Creating Accessible PDFs

A PDF file is one of the most common and easy to access file types in the world, but they are notorious for not being accessible. If you have access to the original file, like a file created in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, you can make sure that the accessibility features are exported to PDF.

Create an Accessible PDF Using Microsoft Word

Below is a great video that illustrates how to create an accessible PDF from a Word document.


If you are unable to gain access to the original file, you will need to make the document accessible using a couple of different methods.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a great tool for helping make a PDF file accessible. The video below shows some of the basic steps.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC can also be used for creating fillable PDF forms.



Sensus Access

Sensus Access is a tool provided by the IT department, that makes creating accessible documents a breeze.

A few things to note about Sensus Access.

  • Bates Technical College employees and students can access Sensus Access
  • When creating an accessible PDF from a PDF, the preferred Target Format option for Accessibility Conversion is pdf – PDF tagged(image over text)