Portable Document Format (PDF) files are one of the most common document formats in classrooms. As such it is important to make the creation of accessible PDF documents a priority. PDF files can be difficult to make accessible after the fact, and starting with an accessible Word document that you save as a PDF file is often the best way to create an accessible PDF. University Libraries can also provide accessible PDFs; any documents that are requested through the course reserves systems are accessible by default.
If you are starting from a scanned PDF, you will need to use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to check if a PDF is accessible and to add accessibility features. You can contact your department administrator about accessing a license for Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
How To Create Accessible PDF Documents in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
- Run “Make Accessible” wizard (Tools sidebar>Action Wizard>Make Accessible>Start)
- Add a descriptive title
- Set open options to run automatically
- Recognize text to ensure all text is selectable and searchable
- Detect form fields if your page contains fillable forms
- Tag content properly to indicate a logical reading order
- Specify reading language
- Add alternative text to images, graphs, and figures
- Ensure color contrast is appropriate
- Run accessibility full check (Tools>Accessibility>Full Check>Start Checking)