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PDF Accessibility

Accessible PDFs ensure people with disabilities and assistive technologies can read, interpret, and navigate the document. However, when PDFs lack proper structure or accessibility features, such as alternative text, correct reading order, and document structure tags, they create significant barriers to accessibility. To ensure accessibility, the most effective approach involves preparing the source file, such as a Word document, with accessibility features before converting it to PDF. 

Another consideration for PDF accessibility is evaluating whether the content necessitates a PDF format. Exploring alternative methods, such as converting the PDF into a Canvas page, streamlining forms into online form builders, or transforming the content into web pages, can enhance accessibility and avoid the complexities associated with PDF remediation tools. Remediation of existing PDFs, especially those not designed with accessibility in mind, can be a challenging and time-intensive process. Recognizing the challenges of PDF accessibility, users can utilize tools like Adobe Acrobat and Equidox to create and remediate PDFs.

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat Pro can be used to edit and manipulate PDF files that have been scanned or provided by publishers. Acrobat is also used to remediate PDF documents and check if a document has potential accessibility errors.

For PDF documents with many pages and multiple accessibility issues, such as incorrect text or lack of a document structure, processing the PDF document using OCR applications may be more effective. OCR solutions can process large PDF files faster and output documents that require fewer remediation steps.

Available PDF Trainings

PDF Accessibility Resources: 


For assistance with PDF remediation, the CCCAC has acquired a limited number of licenses of Equidox for California Community Colleges staff. Please visit our Accessibility Tools page for more information on how to request a license.