The Great PDF Purge

Handouts Media

Presented at 2:00pm in Meadowbrook I/II on Thursday, November 21, 2019.



  • Crystal Tenan, IT Accessibility Coordinator, NC State University

Session Details

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


We have worked with our campus on reining in inaccessible PDFs, but we still have the wild west of PDFs on our campus websites. That’s where the Great PDF Purge comes in. This inaugural event was geared at working with campus content creators and owners to re-examine each PDF we have on our websites and determine their fate.


Our goal of this workshop is to share with you the successes and failures of our inaugural PDF purge. We will also go over our strategy for this event including how we marketed it to our campus content creators and owners, how we encouraged participation and how we broke up the event into week chunks with a different goal and mini-training for each week.

Our goals for campus was to decrease the number of inaccessible PDFs that we available on our websites. We did this in a variety of ways including explaining the benefits of and when it makes sense to have information on websites instead of in PDFs including most campus forms. We provided training for content creators on how to convert their PDFs and PDF forms to accessible WordPress pages. And of course we taught content creators how to make accessible PDFs.


  1. Discuss getting rid of and updating inaccessible PDFs on the web.
  2. Learn about worked and didn't work for us regarding getting campus departments to examine their PDFs.
  3. Work with us to collectively strategize how we can continue this effort and collaborate with other schools!

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Crystal Tenan

Crystal Tenan is the IT Accessibility Coordinator at NC State University. She earned her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Education from Baylor University and a Masters of Science in Applied Information Technology from Towson University. Her areas of expertise include digital accessibility, assistive technology, student accommodations and campus accessibility. She is dedicated to the mission of making the world a more accessible place.