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Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC


Illustrator and Braille.

As an example, take this article on Adobe Acrobat and how to print out Braille. Part 3: A Step-by-Step Guide to Typesetting ADA Braille Correctly in Adobe Illustrator. They provide a free download of Braille font. In Illustrator, they even provide a "translator" capability! The screen shot of Braille above is from the instructions found on the Adobe Illustrator "how-to" page.

Adobe Expertise: Extract Content From Images

This awesome organization has provided you with access to Adobe Cloud. With that, you get some phenomenal resources. There's so much you can do with Adobe to create accessible documents.

Adobe Makes PDFs. So Do Other Companies. But The PDFs Are Not The Same

There's a common misconception that all PDFs are the same. There's also a strong cultural alignment with the Adobe brand name in association with PDFs, although this is not accurate, any more than it is to say that Xerox makes all copiers. Yet, it's common for some people to say they are going to go make a "Xerox", implying they are copying a document whether or not they are actually using a Xerox machine. They could be using, for example, an HP machine rather than a Xerox machine. The cultural bias sticks.

The same situation is true of Adobe, and PDFs. Many assume that if a document is a PDF, then, it must have been built the same way that Adobe builds PDFs. This is not true, and it "can" have implications to accessibility, depending upon what the PDF file is used for.

Adobe Is Absolutely, Positively, THE Best in the Business for PDFs

For certain, select cases, Adobe is the ONLY company that can make certain "kinds" of documents accessible.

"Although these indirect strategies are often the easiest way to obtain PDF output from an existing application, the resulting PDF files may not make the best use of the high-level PDF imaging model relied upon to expose the semantics of the document. This is because the information embodied in the application's API calls or in the intermediate output file often describes the desired results at too low a level. Any higher-level information maintained by the original application has been lost and is not available to the printer driver or translator. "
PDF Techniques for WCAG 2.0 As accessed 7 December 2018

But! Sometimes, Alternatives Should Be Used

There is zero question that Adobe makes THE most accessible PDFs of any company, because they have long experience developing software that can read text from images. Most companies can't do that with their software. That said, because of the steep learning curve involved with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, it's best to stop, and consult with an accessibility expert befor you launch into using Adobe Acrobat DC. It actually can cause more harm than good if handled improperly. For many, if not most documents used in this organization, it's perfectly fine -- even advisable -- to convert a Word document to a PDF.

Accessibility Checkers Will Not Treat PDFs The Same.

Adobe Acrobat Pro has a built-in accessibility checker that can verify the accessibility of a document created with its software. It's best to use this one, because the company understands how it is supposed to meet ATAG requirements and WCAG2ICT requirements. Not all documents have to meet those requirements, so Adobe's version of accessibility checks is best for checking Adobe products.

Adobe Software Can Help Make Your Work More Inclusive

And the definition of inclusion is broad here. It means in terms of accessibility, of language, and of finances. Putting its software on mobile devices enables those without the money to afford an office or a predictable location with Internet access to be able to participate in the process.

How to Fix Arabic and Hebrew typing Problems in Adobe Illustrator CC


Adobe Editing And Viewing Software Works On Mobile Devices Too

screenshot of App Store page showing Adobe Acrobat apps reading PDFs
Screenshot from the itunes store webpage
Graphic showing Aqua Chlorophyll Scene using universal palette so that it is understandable by color-blind
Image 6. MODIS Aqua Chlorophyll Scene (using universal palette)

From:  Universal Palettes & Color Blind Configuration(.pdf)

Use The EyeDropper Tool To Get Color For Color Contrast Checks

Close up of the eyedropper tool
The same image as black-and-white

Here's an example! Use the eyedropper tool to find out the exact color you're interested in. From there, you can take the value, and put it in one of those color-checker websites.

screenshot of braille translator in adobe illustrator
Image Credit: Adobe Article A Step-by-Step Guide to Typesetting ADA Braille Correctly in Adobe Illustrator
Read the awesome Adobe Illustrator How-To Article, "Part 3: A Step-by-Step Guide to Typesetting ADA Braille Correctly in Adobe Illustrator". This author provides a way to download a Grade 2 Braille font for free.