- If you are using PDFs in your course you need to make sure they are accessible.
- It 's easiest to produce an accessible document by creating it in WORD or PowerPoint or HTML and then saving it as a PDF.
- However, sometimes you need to use a scan of an article or book chapter, and these scanned PDFs need to be made accessible.
- First step: Set up your scanner to scan with OCR "Optical Character Recognition" on.
- This means the page is scanned for individual characters and not as a singular image, and is therefore searchable.
- Second step: After you scan your document run it through Adobe Acrobat Pro "Accessibility Checker" (instructions below) to fix accessibility issues.
The accessibility checker will check:
- If your pdf is OCR.
- If your pdf is “tagged” with hidden labels (“tags”)
- Tags describe the structure of the document (what is a header, paragraph, table cell, etc.).
- Screen readers can use these tags to convey the document’s information effectively to people with visual disabilities.
- The "reading order" of the PDFs (this is especially important with documents of 2 or more columns per page).
- If images and graphs have "alt-text" alternative text to describe them for users with screen readers.
As an aside, when you are scanning your documents, try and limit the amount of black bars along the edges, this will limit the amount of toner users who print out your scans will need to use.