Hi, I'm Dave Gardy here at the 2018 M-Enabling Summit, and we're at the booth of DCL, Data Conversion Laboratory, and I'm here with Mark Gross the president, Mark thanks for joining us.

Thank you for coming over, hey give us an overview of what DCL does.

DCL is Data Conversion Laboratory and our business has been for 36 years now, this is our 36th year, to take all kinds of documents, all kinds of information, and make them available on computer systems. And I think we are a little new to the accessibility community and that's only in the last three or four years that we've really focused on it. But our business until now has been making documents accessible to the whole world. And now there's been an opportunity with new tools and new developments to actually make a big difference, and making documents available in the accessible community. The reason we're different over there is because we've always been focusing on complex documents, technical documents, tables, formulas, all things that are very hard to do in the traditional ways. And so our expertise has been working very well to put us in over here where documents like technical documents, standards documents, the kind of things that are valuable to people who actually in the disabled community who need to work in the real world and be able to compete against people who are working a day to day life. Engineers, scientists, people like that.

Very well said. So in the case of a pdf document, you would do remediation on something like that?

Right, so the new documents that are coming out are already accessible, they're xml, really the area we've been playing with, playing in the whole time. Pdf documents were never intended to be accessible, they're really a print format. So the technology we've developed for all the other things we've done is really very helpful in this space. Cause we're able to go in and put in the right kind of markers inside a pdf document that will allow a reading machine to be able to know which columns start where and where to move around, where a table is, what the different cells in a table are. All the kind of things that are really very critical when you're dealing with complex documents.

So what are some of the type of applications that the customers you have, what type of clients use your services.

Well so one client that we're working with right now is the Veterans Administration. Which has, we're in the process now of remediating 50,000 pages of pdf documents. These are documents that have been developed over the past 5, 10, 15 years, so they already exists, it doesn't make sense to redo them. Might as well take what you have over there and make those accessible. So although a lot of those have tables in them, a lot of them have charts in them, so our expertise there has been very helpful in putting the right markers so people can read all those things. The alternative is somebody has to be on the phone and read a document to somebody. So this has been a much better solution. And what we do, when you're dealing with large quantities of material you can all do it by hand. So automation has been a very big part of what we're doing, we're in our fourth decade now. Automation has been always our focus, how do you do large volumes of information. It's become very valuable not when you have five pages, but when you have 50,000 pages or 100,000 pages.

So it's the automation that distinguishes you guys because it probably helps drop the price a little bit. So when you have those large jobs it's not as expensive.

Well it makes a huge difference, it can be a ten to one ratio in terms of what it is. And new technologies have made that feasible, now machine learning, natural language processing, all those buzzwords that go around artificial intelligence. We're actually using them on a day to day basis to have a computer read a document the way a person would and then interpret the right codes into them so that now it can be used by reading machines and other technology.

Fascinating. So what are some of the questions people are asking at M-Enabling about your products and services?

Well what kind of volumes can you do, what kind of documents can you do? What is it that's different about what you're doing? And why now? And I think why now is very important. That's been a group of technologies that have come around together. The reading machines have been around since Kurzweil in 1974 but those are really reading plain text and didn't read it 100%, read it at some level, but now in the last few years it's become practical to actually do complex documents. And it's also sensitivity in the world, that even the people who have disabilities should be able to function. And as I've learned over here, when I speak to people over here, the people are very proficient at what they're doing, and have gone past their disabilities and has actually made them very strong in what they do. So those are the questions people have been asking me have been how do you do all this? And I've been very impressed at what people can actually do when they're given the tools.

Interesting, how's the show been for you overall?

Very good, it's been a lot of traffic. I've learned a lot, it's the first time I've been at this particular conference. And it's really been a tremendous learning experience for me and lets me go back and really put some innovation in what we're doing to better suite the community.

Excellent, great to have that outreach. People want to find more about you on the web. What's your website?

It's www DC Lab dot com.

Www DC Lab dot com, we've been talking with Mark Gross, who's the president, Mark thanks so much for joining us today.

Thank you. I'm Dave Gardy here at M-Enabling Summit, stay tuned for more.

Posted on June 18, 2018

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