Adobe PDF Accessibility
- 1194.21 (F): Textual information shall be provided through operating system functions for displaying text. The minimum information that shall be made available is text content, text input caret location, and text attributes.
- 1194.21 (I): When electronic forms are used, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
- 1194.22 (D): Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
Creating accessible PDFs is beneficial for a variety of student populations, not just the visually impaired.
- Accessible PDFs allow text to be recognized as text and not as an image meaning students can highlight and take notes on the digital documents.
- The text of an accessible PDF can also be read by any screen reading software–students can listen to the documents on the go!
- Creating accessible PDFs does not sacrifice the visual appearance of your document, so only one file type is needed.
- Accessible PDFs use XML tags to structure the document content. Structured content makes document search easier, helping students to review readings and content quickly.
The Accessibility Checker tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro finds accessibility issues in your PDF Documents. The tool generates a report of issues that could make your content difficult for people with disabilities to understand. Accessibility Checker also explains why you should fix these issues and how to fix them.
Start Accessibility Checker
- Open the PDF document (.pdf) that you would like to review for accessibility.
- Select Tools.
- Select Accessibility.
- Select “Full Check.”
- Select “Start Checking.”
- The Accessibility Checker pane will open on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Right-click a specific issue and select “Explain” to see an explanation of the problem and steps to remediate.
Understand the Inspection Results
After Accessibility Checker inspects your content, it reports the inspection results based on the severity of the issue found, categorized as follows:
- Passed: The item passed the accessibility check.
- Passed Manually: The item was marked passed by manual inspection.
- Skipped by User: The rule was not selected in the Accessibility Checker Options dialog box.
- Needs Manual Check: The Full Check feature could not check the item automatically. Verify the item manually.
- Failed: The item did not pass the accessibility check.
Understand the Context Menu
A context menu is available for each accessibility result. To see the context menu, right-lick on the item in the Accessibility Checker panel. Choose one of the following options from the context menu:
- Fix: Acrobat either fixes the item automatically, or displays a dialog box prompting the user to fix the item by entering information or making a choice. For example, a dialog is displayed allowing the user to enter alternative text for an image.
- Skip Rule: Deselects this option in the Accessibility Checker Options dialog box for future checks of this document, and changes the item status to Skipped.
- Explain: Opens the online Help.
- Check Again: Runs the checker again on all items. Choose this option after modifying one or more items.
- Show Report: Displays the accessibility report for the page range/document with links to tips on how to repair failed checks. The link to tips is the same as the help that is provided by the “explain” item. Once the report is shown, a new option to attach the report also appears.
- Options: Opens the Accessibility Checker Options dialog box where checking options can be set.
Visit this webpage to learn more about Adobe Acrobat’s accessibility standards, features, guides, and templates.
Learn more about the “Make Accessible” tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Learn to check for and fix issues.
Do you have concerns or questions about accessibility? Do you need help making videos, Word Documents, PowerPoints, Excel Files, or PDFs accessible? Come join our Accessibility Open Lab! Bring your questions and inaccessible materials with you.
Keep a copy of instructions for the Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Checker on your computer for easy reference!
Learn about Section 508 and UMKC’s legal obligation to create and deliver accessible content.
Learn about techniques for creating accessible PDFs in order to meet WCAG 2.0 standards.