How to check if a PDF is accessible and what to do if it’s not

To check a PDF for accessibility, use Acrobat Pro.

What to do when a PDF is NOT accessible — 2 options:

Option 1: Create a text-based alternative instead of (or in addition to) the PDF. PDFs do not need to be 508 compliant as long as they are accompanied by compliant, text-based versions of the document. The best text-based alternative is a regular (HTML) web page. The vast majority of all users (whether they have a disability or not) prefer regular web pages over PDFs and, given the choice, will choose to download a web page. (“PDF: Unfit for Human Consumption“). Some Word and Excel documents can be used as text-based alternatives, provided they are accessible. (See Creating Accessible Word Documents.)

Option 2: Make your PDF accessible. See “PDF Accessibility” for instructions.

If you need assistance with testing your PDF, making your PDF accessible, and/or creating a text-based alternative, please contact Michelle Snowden at