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Making Documents Accessible

Each of the major categories of disabilities (visual, hearing, motor, cognitive) require certain types of adaptation in the design of web content, including the documents we are linking to from our webpages. A document is considered accessible if it meets certain technical criteria and can be used by people with disabilities.

Non-fillable forms & documents
  • Never scan a printed form or document to create a PDF for your website - these will not be usable by screen readers.
  • Typically, when built in Word or similar software, accessibility tags are only needed for images, graphs and other non-text elements before saving as a PDF.
  • When linking to non-fillable forms on your website for download, we recommend adding a supportive statement and contact information: "If you experience difficulties completing a form, please contact our office for assistance."
  • PDFs built with design software such as InDesign will not convey standard outline structure for the content and will need additional efforts to ensure they are accessible.
Fillable forms
  • Fillable PDF forms are required to include accessibility elements to ensure the form can be completed online by those with disabilities.
Online resources for making documents accessible