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Introducing PDF/UA, the International Standard for Accessible PDF

Proposal No: 219

Bios & Handouts


Disability Area:            

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 1Format: Lecture Expertise Level: Intermediate Type of session: General Conference

Summary of Session

This session will introduce attendees to a new ISO Standard: PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility). PDF/UA. We will cover the history, purpose and context for PDF/UA, learn what PDF/UA conformance means and how it relates to WCAG 2.0.


Adobe Systems released PDF itself to became an International Standard in 2008. In 2012, PDF/UA, the International Standard for Universally Accessible PDF, set the norms for achieving accessibility in conforming PDF files, readers and assistive technology. Those creating PDF software now have clear technical guidelines for producing and consuming properly tagged PDF files in a consistent manner. The end user experience of PDF files, long a problem for AT users, will dramatically improve when organizations require PDF/UA conformance in their PDF publications, forms and other PDF-based materials. Targeted at a technical and policy audience, this presentation introduces attendees to the basic facts of PDF/UA, including how it relates to WCAG 2.0.


  1. The purpose, value and status of PDF/UA (ISO 14289)
  2. Some high-level details of PDF/UA\\\'s requirements for software and authors
  3. The future of electronic document accessibility.

Speaker Bio(s)

Duff Johnson