How to make PDFs Accessible | Episode 5: Irvine Valley College

Welcome to episode five on community college PDF accessibility. Today, we focus on Irvine Valley College’s DSPS Student Parent Night 2023 document.

Video Guide

In case you missed them, here are Episode 1Episode 2,  Episode 3 and Episode 4 in our PDF Accessibility Community College Series.

Key Issues from this Episode

The document originated from PowerPoint. We knew to expect multiple issues on our road toward PDF accessibility.

Here’s a run-down of issues after running the auto-tagger:
  • Header Issues: The document incorrectly uses ‘p’ tags for headers. These should be formatted as ‘h1’ or other appropriate header tags. Inconsistent tagging leads to a confusing heading hierarchy.
  • Acronym Clarity: The text “HS Student Parent Night” uses unclear acronyms. Expand acronyms for clarity. Change the text in the document properties.
  • Figure Tags: Adding alternative text to figure tags is crucial for visually impaired users to understand image content. Figures with text should be transcribed in the alt text area. Artifact any figures that don’t add value.
Adding alternative text to Figure tags is essential for accessibility
  • List Continuity: A disjointed list that spans multiple pages should be streamlined into a single list tag so as not to confuse screen readers.
  • Link Management: Multiple hyperlinks to the same source on the same page is excessive and non-informative.
  • Color Contrast Issues: Poor color contrast requires changes for legibility. Change font color in the editor. Use black and other dark colors to enhance accessibility.
Example of terrible colour contrast in a PDF making the page unreadable
  • Reading Order Complications: Use the reading order tool to select content and mark it as a text paragraph for proper flow.
  • Misplaced Content: Some content did not highlight when selected due to possible OCR errors. Artifact the content as a temporary fix.
Here’s a run-down of issues after running the PAC tool:
  • Embed Missing Fonts: This can cause issues with text display. Embed the missing fonts using the preflight tool.
  • Missing Link Annotations: Create content entries for link annotations to make links accessible.
  • Metadata and Structure Tree Issues: There were problems with the structure tree and metadata, which required fixes to comply with PDF/UA standards.
  • Non-Tagged Path Objects: This can lead to accessibility issues. Head to the Content panel and artifact these objects.
Artifact path objects in content panel of Adobe Acrobat

PRO-TIP: Save your document before entering the Content panel as it’s very easy to mess up your PDF in there!

  • Multiple span tags: These came through due to the initial PowerPoint formatting and led to errors showing in the PAC tool. Carefully inspect and manually correct.


PDFs converted from PowerPoint are not accessible. On our journey to PDF accessibility, Adobe Acrobat didn’t always function as expected, leading to additional complications in the remediation process. For example, despite corrections, errors persisted, necessitating a page extraction, which led to further issues. We had to adjust the structure, manually make tagging corrections, re-embed fonts, re-add the the PDF/UA identifier. Whew!

Remember, I can be your accessibility expert. For more detailed insights, tutorials, and in-depth discussions on accessibility and related topics, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel: The Accessibility Guy on YouTube. Subscribe for regular updates!

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How to set document properties and language in Microsoft Word | Section 508 for Word

Microsoft Word Accessibility is crucial for creating inclusive content. In this guide, learn how to set document properties to achieve section 508 compliance.

The comprehensive list for Section 508 Compliance for Word documents

Video Overview:

Microsoft Word Accessibility: Setting Document Properties

Microsoft Word Accessibility is crucial for producing inclusive content. If you’ve been following our series, you know the commitment to making Word documents section 508 compliant. Today, we dive deeper into setting document properties, ensuring they align with the standards. Dont forget to download the checklist:

Download MS Word 508 Checklist:

* indicates required

Steps to Adjust Properties for Accessibility

Accessing Document Properties: Start by selecting the “File” button. Next, choose “Info.” Dive into the properties menu and select “Advanced Properties.”

setting the advanced properties

This action pops up a window.

Setting the Title: For this guide, our title is “The Evolution and Impacts of Professional Wrestling.”

Designating the Subject: Think of the subject as a brief description. Here, it’s a timeline highlighting significant wrestling events.

Author and Keywords: Set the author to “Shawn Jordison, the Accessibility Guy.” Keywords help in document searchability. Add terms like “wrestling history” and “accessibility.”

Set doc properties

Document Language

Choosing Document Language: Set the document language via the search button. Opt for “Proofing Language,” then “Set Proofing Language.” While you can set the entire document’s language, Word also offers flexibility in adjusting individual sections, especially if you’re juggling multiple languages. Confirm “English (United States)” before proceeding.

set the proofing language

Microsoft Word Accessibility is more than just ticking boxes—it ensures content inclusivity. Ensure you set these properties right, enhancing content accessibility for everyone.

Remember, accessibility isn’t a one-time job. It’s a continuous commitment. With every document, take the time to ensure it’s accessible. A few moments can make a world of difference to someone.

For those who found value in our series, your support means everything. Engage with our content, share it, and spread the word on the importance of accessibility. And as always, hit that like and subscribe button.

For more detailed insights, tutorials, and in-depth discussions on accessibility and related topics, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel: The Accessibility Guy on YouTube. Subscribe for regular updates!

OR – I can do all the work for you: