PDF/UA-2: The latest on the new standard


Presented at 2:15pm in Matchless on Thursday, November 9, 2023.



  • Paul Rayius, VP of Training, Allyant

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


After years of hard work, PDF/UA-2 should be published by the end of 2023 or during the first quarter of 2024. This presentation discusses how the two PDF accessibility standards (PDF/UA-1 and PDF/UA-2) are similar and where they are different, including new tags, new tagging rules, and more. Attendees will develop a better understanding of the new PDF/UA-2 standard and how to prepare for it.


The goal of the International Standards Organization (ISO) standard 14289, also known as PDF/UA (PDF Universal Accessibility), is to ensure PDF accessibility. The original specification, PDF/UA-1, was published in 2012. A new version of the PDF specification (ISO 32000-2) was published in 2017 and an update was published in 2020. With changes to the PDF specification, including new functionality, and new tags, the PDF accessibility specification requires an update as well.

This update, PDF/UA-2, is expected to be published in late 2023 or the first quarter of 2024. The update brings adjustments to existing tags and the requirements for tags, such as forms and heading levels. In addition, there are revisions to tags’ “nesting rules,” attributes, and more. New PDF tags, features, and functionality will be introduced.

This session discusses upcoming changes and how to prepare for them. This is critical as these standards have broader implementation and support, not only in PDF processors but also in assistive technologies.


  1. Prepare for the release and implementation support of PDF/UA-2.
  2. Understand the differences between PDF/UA-1 and the new PDF/UA-2 standard.
  3. Learn how PDF/UA-2 is designed to make documents more accessible.

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Assistive Technology, Legal, Other, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Paul Rayius

Since 2013, Paul has helped organizations meet their PDF accessibility needs across various industries, including healthcare, government (local, state, and federal), finance, and education.

In addition to his expertise with Allyant’s CommonLook tools for testing, creating, and remediating PDFs, Paul is proficient in accessibility standards, including Section 508 (including the “refresh”), Health and Human Services (HHS), WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, and PDF/UA (both versions 1 and 2).

Paul serves on numerous document accessibility committees, and he participates in and moderates online accessibility groups and forums. In addition, he has presented at a number of conferences over the years, including Accessing Higher Ground, CSUN, AHEAD, and Explor.

Through his affiliation with the IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals), he helped develop the Accessible Document Specialist certification. Paul participates in writing technical standards, including ISO 32000 (PDF), ISO 14289 (PDF/UA), and ISO TS 32005 with the PDF Association. Furthermore, he contributes in many PDF/UA working groups and chairs the PDF/UA Processor Requirements Liaison Working Group.

Before Allyant, Paul graduated with a BMe in Instrumental Music Education from Florida State University and taught middle school band for 11 years. In his spare time, he enjoys various outdoor activities and is an avid lacrosse player, rugby fan, and geocacher.