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CommonLook Delivers Software And Services To Help Organizations Achieve Compliance With Document Accessibility Standards

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CommonLook has been a global leader in electronic document accessibility for the past 20 years, CommonLook is the only company in the world that provides both PDF accessibility software products and professional services. This hybrid approach enables faster, more cost-efficient, and more reliable processes for achieving compliance with the leading PDF and document accessibility standards, including WCAG, PDF/UA and Section 508. Below is our recent interview with Daniel Kim, Vice President of CommonLook:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to CommonLook?

A: The company’s executive team has over 20 years of experience and leadership in the field of accessibility. Their expertise is evident in advancements in accessibility verification technology achieved in the design and development of the CommonLook brand of software products. NetCentric Technologies (DBA CommonLook) is a member of the PDF/UA (Universal Access) committee that defines the ISO standard for PDF accessibility.

CommonLook PDF and Adobe are the only software tools listed by W3C to remediate PDF documents.

Q: Who is your ideal client and why?

A: Any organization with a website that contains PDF documents would benefit from our tools and services. The ADA regulations have defined that websites need to be accessible. PDF content comprises a large portion of that content. As far as ideal clients, federal, state and local governments all benefit from our expertise. The same is true for healthcare insurance providers, financial institutions, higher education and institutions that publish PDF content on their websites. We also work with many web development and creative content providers that are being asked by their customers to provide accessible content.

Q: Can you tell us something more about your Accessibility Software?

A: CommonLook is the only company in this space to provide a complete PDF accessibility suite of tools for ensuring PDF files comply with the standards, such as WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 AA, HHS, Section 508 and PDF/UA. The market is limited for competing tools: Adobe Acrobat DC offers limited accessibility testing and does not certify to any standard. Standalone tools, like PAC3, offer limited functionality. CommonLook’s suite includes the following complete solution:

  • Testing for Compliance – CommonLook Clarity scans a website for PDF content and reports on the accessibility of the discovered documents. CommonLook PDF Validator tests individual files and produces detailed accessibility compliance reports to the standard of your choice.
  • PDF Remediation and Certification – Our flagship product, CommonLook PDF, is the “GOLD” standard of PDF remediation and certification. The product assists accessibility professionals to quickly and accurately remediate documents and certify the results, producing the CommonLook Report that shows checkpoint by checkpoint that the files meet the standards
  • PDF Creation CommonLook Office creates accessible content during the authoring process. It is the easy button for ensuring documents and presentations created in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint are accessible and meet the standards.
  • PDF generated from Databases – Our CommonLook Dynamic solves the problem of dealing with content generated from databases such as invoices, bank statements and similar documents. These files can be generated as accessible PDF documents that meet the standards using our tools.
  • Web Governance (SEO, Web Accessibility, QA) – Via our partnership with Monsido, CommonLook gives clients a comprehensive web governance toolset that includes the CommonLook Clarity PDF accessibility scanning software along with powerful HTML accessibility reporting.

Q: Can you tell us something more about your Remediation Services?

A: CommonLook is the only company that provides a “HYBRID” approach that includes a combination of software and services for remediation.

Q: What does CommonLook’s Hybrid approach to document accessibility mean?

A: Customers typically start their document remediation cycle as follows:

  • Audit of the Website using CommonLook Clarity
  • Once the clients have identified the documents that require remediation, they have an option to use CommonLook PDF to remediate them internally or send them to CommonLook’s expert remediation services team.
  • Remediation services will provide an exact quote and an exact delivery time. Please note that any remediation services company that writes a quote without reviewing the documents can not effectively make that document 100% compliant since every project is unique and the complexity varies. Make sure that every remediated PDF comes with a guarantee that it is 100% compliant to the existing standards.
  • CommonLook delivers the completed document with a compliance report stating it is 100% “GUARANTEED” compliant to the selection of the client’s choice of any standards.

All clients should always question any remediation vendor, if they do not provide a guarantee for each remediated document, or if a vendor does not provide a compliance report for each completed project. Buyer beware: low prices often translate to low-quality results. You get what you pay for.

A document isn’t compliant if it’s 80% complete. Consider this analogy: “if someone builds a wheelchair ramp 80% of the way to its intended destination is that ramp accessible”

Q: Can you give us more insights into your On-Demand Video Webinars?

A: CommonLook is building a library of on-demand videos to provide tips and tricks to common PDF accessibility problems that are solved using our tools. The videos focus on issues that can be difficult and time-consuming if remediated manually with Adobe Acrobat alone like properly tagging lists and tables. We will add to the video library over the coming months and welcome any requests from our clients for additional content.

Q: What can we expect from CommonLook in next four months?

A: We recently distributed a press release announcing CommonLook’s growth rate of 50% over the prior year with software sales increased over 950%. As a result, we are adding to our infrastructure to support the massive growth.

CommonLook is also excited about our CommonLook AI Cloud product, which is currently in pilot testing with select clients. The tool brings machine learning to the remediation process and is ideal for large quantities of similar documents. We expect this technology to be a game-changer as we continue to develop the tools going into 2020.

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