Accessible PDF Documents
Some content on this site based on material from WebAim:WebAccessibility in Mind with their permission.
To create an accessible PDF, it is best to start with a document (Word, Powerpoint, scanned document) that is already accessible. Please refer to the appropriate section of this website to create that. If you are starting with an inaccessible document, you can use a tool such as Adobe Acrobat Pro or Read&Write Gold to scan your document and make it accessible. These require a bit more expertise but are not hard to master with a little practice.
Also, if you are using Microsoft Office prior to version 2010, you will need to have either Acrobat or the Microsoft PDF add-in installed(With the exception of Word 2007 as noted below) . With this add on installed you can create your PDF document from Word by selecting FILE> Save As Adobe PDF (or “create PDF” from the Acrobat ribbon). The program should create a tagged PDF file by default. If this is not the case, select Preferences from the Acrobat ribbon and ensure that Enable Accessibility and Reflow with tagged Adobe PDF is selected.
With Word 2010, Select File > Save As, and under Save as type: select PDF. Before you save the file, select Options and ensure that the Document structure tags for accessibility option is selected.
There is a free Save as PDF Add-in for Word 2007 that allows you to create tagged PDF files without installing Acrobat. To create the PDF, click on the Office Button, hover over Save As, and select PDF. Before you save the file, select Options and then select the Document structure tags for accessibility option.
The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) provides this Cheatsheet on converting Word documents to PDF. It contains instructions for the different versions of Word with helpful screen shots.
The following video describes how you can use Acrobat Pro to convert an inaccessible pdf document into an accessible one.