When creating a PDF from Word or PowerPoint, first verify that the Microsoft Office document is accessible before saving as a PDF (MS Office Accessibility Guidelines)


Characteristics of Accessible PDF:

  1. Searchable text (i.e. a PDF saved as an image is not accessible)
  2. Interactive form fields with labels.
  3. Defined reading order (User can use tab key to navigate through the document from top to bottom in a logical order)
  4. Navigational Aids (enabling users to navigate within the document using their keyboards)
    1. Active Links
    3. Formatted Headings
  5. Alternative Text descriptions for images and charts


Verifying accessibility of PDF:

Using Read Aloud in Adobe Reader:

  1. Choose View
  2. Choose Read Out Loud
  3. Activate Read Out Loud.
  4. Choose View (Again)
  5. Choose Read This Page Only


Keyboard Alternative:

  1. Shift+Control+Y - To active Read Out Loud
  2. Shift+Control+V – To Read This Page Only


Additional Support can be located on the Adobe accessibility training website.


Scanned document

Scanned documents are inaccessible because they contain images that represent the text on a page, not the actual text.

Documents must be scanned using a scanning software that produces a non-image file that contains the qualities listed above.




Scanned image documents can be converted to a readable format using Read&Write Gold software which is available on all campus supported computers.


Instructions for Mac Users

Instructions for PC Users


NOTE: Not all scanned files will convert accurately. Documents may need to be recreated or edited to ensure accessibility. For example: Handwritten documents will not convert.

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