Avery Hymel

What is PDF Remediation?

PDF Remediation is fixing accessibility errors that make it difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to read, navigate, and interact with PDF files.

A few decades ago, when a government agency or private organization made an announcement, they usually spread the news through newsletters, periodicals, newspapers, radio, and other conventional media.

As the digital world emerged, it quickly began to overtake and even replace traditional methods of distributing information. And when the pandemic shook the world in the early months of 2020, digital information consumption soared almost overnight, as all government agencies and private companies used digital media to communicate and conduct business safely.

Let’s say you work in your company’s digital accessibility or compliance department and are tasked with ensuring that all PDFs are accessible on your website.

What can you do?

Well, you start by determining how many PDFs your site has and where they are stored on your website. You can do this with Allyant’s CommonLook Clarity software tool, which allows teams to test and maintain the accessibility of an organization’s PDF resources.

What if you find that your website has hundreds of inaccessible PDF documents? What do you do then?

You turn to a PDF remediation tool or service.

What is PDF Remediation?

If a PDF is not created with digital accessibility in mind, people with certain disabilities may not be able to access it. Thus, in order to make the document accessible to everyone, the PDF is repaired or remediated so that it is accessible to everyone. This process of repairing a PDF document is simply called PDF remediation.

In order to make a PDF accessible, you must make several changes to the PDF document. Usually, fixing the tagging is the best place to start.

What is PDF Tagging?

Tags add behind-the-scenes coding to a PDF. Every tag identifies the type of content and stores some attributes related to it. 

In addition to that, tags also arrange the document into a hierarchical structure. This adds order to the content of the PDF (like headings, paragraphs, lists, footnotes, images, and tables).

The process of adding proper tags to a PDF to make it accessible is commonly referred to as PDF tagging.

Is PDF remediation limited to tagging?

It is a common misconception that to make a PDF accessible, you only need to add tags. Although tagging is a critical component of the entire PDF remediation process, it is just one component. If you stop there, you leave a lot of potential errors behind.

Read more here: What exactly is a Tagged PDF and How to Tag a PDF?

How to remediate PDF documents?

There are two ways to repair a PDF document and make it accessible:

  1. Remediate it yourself using PDF accessibility software (like CommonLook PDF)
  2. Having it remediated by professional PDF remediators

CommonLook PDF – is a powerful accessibility tool designed specifically for the remediation and validation of PDFs. Indeed, many PDF remediators use CommonLook PDF to repair their PDFs in-house.

However, if you feel that you would rather have your PDFs remediated by pros, you can rely on the support and guidance of our team of professional remediators

Achieving and maintaining compliance with document accessibility standards is challenging. That’s why companies rely on CommonLook PDF to achieve their PDF testing and remediation goals. We’ll identify where you’re at risk of non-compliance and address any document issues – in budget and on time.

If you have any questions related to PDF remediation or want to get your PDFs remedaited by professional PDF remediators, please fill out the form:

Book - Accessibility Audit

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