An accessible PDF begins with accessible source document (e.g., Microsoft Word).

Note: The process of creating an accessible PDF requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Faculty and staff may install Adobe Acrobat DC on any University-owned computer by contacting the Brandeis Help Desk.

Purple icon of person with arms outstretched, outlined by a circleGetting Started

  1. Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC and select the Accessibility Tool.
  2. Select the full check option. Leave all default selections checked and click Start Checking.
  3. Refer to the left column of the document where the Accessibility Checker results appear. Right click on an issue to learn more or fix the issue.

Order for Fixing PDF Errors

Common Issues

Image-based PDFs

If you cannot select or copy text, you have an image-based PDF. An image-based PDF typically results from using a scanner. The text is not searchable, editable or compatible with a screen reader, making it 100 percent inaccessible.

Ways to Fix


PDF forms must be made fillable, allowing a user to type in responses. Making accessible, fillable PDF forms is a complex process.

Ways to Fix