of the first man fades out and leaves an entirely black screen. The screen reader starts talking.
Screen reader: Automation now allows for PDFs to be generated and remediated automatically so that they are
available and accessible to everyone including those who use screen reader assistive technology. Welcome to the
start of the new digitally inclusive world. Graphic: Actuate logo the BIRT company, phone colon 1-888-242-0692