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Designing for Accessibility

Tips, tricks for Universal Design, Design for All




How to create an accessible PDF

  • Use Save as or Export As to save a file or webpage as a PDF
    • Preserves the structure, tagging, etc.
    • Do not use Print to PDF; it will strip away that metadata
  • Turn on OCR (Optical Character Recognition) when scanning documents
    • Will recognize text, separating it from the images
    • Otherwise, scan is treated as an image
    • If possible, review the OCR results; it makes mistakes

Easy way to check whether a PDF is accessible

  • Try to highlight a few words in a PDF
    • If you can select words, the PDF is accessible
    • If you can only select the entire page, the PDF is an image
      • Make it accessible by using OCR

Giving Presentations

Giving a presentation? Make sure it is accessible to everyone in the audience with these tips:

  • Use large text that can be read from the middle to back of the room. (Visual)
  • Check the color contrast of the text to background colors. (Visual, Cognitive)
  • Always use a microphone. Even if you have a loud voice. Especially for questions from the audience. (Auditory, Cognitive)
  • Post a digital version so that people can revisit the presentation with their preferred tools. (Visual, Auditory, Cognitive)

More Resources:

Otis College of Art and Design | 9045 Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045 | MyOtis

Millard Sheets Library | MyOtis | 310-665-6930 | Ask a Librarian