You should expect accessible PDF documents

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NFB members frequently encounter PDF files that are not accessible. Much as with HTML-based web pages a few years back it can sometimes help to be able to provide pointers to the producer of the PDF document to help them understand how to properly create PDF documents that will offer an accessible and usable experience for all users.

Adobe provides a variety of documents that you can point people to (or use yourself when producing PDF files). These documents provide helpful guidance that help authors understand what steps are needed to make PDF files accessible, whether the documents are scanned images of paper documents, interactive forms, or are exported from popular desktop publishing applications.

The following documents are available:

Creating Accessible PDF from Microsoft' Word

This guide describes how to use Acrobat's PDFMaker with Microsoft Word to make accessible PDF files. Some of the techniques apply to the Microsoft Office productivity suite as well, such as the PowerPoint' presentation graphics program. 

http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/acrobat/pdf/A9-accessible-pdf-from-word.pdf

A desktop guide version that fits on one printed page is also available (and accessible as a PDF file) and provides the top five tips to help even those users who claim to have no time to address accessibility. This document shows what to do if you only have a few minutes.

http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility/assets/WordToPDFReferenceCard_v1.pdf

Acrobat 9 Pro PDF Accessibility Repair Workflow

This guide provides a step-by-step method for analyzing existing PDF files and making them accessible based upon that analysis.

http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/acrobat/pdf/A9-pdf-access-repair-workflow.pdf

Creating Accessible Form with Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro

Describes how to use Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro to add descriptions to form fields, set the tab order, and perform other accessibility tasks related to PDF forms. These techniques do not apply to PDF forms created with Adobe LiveCycle Designer.

http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/acrobat/pdf/A9-pdf-access-repair-workflow.pdf