Information Technology Services
Accessible Documents and PDFs
PDFs posted on public websites should be accessible to people who use screenreaders because of poor or no vision. At UCOP, in compliance with the UC IT Accessibility Policy, as much content as possible should be posted as accessible web pages, rather than PDF documents, and all posted PDFS should be accessible. For websites in the Cascade content management system, PDFs are reviewed and approved for accessibility through the Cascade accessibility workflow before being published.
ITS provides consultation about making PDFs accessible, such as how to address or remediate inaccessible PDFs already posted on the web, how to ensure new projects that involve large numbers of PDFs plan for accessibility, or how to make complex documents accessible. The UCOP IT Accessibility Work Group is charged with assessing accessibility at UCOP and helping ensure policy compliance. You can learn more about PDFs and accessibility.
Content Suitable for a PDF. Most content should be posted as a web page that can be easily updated, rather than a PDF document. This applies to guidelines, general program descriptions, information that gets updated frequently, and sometimes reports. Content that may need to be posted at a PDF includes a signed/dated memo, a formal policy, or a report that is printed.
How to Make Accessible PDFs. ITS provides instructions and support to help website owners ensure their posted PDF documents are accessible. This involves making some easy formatting steps in the original Microsoft Office Document, per the following instructions:
- 10 easy steps for making accessible Word Documents (pdf), Mac Documents (pdf), Excel (pdf), Powerpoint (pdf)
- Video instructions for Word documents
- Comprehensive Word-to-PDF and PDF Accessibility Guide (pdf)
Online training course on making accessible PDFs:
- Accessible PDF Background (18 min.)
- Create Documents and Convert to PDFs (10 min.)
- Working in Your PDF (12 min.)
- Testing PDFs (15 min.)
How to Order or Request Support
Use the IT Staff Services section of the Service Hub to request support, or call (510) 987-0457.
Availability of Service
Support is available M – F, 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
All UCOP personnel
- Initial consultation: No cost
- Document conversion to an accessible PDF: Departmental recharge for hourly web services
- Approved ITS projects: Work related to accessible PDFs needs to be specified as part of the standard budgeted cost of approved projects.