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Make your Digital Media Projects Accessible

1. Use appropriate heading levels

Headings are important because they help readers identify the main points of each section in the paper and allow someone with a screen reader to navigate the document.

  • Use headings tags (e.g. H1, H2, H3) to ensure that people using assistive technology can distinguish between headings and regular body text.adding heading tags in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
  • Do not use bold, italics or underline to convey a heading. Use proper heading tags to identify headings (e.g. H1, H2, H3, H4, etc.).
  • Page titles should be labeled within an H1 tag, do no label titles with the Title tag. (e.g. an H2 heading called "Apples" becomes a subsection of an H1 headings called "Types of Fruit")
  • Provide heading elements at the beginning of any important sections of content. This will help people use the browse-by-heading feature of their assistive technology.
  • Do not skip levels when a heading is a subsection of another heading. (e.g. an H3 should not follow an H1).

2. Control the order in which screen readers access content

Reading order is important because it helps the screen reader identify which order to read the document in.To set the reading order of the document, follow these steps:

  1. Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, select the Tools tab at the top of the screen and open the Accessibility Tab.where to find the accessibility tab beneath the tools tab in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
  2. Put all elements in the correct reading order by using the Reading Order Tab ‚Äč

    where to select reading order from dropdown menu. 

  3. Use the Background or Artifact tag for elements which can be ignored by screen-readers, such as decorative images and text-box borders. Use the cursor to outline the section of the PDF in which you want to tag, then right click to access tagging options.  setting background tags for decorative images and text box borders in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
  4. Use the Heading (1-6) tags to convey meaningful structure and hierarchy in the PDF document. adding heading tags in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
  5. Use the Figure tag for images so they are properly identified in PDFs.setting figure tag for images in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

3. Use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for PDFs containing text that originated as a scanned document

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the process of turning image files into readable/recognizable text. This is important because screen readers cannot read images, therefore individuals who use a screen reader would not be able to access the information in a PDF if it originated as a scanned document. 

  • Scanned images of text can be converted to PDF using OCR in Adoobe Acrobat Pro DC. 
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro can then be used to create accessible text. 
    1. Select the Tools tab at the top of the screen and open the Enhance Scans tab.how to find the Enhance Scans Tab under the Tools Tab in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
    2. Click on the Enhance tab, select Scanned Document and ensure Recognize Text is selected.
    3. Click Enhance.selecting Recognize Text under the Enhance Tab.

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