In Web pages, Accessibility refers to the ability of a web page to be viewed by everyone, especially people with disabilities who use various assistive technologies.

Image of judge's gavel.

Accessible web pages take into account the special needs of visitors with auditory, visual, mobility and cognitive impairments and give those users an equivalent browsing experience to that of non-disabled visitors.

Legal and Standards

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008 mandate that qualified people with disabilities have access to public programs and services, including those offered on the Internet. Specifically, if qualified individuals with disabilities enroll in distance learning courses, these courses should be made accessible to them.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that electronic and information technologies procured, developed, maintained, and used by federal agencies meet the accessibility standards of the U.S.

Creating accessible curriculum is important to the success of the student. A Universal Design of Instruction (UDI) approach is a teaching method that consists of the proactive design and use of inclusive instructional strategies that benefit a broad range of learners including students with disabilities.

PDF (using Adobe Acrobat)

PDF files are not typically created in Acrobat. They are usually created in another program and converted to PDF. There are dozens or probably hundreds of programs that can create PDF files, but very few of them produce tagged PDF files. If you are using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, or Adobe tools such as InDesign, you can often create accessible, tagged PDF files without opening Acrobat. Of course, the accessibility of the PDF depends on the accessibility of the original document.

The resources listed here will provide an overview on making accessible PDF documents.

Other Useful Resources


UWF's Academic Technology Center (ATC)

Web Accessible Evaluation Tools

Wave - Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

Web Accessibility Guidelines

W3C Web Accessibility

Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology