Sample language for inaccessible PDFs

Leila_Rand Member
edited March 2019 in CCC Accessibility Center
Does anyone have examples of the language one might use on a web page with archived, unremediated PDFs noting that the PDFs are not accessible, and offering accommodation for a user who wants to access some of the content?


  • Gian
    Gian Member
    edited January 2018
    Hi Leila

    This is probably better answered by Sean Keegan as there may be standard CCC language.

    If not, there are specific things you should mention on a page with archived, unremediated PDFs:
    • That the documents are not tagged with accessibility features
    • Email address and phone number of someone who can fix the documents on request
    • Timeline for fixing documents if they are requested
    • List of alternate accommodations: such as whether the user can request a tagged PDF, a Word document, an audio version or a printed version
    • The reason why these documents are unremediated (ie they are no longer accurate etc)
  • Leila_Rand
    Leila_Rand Member
    edited January 2018
    Thanks, Ill do that...
  • Sean_Keegan
    Sean_Keegan Member
    edited January 2018

    While the exact language a college decides to include on their website is a local decision, the following may be a starting point for consideration:

    "[College Name] is committed to making it online materials and information accessible to individuals of all abilities. As of January 1, 2016, public-facing PDF documents posted to the College website will meet appropriate accessibility requirements. For legacy and archived documents published prior to this date, individuals may obtain an accessible version of the document by contacting [College Email] and by including a copy of the document as an attachment. If you are unable to attach a copy of the document, please indicate the document name and website location. [College Name] staff will respond to your request within 2-business days."

    The date I have used in the above passage is just an example - this would be something that you would need to decide upon at the institution. Additionally, any contact information would have to be specified. I would also encourage you to document the process to follow and track all requests so you can report on those that are completed/not completed (this may be something that is incorporated to any accessibility barrier reporting).

    I would also suggest reviewing documents that receive significant web page traffic or downloads based on your website analytics. If you have PDF documents that are archived, but still receive significant attention and downloads, then I would recommend to make those documents accessible proactively. Furthermore, once you have received a request to make a document accessible, you could also post that version and remove the inaccessible document. 

    CCC Accessibility Center