When people talk about "accessible" PDF files, they are usually referring to "tagged" PDF files. PDF tags provide a hidden, structured representation of the PDF content that is presented to screen readers. They exist for accessibility purposes only and have no visible effect on the PDF file. There is more to an accessible PDF file than tags, but an untagged PDF would not be considered "accessible".
HTML tags and PDF tags often use similar tag names (e.g., both have tags named h1) and organization structures. If you are comfortable with HTML, you will probably have an easier time creating and editing tagged PDF files, but knowledge of HTML is not necessary.
Creating Accessible Documents
When creating content, there are a few basic steps that should be followed in order to assure your content is accessible. The core steps needed for accessibility are the same regardless of whether your document is in HTML, Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, or another document format:
To gain a better understanding of these core issues, see our Overview of Accessible Documents.
To apply each of these concepts to a particular document format or authoring workflow, select one of the following topics:
Creating High-Quality Scanned Documents
sometimes it is necessary to scan a document for an instructional need. When documents are in electronic form, they are easier to distribute and can be more accessible than print documents for students with disabilities. However, in order to be fully accessible, certain steps must be followed to be sure the scanned document is of high quality. Even if a document is not needed for a person with a disability, a poor scan often negatively impacts the end user’s experience. For details, see Creating High-Quality Scans.
Please note the following limitations of this service:
high-impact, multiple-use, and/or strategic PDF documents. Examples include:
Vainqueur is available to provide technical support or training to faculty and staff who wish to create accessible electronic documents and otherwise make IT accessible. Contact
Outsourcing PDF Remediation
Vainqueur provides document remediation services at prices and turnaround times that seem to be a good match for higher education institutions. Contact the vendor for a quote: