Creating Accessible forms using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Presented at 10:30am in Denver 1-3 on Monday, November 6, 2023.



  • Karen McCall, Accessible Document Design Consultant and Educator, Karlen Communications

Session Details

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


This one-day hands-on workshop will walk participants through the concepts and creation of accessible PDF forms using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. We'll .start with an accessible Word form template saved as a tagged PDF; then add a variety of form controls including their Tooltips. Once the form has been created, we'll add the form controls to the Tags Tree and use the Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Checker to review the form.


Accessible PDF forms can be created using a specific workflow. This hands-on workshop begins by defining the accessibility features of PDF forms, what the basic guidelines are and how to fulfill them. Form controls used in the workshop are check boxes, radio buttons, text edit fields, drop-down lists and how to ensure that required fields are clearly identified. Once we’ve created the accessible PDF form, we’ll use the Adobe Accessibility Checker to review the form.


  1. Understand what an accessible PDF form is.
  2. Learn how to add accessible form controls to the PDF and to the Tags Tree.
  3. Review the accessible PDF form using the Adobe Accessibility Checker and make any necessary remediations.

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Karen McCall

Karen McCall, M.Ed. has been working in the field of accessible document design since 1999. She began her career in website accessibility and auditing and moved to accessible Word, PowerPoint and PDF documents in 2004. Karen is:

A Canadian delegate of the ISO 14289 or PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility) committee and has been for a number of years. A Canadian delegate to the ISO 32000 PDF committee. A Microsoft MVP for Word (Most Valued Professional) since 2009. A Microsoft Accessibility MVP since 2017 when this category of MVP was established.

Karen has written several books on the topic of accessible document design for Word, PowerPoint and PDF documents as well as smaller publications with specific techniques for working with Office applications if you are using adaptive technology and/or the keyboard.

Karen is the president of Karlen Communications.