The following steps will allow text to speech assistive technology, used by people with some disabilities, to read a PDF document aloud more accurately. These steps will **not** make the PDF fully accessible; they will make it much easier for Office of AccessABILITY to create a more accessible PDF in a reasonable turnaround time. Hunter Library requests faculty to follow these steps for materials submitted to Library e-reserves.
PDFs Converted from Word, Powerpoint, InDesign and Other Formats
Documents converted to PDF from other formats such as Word, Powerpoint and InDesign can be very difficult to make accessible. As CUNY's accessibility site explains, "PDF files are the most difficult [type of document] to make accessible.*" If at all possible, upload the original format, or at least save the original and make it available if needed.
See CUNY's accessibility site
It may be helpful to know that, for a PDF to fully comply with accessibility standards, additional steps need to be taken using Adobe Acrobat DC (or competitors), which is freely available to CUNY employees, but complex to use. Adobe maintains a very lengthy guide to standards for PDF accessibility. For example,
While it will not be practical for most faculty to fully check or remediate PDFs for accessibility, some may be interested to explore this further.
Students may request accessible documents through Office of AccessABILITY. However, fully remediating some PDFs can be very complex and time consuming. Research shows students with disabilities commonly do not obtain fully accessible PDFs. Beyond steps 1 to 3 above, faculty can help by: