Beyond the Basics of PDF Accessibility - 2018 Update

Beyond the Basics of PDF Accessibility – 2018 Update

Recording Date: Thursday, January 18, 2018
Length: 1.5 hours
Speakers: Karen McCall, Accessible Document Design Consultant and Trainer and Rob Haverty, Senior Product Manager, Document Cloud Accessibility, Adobe

Target Audience: Anyone working in the field of accessible document design,  PDF remediation professionals and document authors 
Skill Level: Intermediate 

Register for Archive: Beyond the Basics for PDF Accessibility - 2018 Update



Information during this webinar will guide you to the resources and techniques to remediate more complex elements of a tagged PDF document.  The key to remediating any PDF document for accessibility is to ensure that the correct Tag for the content visible on the page has been used.

For example, a tagged PDF document containing only <P> or Paragraph Tags does not provide any navigational structure for those of us using adaptive technology such as screen readers or Text-to-Speech tools. Heading Tags or <H1>, <H2> and <H3> Tags must be in sequential order. This provides valuable information to those of us using adaptive technology about the structure of a PDF document. Just as in HTML, we don’t make everything a <H2> Tag because we like the look of it, we must provide hierarchical navigational structure in a PDF document. PDF differs from HTML in that you can have more than one <H1> Tag in a document. Lists and tables also contain important structural information that must be conveyed via tags in PDF.

This session will provide an overview of the most commonly used form controls in PDF documents. You’ll learn how to add the ToolTip for a form control and how to decide which form control to use for a specific question. Often document remediators forget to Tag the PDF form once the form controls have been added. This process and the Adobe hierarchy of tasks will be explained. 


  • Participants will be able to identify several issues that should be addressed in source formats rather than by editing the PDF document directly.
  • Participants will learn the correct structure for lists and tables including available Tags for each.
  • Participants will learn how to create an accessible PDF form using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
  • Participants will learn about new features in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to assist remediators in optimizing PDF documents for accessibility.

Speaker Bios:

Karen McCall, MED, has worked in the field of PDF creation and remediation for over 15 years. Her book “Accessible and Usable PDF Documents: Techniques for Document Authors" was first published in 2005 with the fourth edition of the book published in 2017. This book led to her series on accessible document design using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Karen is a Canadian delegate to the ISO 32000 (PDF) and the ISO 14289 (PDF/UA) committees. She continues to contract for accessible Word, PowerPoint and PDF form remediation. Karen was the original curriculum developer/author of the Adobe Systems certificate training on accessible PDF documents.

Rob Haverty is a Senior Product Manager for Document Cloud Accessibility at Adobe. In Rob’s 20 years of accessibility experience he as has been involved in many facets of accessibility including product development, technical evangelism, and policy and standards development. Rob has presented at conferences world-wide and has been involved in international accessibility projects such as the UNESCO Inclusive Classroom Project. Prior to coming to Adobe, Rob was engaged in accessibility work at Microsoft.

IAAP Logo. Click to join IAAP today.Join IAAP Today

What will make our profession strong is having you as a member. Regardless of your knowledge level in accessibility, we all play a role in growing this profession. Help guide us to being a great professional association serving our diverse needs.

IAAP Member Connections logo  Get Engaged

Through use of IAAP Connections, you can join an existing discussion or even start your own. You can also blog, upload resources to libraries and join some of our committees.

Get involved today.
Make IAAP a strong community.


IAAP Educational Training Database logo
The Educational Training Database is a searchable global resource database which provides a centralized place for accessibility professionals and others to locate and access educational-related instructional materials related to accessibility. 

Learn about our Career Center  

The IAAP Career Center is a resource for both job seekers and recruiting organizations. You'll find the latest open positions for accessibility professionals!
Find out more about the IAAP Career Center!