Karlen Communications

Karlen Communications logo

Our logo was designed by a native artist and captures the spirit of who we are and what we do. The image represents the harmony between man and woman. The silhouette of the eagle represents the spirit of the woman in the image of the bear which symbolizes man. the feather represents the passing of knowledge by the teacher to the student. If you look carefully, there is the head of a loon at the base of the dark part of the feather. The loon was the only animal who would dive to the bottom of the lake to retrieve medicine that would restore the sight of the chief of the artist's tribe. The loon holds an honoured place in native history. This logo has so many dimensions that it allows those who view it to explore their creativity...which is also what we like to do. We are not "one thing" but many - in business and in person.

Read the Karlen Communications Company Profile [this is a tagged PDF document]

There is a Karlen Communications Blog that focuses on accessibility issues for creating documents and using applications.

Karen MCCall has been awarded the Microsoft MVP [Most Valued Professional] Award for Word for the past five years. As of today, April 23, 2014, Karen is also a Microsoft Accessibility MVP!.

Accessible PDF and Accessibil-IT

I am pleased and excited to announce that Karen McCall, M.Ed. has joined Accessibil-IT of Oakville/Toronto as Head of Quality Assurance and Training. Accessibil-IT is a company that specializes in accessible PDF documents.  This means Karlen Communications will no longer do any work around PDF document accessibility. All PDF work will be done through Accessibil-IT.

Please contact Accessibil-IT for your PDF needs.

All of the information you need to get in touch with Accessibil-IT Inc. can be found on this page.

Accessibil-IT
Accessibil-IT website
2275 Upper Middle Road East
Suite 101
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
L6H 0C3

+1 905 491 6875Telephone:
+1 905 491 6801FAX:
E-mail: info@accessibilit.com

One of the most compelling reasons for making this move is that Accessibil-IT creates PDF documents that are equal in accessibility to what I produce or, in some instances, better.

Karen McCall and Karlen Communications will still be doing work around accessible Microsoft Office document design, it is the PDF work that is now being done through Accessibil-IT.

In a further career move, Karen is involved in disability rights advocacy. (See the page on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act).

About Karlen Communications

Karen McCall (Karlen Communications) has been working with accessible document design for ten years. Work began with accessible eLearning back in the late 1990's when taking one of the first online courses through the University of Toronto. It was apparent that digital based learning was going to be an important tool for education in the future and although there wasn't much in terms of understanding the accessibility of digital environments at the time, I was constantly looking for opportunities to optimize the accessibility of digital environments.

That opportunity presented itself with Adobe Acrobat 5 and the ability to create accessible tagged PDF documents. In 2005 Accessible and Usable PDF Documents: Techniques for Document Authors was published as a book. However it had existed as workshop notes, then an online course for a few years before the book form of the content.

From the initial book, workshop participants were asking how to make source documents accessible so that there were few repairs in Acrobat and the content could easily be repurposed from Word (for example) to Braille. This quest resulted in the first in the series of Logical Document Structure Handbooks (the series name is being changed with the next publication!).

Along with these publications and research into accessible document design, books were written and workshops provided on how to use Microsoft Word from the keyboard and with adaptive technology.

As new versions of software presented the capability to optimize digital content for accessibility so did my skills base and ability to customize on the fly workshop content for clients. Although you can create an outline, goals and objectives for workshops and training, you often find that once you work with clients, that their needs have changed. It is important to be able to provide meaningful content in workshops and training.

Once, when asked "what is the critical skill" I bring to my work, my response was "an ability to tap dance!" Being a subject matter expert is one part of providing training but knowing what the needs of your audience are is equally important. After all, it is "their" training.

Karlen Communications continues to provide training on accessible document design and has added consulting, research and strategic planning related to the implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Integrated Accessibility Standards and the implementation of document format standards such as the work done on the PDF UA (Universal Access) standard for accessible PDF documents.

Copyright 2013 by Karen McCall and Karlen Communications. Contact Karlen Communications