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Michigan State University

Accessible Materials

This guide is intended to assist MSU Libraries staff to create videos, handouts, webpages and other materials which are accessible to people with disabilities.

Top Tips for Accessible PDFs


PDFs that are just scanned images of book pages are not accessible, since a screen reader cannot read the words on the page. Making a document machine-readable enables:

  • Screen reader users to access the content
  • All users to search the contents of the PDF, and copy and paste from it


Create Accessible PDFs from Microsoft Word Documents or PowerPoint

  1.    follow steps for creating an accessible document using Word or PowerPoint
  2.    save as an Adobe PDF
  3.    identify the document language
  4.    use the Touchup Reading Order feature

Create Accessible PDFs from Scanned Documents

This requires Adobe Acrobat X Pro, which is available on computers maintained by MSU IT

  1. Use Adobe Acrobat Pro to automatically OCR scanned documents. OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, will convert the image into text that is machine-readable and searchable.

Resources for Accessible PDFs

Example PDFs