Accessibility standards ensure that everyone can effectively use the materials you make available regardless of any situational, temporary, or permanent disabilities.

For example:

High contrast between text and background helps someone with fading eyesight read... but it also helps someone with perfect vision trying to read in bright sunlight.

Navigating websites without a mouse is necessary for a person with mobility impairments... but is also important to the person holding an infant in one arm.

Transcripts or closed captioning are necessary for a deaf person…but they're also useful for the person on public transportation not wanting to disturb fellow passengers.


Using PDFs for document distribution is strongly discouraged.

Instead, content can just as easily be distributed as documents, or, even better, web pages that would be far easier to use, distribute, and make accessible.

PDFs are discouraged because:

If you suspect you may be starting or working on a project that may use PDFs, please contact us ASAP to ensure the most effective means of distributing content.

Remediating PDFs for accessibility can be an extremely time consuming task. Consider whether the content you are trying to make accessible must really be in the form of a PDF before you begin. For example, if you are trying to remediate a document that was originally created in InDesign and intended for print, perhaps creating a web page that contains the same information along with a link to the printable PDF might be a better option. 

Accessibility links and references