Accessible PDFs from InDesign

Online training

Please note that this course is now available online.


This course is designed for graphic designers, typesetters and anyone else wishing to create fully accessible PDFs from InDesign. It covers not only the technical aspects of accessible document production, but also a wide range of accessible content creation techniques, including key Adobe Illustrator techniques. It also includes a short section on the one or two things that will typically need to be finished in Acrobat Professional.

Core topics

  • Workflow and how to approach the process of making PDFs accessible
  • Overview of relevant standards
  • Creating accessible document structure
  • How (and how not) to design accessible navigation: bookmarks, tables of contents and page numbering
  • Creating accessible internal and external links
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Colour contrast, tools and techniques
  • Colour blindness, tools and techniques
  • Designing tables for accessibility and usability
  • How to write appropriate text alternatives for images, charts and infographics
  • Using Adobe Illustrator to optimise infographics, charts and other complex images for  literacy software users
  • Text formatting and unicode issues
  • Accessible fonts: main characteristics
  • Setting both reading orders
  • Techniques for avoiding inaccessible backgrounds
  • Managing multiple language content
  • Document management
  • Essential post-production editing using Acrobat Professional

Optional additional topics

  • Accessible forms, direct from InDesign, with zero or minimal Acrobat editing:
    Example accessible PDF form (92KB)
  • Accessible interactive indexes, linking to page, paragraph or word, direct from InDesign (no additional software required): Example indexed PDF (362KB)
  • Using the MadeToTag plug-in
  • Testing against standards, with automated accessibility checkers, and with multiple assistive technologies


  • Participants: we recommend a maximum of 6
  • Duration: 1 day, typically. However, a day and a half to 2 days will be required if optional topics such as forms, indexing, testing, and MadeToTag are included
  • Prerequisites: at a minimum, a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of InDesign is required in order to get the best from this course

Client testimonials

The workshop was extremely insightful and well worth the time and cost. I’ve attended subsequent webinars regarding accessibility, and I found that this workshop was much more helpful than the other webinars I’ve attended. Would absolutely recommend this to anyone working with InDesign in electronic print.

Jamie Soule‑Vinova, Senior Content Specialist, Thomson Reuters

Incredibly useful courses. All the elements were explained really clearly and the manuals provided are a great resource.

Danielle Vincent, Communications Manager, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Ted’s knowledge and experience in the industry is incredible and so too was his ability to make an otherwise complex subject matter exciting and interesting. Thank you.

Julia Mclellan, CalMac, Digital Content Executive

I was a little daunted at the prospect of a full day’s course on creating accessible PDFs from InDesign, but I needn’t have worried. The process was interesting and thorough covering every aspect in a clear and simple way. The additional materials that you take away are invaluable with step by step instructions to follow. Ted’s experience is excellent and made what at times is a very complex process so much clearer.

It is always a pleasure to work with Ted. There is nothing he doesn’t know about making communications accessible. He willingly shares his knowledge and expertise and has been an invaluable support to my team. He has helped us out on many occasions with tight deadlines and the standard of his work is always of the highest quality.

Terry Rattray, Creative Services Manager, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

Ted was very thorough and covered every topic I hoped he would. [The training] has boosted my confidence when dealing with accessibility in InDesign and in Acrobat.

Victoria Griffiths, Graphic Designer, Welsh Government

Terms and conditions

Please see our booking terms and conditions  (PDF, 49KB).

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