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Tagged by meet Aandi provides Document Remediation so your documents can be understood by all sorts of people

Why is document accessibility important?

It has been said that documents are just made up of words and pictures – it is people who give them meaning. However, not everyone learns the same way, or has the same abilities to access those words and pictures. Maybe someone speaks a language other than English at home, or has low vision, or any number of other barriers to accessing print. You need a way of making versions of those documents speak to everyone.

Documents are a part of everyday life in the education sector. They are one of the main ways that teachers and lecturers communicate with their students, parents, and with each other. Having an accessible document means that your digital documents can be read and understood by as many people as possible.

As a bonus, making your digital documents accessible means you are also improving your sites SEO as the content is now searchable, helping with the ranking of your website. But more importantly, educators can tap into the 1-billion-strong market of people with disabilities that have $1.2 trillion in annual disposable income. (Source: Forrester) It makes business sense to make education accessible.

Who does it help?

Put simply, accessible documents help everyone.

Specifically, there are many students and parents who rely on content being accessible in order to read them; such as those with low vision, colour blindness, low literacy, where English is a second language, and those who are neurodivergent.
A remediated document can be read out by a third party reader such as NVDA or JAWS (or any of these). What we do in the remediation process is to set the reading order, describe photos, set up tables so that cells can be read out accurately, plus much more that makes reading a document easy. In fact, if you haven’t seen how a document is read – it is worth watching this short video. 

What sort of document can be remediated?

PDFs are the most common type of digital document (and indeed many PDFs are created from other services, such as Microsoft Word), but other document formats such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and more all need to be remediated for all sorts of people to access. We even work with scanned pages, which would otherwise simply be recognized as an image by a computer and rendered useless to an assistive technology user.

What are the legal requirements?

Access to information and access to an education is a human right in the Western world. All people who wish to gain information and/or education from an education body have the right to receive that information in a way that meets their needs. People with disabilities have their rights outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which covers how educators can effectively communicate with all.

In order to adhere to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and WCAG 2.1 compliance standards, digital documents must be created and formatted to be “read” by assistive technologies.

What makes a document accessible?


Headings help organise a document, and create key areas for readers to navigate to. They inform the reader of what the document contains, and provide hints about what type of content follows. These are essential in dividing content into easily understandable sections for an assistive technology user. Without proper headings, a person cannot find specific information in the document, and may be forced to read every line of text it contains. All users benefit from the addition of accurate headings, as well as navigation links associated with headings.


All images that convey information must have a text alternative provided for those who can’t see the image. Alternate text descriptions (alt text) allows for this description to be read in place of the image when a document is being read out. Without the insertion of appropriate alt text, any image would simply be read as ‘graphic’ or ‘image.’

Alt text must be concise and describe what the image is showing in the context of the document. Often, the focus is on why a particular image is used, over every element in the image. Alt text is really important to be added to charts, graphs, and infographics – as well as presenting data tables or other text equivalents of visual information than can be understood by everybody.


Links within documents must be tagged as links. This allows a keyboard-only user to access a link when reading through a file, and provides an equivalent to ‘clicking’ on a link. Adding an explanation of the link destination and/or purpose is necessary to inform users where the link is going/doing if the link text is not descriptive. Screen readers can struggle with announcing URLs as they do not contain spaces and are often one word – being announced all as one word. This kind of information is useful for everyone as most people prefer to know where a link is leading.

Where URLs are necessary to present, including camel case (capitalising the first letter of each word) can be helpful to avoid visual confusion. The infamous #susanalbumparty would certainly have benefitted from being #SusanAlbumParty with camel case!


Tagging lists as ‘lists’ with items, labels and body text is mandatory. If there is no clear indication that the text is part of a list, words can be announced as a line of text without punctuation nor context, or as a wall of unrelated text. Properly tagged lists enable assistive technology to inform the user of the type of list and number of items so that they can decide how to navigate the content. In the case of a nested list, the information can be near impossible to navigate without correct list structure tags.


Sighted users can line up data in a table with the row and/or column heading for that table. However, without correct tagging, assistive technology defaults to announcing each cell with a numbered position instead. In the remediation process, additional information is added to help clearly provide the context for the data. Row and column headers must be identified to help with easy navigation and understanding of information.

Reading Order

Reading order is just what it says, i.e., the order in which the elements are to be read. Not all documents are written from left to right, starting at the top and finishing at the bottom. Enabling layout options like columns, circular text graphs, pull-out boxes and labels below images are all core functions of correct reading order. This also cannot be automated, as a machine doesn’t know what order your information is supposed to be read in.

How can I learn more?

We are currently running training for Vision Australia on how to create and remediate your own digital documents. Sign up for the courses.

Our track record

Before we became part of Meet Aandi we were known as TaggedPDF in Australia. 

TaggedPDF was established in 2010 to help Australian government organisations and businesses to meet their newly mandated accessibility requirements and transition towards WCAG 2.0 AA compliance under the National Transition Strategy (NTS) towards December 2014 and beyond, and then with the Digital Service Standard (DSS) from 2015 onwards.

We have remediated millions of pages since then for clients all over the world. We also work with content creators to update designs, as many times, the digital documents sent to us had not been designed with accessibility in mind. This is the partnership we have with our clients, to make documents fully accessible to everyone. Simply remediating for assistive technology doesn’t make the document accessible to readers whose sight sits between perfect vision and completely blind. We see ourselves as the educators working with educators to make a difference to the students they teach. 

Vision Australia Partnership

vision aus

We’ve partnered with Vision Australia’s Digital Access consultancy as their exclusive PDF and MS Word remediation provider. Digital Access is a global leader in accessibility consulting, testing, and training. Our combined experience working with end users allows us certainty that what we are doing actually works for those who need it, not just ticks a box.

With expert knowledge of accessibility and inclusive design across a range of disability groups, they help organisations make their digital assets, such as websites, mobile apps and digital kiosks, accessible to everyone. Together, we are setting the standard for document accessibility in Australia.

Want to find out more about documents?

Meet Aandi provides consulting services and training for designers and content creators
on how to make your communications more accessible.