Progress vs Perfection: Document Remediation at Scale

Presented at 8:00am in Colorado F on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.



  • Walter Walker, Director of Product Development, codemantra U.S. LLC

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Higher Education institutions can be hit with 100s of requests for remediation on a monthly, even weekly, basis. With limited assistive tech resources how can this be managed? codemantra proposes an affordable and reasonable path to 508 compliance – while not perfect it does constitute progress.


Most every institution, government agency, commercial entity has the best of intentions when it comes to remediating publicly facing documents and its web presence. But with large archives of legacy documents or libraries of historical materials the volumes are often overwhelming and the cost to remediate unwieldly. Higher Education institutions can be hit with 100s of requests for remediation on a monthly, even weekly, basis. In the language of the ADA such volumes might be considered a disproportionate burden. Could there be an adequate and affordable solution? codemantra proposes a compliance solution that while not perfect it represents practical progress.

The solution most commonly adopted for these large archives of publicly available documents is an ad hoc approach to remediation. When a disabled person has identified a document that he or she wishes to read, a work order is submitted and the assistive technology folks assess the request. Once approved, it might still take days, even weeks, to remediate the document. For disabled students and researchers, under pressure to make a deadline, this is a source of great frustration.

This session addresses the technologies in the marketplace – both remediation processes and assistive technologies – that can bring about an affordable, but acceptable level of 508 compliance. While not perfect these techniques will provide for a level of accessibility – and compliance – that is considerably better than nothing at all.


  1. 1. Technology, leveraging AI & ML, can automate a large part of the document remediation process.
  2. A tagged document can be made navigable by ATs such as JAWS, NVDA, Apple VoiceOver and Google Talkback.
  3. Automated alt text generators tag key document elements. Further research can make documents accessible to all

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Assistive Technology, EPUB Track, Uncategorized, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Walter Walker

Ian Smith is the Director of Product Development at codemantra US LLC. Ian has been with codemantra for 15 years. His solid background in publishing production, while working for John Wiley & Sons, and his years of digital publishing initiatives have prepared him well for his role as an engineer of remediation products and processes. Ian serves on the W3C steering committee for WCAB 2.2. Ian has presented M-Enabling, Access U 2022, Texas Digital Government Summit 2022, AHEAD 2022, Cleveland.