Go Accessible with your PDF’s Using Kami!
Case study,  Teacher Tips

Beyond Digital: Go Accessible with your PDF’s Using Kami!

This blog post was originally posted on Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles’s blog and is used with the author’s permission.

Being a Kami Hero is pretty cool. Having the opportunity to test new features and explore the possibilities for this Chrome-based PDF tool is exciting. As an Assistive Technology specialist and consultant, I am always curious about if a particular tool is accessible for all, some or none.

While there are many wonderful features in Kami, which can be found in this blog post by fellow Kami Hero Danna Pearsall here, there are some other wonderful features of Kami that help promote accessibility. The feature that will be covered in this post is Kami’s OCR tool.  In the era of the “paperless classroom”, it’s one thing to be digital, It’s something completely different to be accessible to ALL learners. Using Kami’s OCR tool can help transform the landscape of access to content for your students, creating a more inclusive learning environment.

Kami’s OCR Tool:

Kami’s OCR tool takes PDF files that are inaccessible and, in essence, makes them accessible. Without getting too complex, OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition, which basically converts non-text elements in a PDF file into text-based elements, which then allows for embedded supports to be used to access the content. Here are the simple steps for using OCR in Kami:


Screenshot of Kami Initial screen for OCR, Split and Merge


1.In Chrome, open Kami. Select OCR.


Screenshot of prompting to add files for OCR conversion in Kami


2. Add files (Note that Kami works seamlessly with Google Drive).

Screenshot of files to import to Kami


3. Select file (s) to convert from Google Drive. Kami has a slick menu option that allows users to search for files based on PDF or name.


Screenshot of File to be converted


4. Kami will prompt you to confirm that the file you have selected to convert is the correct one.


Screenshot of Kami's OCR tool progress bar


5. Then you just wait for Kami’s OCR to do the work.


Screenshot of finished conversion message in Kami's OCR Tool


6. Kami will let you know when your file is finished uploading. You’ll have the option to either save to Google Drive or open in Kami.


Screenshot of Opening Image in Kami's OCR tool


7. If you choose to export to Kami, it will alert you when your file is successfully exported.


Screenshot of accessible workbook pageScreenshot of accessible workbook with speech to text took open


8. Once your file is open, you’ll be able to use all of Kami’s annotation and accessibility tools including speech to text and text- to-speech to access the document.


Digital vs. Accessible

In a perfect world, source documents would be inherently accessible to ALL students. Until that day comes, using tools like Kami’s OCR helps to make an inaccessible document into one that is accessible. Empowering students and teachers to use Kami’s OCR Tool as a workflow in creating an accessible classroom, is one of many ways that educators can easily go from digital to accessible.


Inspired? Learn more about what Kami has to offer your classroom today!

Dr. Hilary Goldthwait-Fowles, ATP
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