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There is so much information available about web accessibility that we often forget that digital accessibility goes beyond just landing pages and online stores.
All too often, website owners receive demand letters even though they’ve taken steps to comply with WCAG standards, not realizing that PDFs need to be accessible too.
Unfortunately, PDFs are not a compliance exemption – they need to meet specific ADA requirements too.
This is where a PDF accessibility checker becomes useful.
Prioritizing PDF accessibility means you’re ensuring that all users can access and engage with PDF documents on your site or server, regardless of ability.
An accessible PDF is compatible with assistive technology and software, including speech recognition software, screen readers, and screen magnifiers. This way, users with visual or hearing impairments can still access the content and media in a PDF.
To make this possible, you would need to add tags to a PDF document – software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro simplifies this process. These tags give each document structure, making it easier for technology to understand and read the PDF to users.
In terms of images, it’s important to add alternative text to each image to ensure disabled users understand what the image is about and how it’s relevant to the text.
The easiest way to create an accessible PDF from scratch is to use an accessible source document such as Microsoft Word and convert that into a PDF format. For any existing PDFs, compliance checking is necessary.
There are two ways to check PDF accessibility – the first of which is using Adobe Acrobat’s built-in accessibility tool. The second is to use a third-party PDF accessibility checker.
A good online PDF accessibility checker will thoroughly check all elements, including text, tables, titles, and images. It should also provide you with a detailed report. Lastly, you want to make sure that the tool checks PDFs against the latest WCAG guidelines and standards.
Here are the PDF accessibility checkers that come highly recommended.
accessiBe is one of the most recognized names in the web accessibility space, making their PDF checker one of the top tools available today. Simply upload your PDF files to a new project to run it through an automatic remediation process before an accessibility expert does the final checks.
Now that you know which tools you can use to check for PDF accessibility, there’s no reason why you need to worry about costly demand letters and a poor user experience.
By making your website as well as your PDFs accessible, you are ensuring your employees and customers can enjoy a more inclusive experience, which is what everyone deserves.
Find out whether your website is accessible or not by conducting a test on Accessibility Checker.
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