Tips For Making PDFs ADA Compliant

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If you’re looking to make the PDFs on your website more accessible, there are some steps you can take to make that happen. Please note, this method is using Adobe Acrobat DC.


To start off, you’ll want to load your file into Adobe Acrobat DC.  Once you have the PDF loaded, go ahead and click the “Tools” tab in the top toolbar. Then you can either browse or search for the tool “Action Wizard”. Once you locate that, go ahead and click on “open”.

Once you have the Action wizard open, you’ll see an Actions List off to your right. Below that you’ll see an option to “Make Accessible”. Go ahead and click that. Once there, click on the blue “Start” button.

Now you’ll be able to give your document some more information such as a title, subject author and keywords that will describe the document. This text will be read out loud to anyone using a screen reader so it’s important to make sure your text is descriptive.

Once you click next, you’ll be given a few options for the screen readers to recognize the text. The default options are usually fine, so go ahead and click “ok”. You’ll then be prompted to use fill-able forms, if you have a form on your PDF then click yes for the forms to be detected. If not, skip this step.

Now choose your language. The next step, Adobe will go through your images and have you provide alt text to all the images it finds. This is where you will provide descriptive text for screen readers to provide information about the image. Go ahead and write about the image if you have them.

Next, you’ll get a list of options of additional accessibility features. Once you have the options you’d like selected, click on the “Start checking” button. On the left hand side, Adobe will give you a list of any issues that you have in your file.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully created a PDF that is more Accessible and screen readers can now read the document out loud!