Untagged PDF Being Read by a Screen Reader
This demonstrates how a screen reader reads a PDF document that has not been tagged. It is essential for PDF documents to be tagged so that screen readers know how the document is structured. If tags do not exist, the screen reader and Adobe Acrobat will make their best attempt to figure out how the document is structured. In this case this document was created as PDF from Microsoft Word on OS X. It consists of a heading with two simple columns of text. The text of the document is as follows. ‘Handout for Class This is the most important piece of information you will receive in this class. Make sure you read every part of it and fully understand it. Failure to do so will most like result in you failing the class. I cannot be responsible for your lack of preparation for my class.’ In this example, the screen reader incorrectly reads the text straight across the page, jumping from column to column. Additionally, since it cannot determine how the letters are related to one another, the screen reader and Adobe Acrobat attempt to figure out how the letters should be organized. This results in numerous nonsensical words.