Insights from the RGD's Basic Accessibility for Adobe InDesign Webinar

The RGD is thrilled to announce that AbleDocs is our Accessibility Partner for 2021. Recently, we hosted a Webinar on creating and producing accessible documents using Adobe InDesign in collaboration with AbleDocs to aid you in meeting the AODA Compliance deadline of June 30.


"AbleDocs is proud to be the Accessibility Partner to the RGD Group and to have the opportunity to help this wonderful group of designers transform their amazing designs into a truly accessible format that allows everyone equal access to the message be delivered." - Adam Spencer, President, AbleDocs.


Below, we share insights from the Webinar presented Dax Castro, Certified Accessible Document Specialist: 

  • The accessibility barriers we have to combat are fonts, language, colourblindness, colour contract, colour as a differentiator, structural relationships, text as images, formulas, tables and images. 
  • The earlier you can get a buy in for accessibility, the easier it is to implement it because at the later stages of a project people are much more resistant to change.
  • Three things to consider at accessible draft stage are, firstly, don't make PDF revisions yet, secondly, decide what needs fixing at the source and lastly, make sure your revisions are complete. 
  • Any changes you make to the accessibility structure of your PDF will be lost if you're forced to export a new version. 
  • Once you get the final PDF, make sure that it passes more than one PDF validator because the inbuilt Accessibility Checker for Acrobat is a starting point and not a comprehensive check. It will not guarantee you that your PDF passes compliance.

Some tips and tricks to make an accessible PDF using Adobe InDesign:

  • When copying from Word to InDesign, if you use the InDesign import features, it allows you to map the Word doc styles over to your styles making it easier to format the your PDF. 
  • Map your headings consistently to H1, H2, H3, H4 through H6 tags and do not use the H tag as it is an older heading style that is not supported by any screen reader currently.
  • InDesign automatically tags stories, bookmarks, TOCs, lists, tables, footnotes or endnotes if you use the automated tools to create them. 
  • Use external colour contract checker to make sure you have the correct colour contrast ratio for text as well as for non-text items like a pie chart, bar graphs, etc. to ensure compliance. 
  • Use Layer Panels for most documents because it reads the bottom most items first, and then the top items this makes it easier to set the read order and add/create new items.
  • Provide alternative text for any non-text content to enable it to be changed into other forms, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols, or simpler language. 
  • Tables should be logical and easy to understand and you can even merge cells inside tables just as long as they are well organized, not too complex and follow the additional steps that are required to make them accessible.
  • The document should always be saved as a PDF using the save as Adobe interactive PDF, never as print PDF. 
Watch a clip from the Webinar:

Stay tuned for more AbleDocs programming. 


RGD Members get 15% off AbleDocs' remediation cost. Details in the Member-only section of our website. 



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With over 20 different product and service offerings, AbleDocs is the worldwide leader in PDF accessibility. 
Register for the RGD's upcoming Webinars on Accessibility: 


Recording and Highlights of the RGD's Designing for the AODA Webinar


Certified and Provisional Members who are interested in contributing content to the RGD website via Resource ListsTop 5s and more are invited to email Rushika at .