Accessible PDF

How to make your PDF Section 508 Compliant?

PDF files are nearly ubiquitous these days, but unfortunately, they’re not always accessible to everyone. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal entities to make electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain or use electronic and information technology.

To avoid major accessibility violations, here’s how you can make your PDF files Section 508 compliant.

At 247 Accessible Documents, we leverage our expertise to ensure your PDF documents are fully accessible and meet Section 508 Compliance.

What is a Section 508 Compliant PDF?

A Section 508 compliant PDF is a document that has been specifically designed to be accessible to those with disabilities. This means that the document can be easily read and navigated by someone who uses a screen reader or other assistive technology to access PDF documents.

There are a few different things that you need to consider when making a PDF Section 508 compliant.

  • First, you need to make sure that your document is properly tagged. This will ensure that screen reader can properly interpret the content of your document.
  • Second, you need to use alternative text for all images and graphics. This will allow those with visual impairments to understand what is contained in the image.
  • Third, you need to make sure that your document is laid out in a logical and easy-to-follow manner. This will help those with cognitive disabilities to better understand the information contained within it.
  • All form fields must be accessible so that users can fill them out using a screen reader or other assistive technology. PDF forms have some inherent accessibility limitations and making a PDF form accessible requires a little more effort as it is more than just dropping form elements into your document.
  • Finally, you need to provide a table of contents and/or an index for your PDF documents. This will help those with disabilities quickly locate the information they are looking for.

When you convert your document to a PDF, ensure that you run an Accessibility Check.  This will alert you to potential accessibility issues and give you the opportunity to resolve these issues. 

Check out this blog on Section 508 Compliance – Checklist for PDF

For organizations needing to deliver Section 508 compliant PDF documents, 247 Accessible Documents is waiting to assist you. To get started, Sign Up for Free now and start uploading your documents.

By Ramya Venkitesh

Head - Accessibility New Initiatives, Actively involved in formulating new ideas to create Innovative Accessible Solutions across all Disabilities.