Promoting Document Accessibility Efforts and PDF Remediation Options

Handouts Media

Presented at 9:15am in Westminster III on Thursday, November 15, 2018.



  • Gaby De Jongh, IT Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington, Information Technology
  • Ana Thompson, Learning & Access Designer, University of Washington Bothell

Session Details

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


In early 2017, the University of Washington implemented a document accessibility Pilot Project to explore the complexities, financial burden, and time commitments facing units when implementing Washington State Policy 188: Access to Information Technology. Hear the details of the pilot and how it influenced an initiative across campus.


Many universities are finding themselves in the position of having to address IT accessibility across learning environments due to the enactment of policies requiring Accessible IT, at the UW we are working toward a more proactive solution. UW Assistive Technology Services secured funding for an Electronic Document Accessibility Pilot Program; goals of the program were to assist departments with identifying the number of public facing electronic documents, determine cost effective methods to remediate legacy documents, and to teach document creators how to develop a workflow for creating accessible electronic documents moving forward. We included members from the Tacoma and Bothell campuses to take part in the program and to help define recommendations for document creators, faculty, and staff. The outcomes of this pilot have increased awareness of the importance of accessible materials. We will share our methods, data, and anecdotal evidence to support our recommendations.


  1. To gain understanding and acceptance of IT accessibility policy, focus on universal design in learning.
  2. Have resources already in place (accessible templates, training for document creators, funding for software).
  3. It won't happen overnight, have a plan to include several methods to address document accessibility in stages.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Gaby De Jongh

Gaby de Jongh’s experience with Accessible Information Technology in Education has spanned over 15 years and has afforded her a solid understanding of Web Content Accessibility, document authoring tools, and how Operating Systems, hardware, software, and Assistive Technology work in tandem. She leads efforts across the University of Washington tri-campus area to increase awareness of Accessible Technology; she also provides training and expertise on creating accessible electronic documents and how to remediate legacy documents. Gaby holds a certificate as an Adobe PDF Accessibility Trainer and is a partner on the Microsoft 365 Inclusive Workplace Council.

Ana Thompson

Ana Thompson has worked in higher education for the last 16 years in IT, digital learning and instructional design. As a Learning & Access Designer at the UW Bothell Office of Digital Learning & Innovation, Ana enjoys working with faculty members and staff to streamline the use of technology tools and promote digital fluency. Ana has extensive experience with Learning Management Systems (LMS), adult learning, WCAG 2.0, document accessibility, Copyright and Fair Use, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and finding innovative ways to use old and new tools. Currently, she is the lead of the Universal Design for Learning (UDAL) campus initiative and is a member of the New Faculty Orientation, Accessibility Plan Project committees, the Campus Access Guide workgroup and the UW IT Accessibility Task Force.