Accessible Adobe InDesign Layouts to Produce Accessible PDFs

Presented at 10:30am in Denver 1-3 on Monday, November 14, 2022.



  • Bevi Chagnon

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 5-6-hr
  • Format: Lab
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


Day-long pre-conference hands-on workshop teaches how to construct InDesign files that export "graciously" to accessible PDFs with minimal remediation afterwards. We expect new InDesign features in the fall, so this workshop will incorporate them into a doable workflow for graphic design and publishing. Lots of tricks, tips, and strategies.

Prerequisite: Intermediate-level class requires that attendees know the basics of making documents with Adobe InDesign.


Learn how to make accessible PDFs from Adobe InDesign, the publishing industry's leading graphic design and layout program.

From start to finish, this hands-on workshop covers each step of the publishing workflow for any type of Adobe InDesign project — books, long documents, academic research, classroom materials, campus/administrative items, marketing and other public-facing materials.

Focus: How to create InDesign layouts that convert to accessible PDFs with minimal remediation in Acrobat … that is, PDFs that are nearly 100% accessible right from InDesign with the right tags, correct reading orders, and Alt-text.

Key topics: — Control PDF tags and reading orders. — Use Paragraph, Character, and Object styles that build in accessibility. — Control Word's code-crud from sabotaging your layout, accessibility, and design. — Add Alt Text and setting artifacts for graphics. — Build accessible tables, lists, TOCs, hyperlinks, sidebars, and captions. — Choose and use OpenType/Unicode fonts for accessibility. — Organize your document and files to maximize your workflow … and accessibility. — Control InDesign's gotchas. — Export to PDF and do a 1st-level check for compliance.

Software: Sec. 508. Workshop demonstrates the use of the latest versions of Adobe InDesign and Acrobat Pro because they have the latest tools for accessible publications as well as make the most accurate, accessible PDFs and EPUBs. Before the workshop, make sure your laptop is updated with the latest Creative Cloud releases if you'll be using your own laptop at the conference or online. Mac or Windows.

Prerequisites: This intermediate-level class requires that attendees know the basics of making documents with Adobe InDesign.

Instructor: Bevi Chagnon is a professional educator and former faculty member at Washington DC-area colleges/universities; Award-winning magazine art director with a deep background in academic publishing; A US delegate to the ISO for the PDF and PDF/UA standards.


  1. Understand the PDF/UA-1 standard's requirements and how they affect your InDesign tasks.
  2. Learn techniques and strategies to control PDF tags, Tag Reading Order, and Architectural Reading Order.
  3. Maximize accessibility in your INDD layout file to create the most accessible PDF possible.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Bevi Chagnon

Bevi Chagnon is half geek, half designer, and 100% teacher. She has several decades of experience in publishing and academia, as well as being an InDesign ACE (Adobe Certified Expert) and accessibility specialist. Her firm,, works with government, commercial, and STEM publishers to improve their overall publishing workflow for cross-media publishing and to build accessible features into all their publications and media. She is the senior trainer for her firm which teaches publishing technologies and accessibility, and is the author of the firm’s acclaimed series of step-by-step books for creating accessible publications and digital media. During her career, Chagnon has been an award-winning commercial magazine art director; adjunct faculty member at several colleges for graphic design, digital media, and computer technologies; managing editor; director of publications and outreach; and software beta tester/advisor to many technology companies.