6-14.1 Rationale

PDF files may be completely or partially inaccessible to a screen reader or may be read in an illogical order by a screen reader. Posting an alternate format or access method along with the PDF is the only way to ensure accessibility.

An accessible PDF file uses tags to make the content of a character–based document available to a screen reader. Tags define the logical structure of the character–based document such as titles, headings, paragraphs, tables, etc. The underlying process of tagging a PDF file is similar to tagging an HTML or XML file. Original source files must be accessible before the conversion process begins, or the resulting PDF will likely be inaccessible.

The accessible tagged PDF file must be used with the accessible version of Adobe Acrobat Reader and a Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) compliant screen reader such as JAWS.