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PDF/UA (PDF/Universal Accessibility) is the International Standard for accessible PDF technology.
PDF/UA provides a technical standard for software developers implementing PDF writing and processing software. Conformance with PDF/UA provides accessibility for people with disabilities who use assistive technology such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, joysticks and other technologies to navigate and read electronic content.
PDF/UA is not a separate file-format but simply a way to use PDF.
The formal name of PDF/UA is "ISO 14289-1 Document management applications -- Electronic document file format enhancement for accessibility -- Part 1: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/UA-1).
Audience & Benefits 
While PDF/UA is written for software developers, PDF/UA support is of interest to persons with disabilities who require or benefit from assistive technology when reading electronic content. With PDF/UA conforming files, readers and assistive technology, users are guaranteed - so far as the PDF format itself can provide - equal access to information.
The benefits of PDF/UA extend beyond people with disabilities. With support for PDF/UA, reader software will be able to reliably reflow text onto small screens, provide powerful navigation options, transform text appearance, improve search engine functionality, aid in the selection and copying of text, and more.
The PDF/UA project began in 2004 as an AIIM Standards Committee. The PDF/UA wiki, operated by AIIM, contains agendas, meeting-minutes and public-access documents pertaining to the development of PDF/UA.
Chaired since 2005 by President of Document Solutions, Inc. Duff Johnson, in 2009 AIIM's PDF/UA Committee became the U.S. Committee for ISO/AWI (Accepted Work Item) 14289 with Cherie Ekholm of Microsoft as International Project Leader.
The US Committee continued as the main driver of the standard's development through the WD, CD, DIS and FDIS phases of ISO standards development, with review, comment and balloting by the member bodies of ISO TC 171.
ISO 14289-1:2012 (PDF/UA) was published in August, 2012. The document is available directly from the ISO webstore.
In October 2012 the US Library of Congress added PDF/UA to their list of archivable file formats. The Library's guidance states that PDF/UA is "...a preferred format for page-oriented content by the Library of Congress."
Ongoing ISO and AIIM Committee Activities 
In May, 2012 the International Committee formally opened work on ISO 14289-2, with an "NWI" (New Work Item) to be based on ISO 32000-2.
The US Committee has published the following documents in support of PDF/UA:
- PDF/UA-1 Technical Implementation Guide: Understanding ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA-1)
- Mapping PDF/UA to WCAG 2.0
The Committee is currently working on a document entitled. "PDF/UA-1 Technical Implementation Guide: Understanding ISO 32000-1 (PDF 1.7)." Participation by subject matter experts, software developers and other interested parties is invited and encouraged.
Committee Organization & Leadership 
- Project Leader, International Committee: Cherie Ekholm, Microsoft
- U.S. Chair & Spokesperson: Duff Johnson, Independent Consultant
- TC 171 SC 2 WG 9 Secretary: Betsy Fanning, AIIM
- Convener, International Committee: Dennis Newman, PFS Corporation
PDF Association Activities 
The PDF Association's PDF/UA Competence Center is working on the Matterhorn Protocol, an implementation of PDF/UA, expected for publication in Q1, 2013.
Implementers announcing their intention to support PDF/UA 
- Access for All
- Adobe Systems
- callas software, GmbH
- NetCentric Technologies
- NV Access, creators of NonVisual Desktop Access
- PDFlib GmbH
See also 
- The Library of Congress on PDF/UA
- List of software supporting PDF/UA
- ISO's webstore page for ISO 14289-1:2012
- AIIM's PDF/UA page
- Achieving WCAG 2.0 with PDF/UA
- ANSI's webstore page for ISO 14289-1:2012
- Adobe Systems' Statement on WCAG 2.0 and PDF/UA
- Accessible PDF: A Glossary of Terms
- NVDA goes PDF/UA! The PDF Association Steps Up to Fund Development of the World's First PDF/UA Conforming Screen Reader
- Video recordings from the PDF/UA sessions at the PDF Association Technical Conference 2012 in Basel, Switzerland