PDFs are widely used to provide electronic forms of printed documents. With a little care they can be fully accessible.
- contain text not just pictures of text
- have clickable links
- have alt-text on images
- can be read by assistive technology in the order that the author intended
- contain internal "tags" that assistive software uses to identify headings, tables and captions
There are a number of simple tools you can use to check the accessibility of existing PDFs see:
- Check PDF Accessibility using Adobe Reader
If your starting point is an accessible Word document then it is easy to generate an accessible PDF using Word.
If PDFs are badly structured, or have an incorrect reading order then these issues can be corrected using Adobe Acrobat Professional.