What Is Assistive Technology on My PDF Adobe Reader?

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

What is assistive technology on my pdf adobe reader

Accessibility means making sure that websites, apps, documents and other technologies can be used by everyone, including people who are blind or low vision, deaf or hard of hearing, have mobility impairments or cognitive disabilities. It includes things like ensuring that text and images are easy to read, using alternative text descriptions for non-text elements, and including headers for tables and data cells to make it easier for assistive technology software to read and understand the content.

PDF documents are easier to navigate and use when they are tagged (that is, have information about the structure of the document inserted into them). When a document is tagged, it can be accessed by users of assistive technology such as screen readers or magnifiers. This is because the assistive technology can see what is available in a page at a time, rather than having to process a document whose entire contents are not visible at any given time.

When you create or convert a document to PDF, the accessibility checker in Adobe Acrobat will try to ensure that your documents are tagged. However, the results from running a full accessibility check are not a substitute for a thorough review of the document by someone familiar with accessibility guidelines and best practices.

To speed up the tagging process, consider setting the Document Preferences for reading options to Single Page so that Acrobat sends only the currently visible pages to the assistive technology at a time. This can save a significant amount of time for large documents, especially if the assistive technology uses a lot of memory.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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