Creating Accessible forms using Adobe Acrobat Pro

Presented at 10:30am in Standley II Lab on Monday, November 14, 2016.



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

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 5-6 hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Not provided
  • 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. Topics include the design of accessible forms, working with scanned forms and the validation of accessible PDF forms.


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. Participants are encouraged to send samples of forms in advance of the workshop.


  1. What do we mean by an accessible PDF form?
  2. How to add form controls to a PDF form template.
  3. Any remediation that might be needed once the form has been tagged.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Assistive Technology, Legal

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.