Practical Accessibility Resources
PDF documents can be made reasonably accessible, with a bit of effort. Some guidelines and resources follow.
Adobe PDF accessibility resources.
Information about PDF and accessibility from Adobe, the creators of the Portable
Document Format standard.
Guidelines to Authors of Accessible PDFs (1.5 MB PDF format)
by Julian Rickards of the Government of Ontario. An excellent introduction to
the topic of electronic document accessibility in general, with particular
reference to PDFs.
Guide to Editors of Accessible PDFs (1.2 MB PDF format)
also by Julian Rickards. Step-by-step instructions for editors on preparing a
manuscript in Word for publication as an accessible PDF document.
Word template to help authors format documents properly (187 KB digitally signed Word template with macros):
This template contains a menu and toolbar that highlights named styles in Word
(Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.), so that authors can easily create structured
documents. The template is available as part of our YAWC Online service, which
converts Word documents automatically into accessible HTML pages.
Adobe Distiller configuration file, optimised for accessibility (3KB Distiller format)
This Distiller joboptions file has many of the required settings for creating an
accessible PDF file from Word. It should be placed in your Distiller settings
directory (usually C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat
- In general, use Microsoft Word to create a PDF
document version of your publication, as this is much cheaper than typesetting
- Use the
typesetting application if you must typeset it, or insist that your typesetter
- Don’t use QuarkXPress to typeset documents, as
it cannot generate accessible PDFs.
Adobe accessibility training course books:
Adobe have downloadable tutorials on using Word, FrameMaker and InDesign with
Acrobat to create accessible PDFs.
University of Minnesota PDF accessibility resources
maintain links to articles and tutorials on PDF and accessibility.
Email newsletter accessibility
Text Email Newsletter Standard (TEN):
This standard is designed to ease navigation of plain text email newsletters by
all readers, including those using screen-readers and other special access