PDF “Spring Cleaning” Challenge

The University of Mississippi Digital Accessibility Office presents the PDF "Spring Cleaning" Challenge

The PDF “Spring Cleaning” Challenge is a 4 week long project that takes place during the month of April. It is designed for website content creators, editors, and other contributors to participate either individually or as a team. The purpose is to improve the accessibility of UM websites by providing more accessible formats of filed shared online.

Why “clean up”?

Many UM websites host a large number of PDFs. Unless deliberate action has been taken to remediate these files by working with UM’s Accessibility Specialists, it is highly probable that each PDFs is inaccessible to:

  • The visually impaired and others who rely on assistive technology to access digital content, 
  • Anyone who accesses the web by using a mobile device, and 
  • Users without a printer who must print then scan in a PDF form if it was not designed to be completed electronically. 

We are here to make it easy for you to tackle this problem!

The UM Digital Accessibility Solutions team will walk you through 4 steps to improve your website accessibility and SEO!

PDF “Spring Cleaning” Challenge participants can expect to:

  • Attend once weekly meetings, scheduled for Tuesday at 2pm, via Zoom to learn about each stage in the process.
    • April 6th: Sorting, deleting, and relocating PDFs to improve accessibility and SEO.
    • April 13th: Converting PDFs into HTML documents.
    • April 20th: Converting PDF forms into web forms.
    • April 27th: Using Adobe Acrobat Pro to make PDFs more accessible.
  • Following our meeting, we encourage each participant to utilize what they have learned and take steps to improve their site’s accessibility!
    • Detailed written instructions and a recording of our Tuesday meeting will be provided to all registrants.
    • This means you can still participate even if you cannot attend the meetings on Tuesdays!
  • Accessibility Specialists Jennifer Bland and Lindsey Sneed will hold office hours on Fridays during April from 11am to 3pm for extra help or to address any additional questions that may come up as you work!

Information Session Recording

On March 30th we hosted an information session with a comprehensive overview of the “why” behind this challenge and what to expect throughout the month of April. The captions currently available were automatically generated and will be edited for accuracy within 5 business days.

 

Week 1 – Deleting and Moving to Box

Links and Resources

These are the links and resources referenced in the recording:

Assignment

  1. Attend the live session OR review the slides or video at your convenience.
  2. Complete this form to claim which website(s) you will be working on. Please submit the form multiple times if you will be cleaning up more than one website.
  3. Identify (and mark in Column E) any documents that can be deleted because they are outdated, duplicates, or not actively being used online and an offline copy is available. In WordPress go to the Media Library to delete the documents you have selected.
  4. For the remaining documents, think about who the intended audience of each document will be. If the audience is limited to users with WebIDs (faculty, staff, and current students) mark that document as “Move to Box” in column E and begin saving your files and uploading them to box before you remove them from your Media Library.
  5. Make as much progress as possible, but remember that if you are dealing with a HUGE amount of PDFs, this is a learning experience and it is about progress, not perfection!

Week 2 – Converting PDFs to HTML Web Pages

Links and Resources

Assignment

  1. Attend the live session OR review the slides or video at your convenience.
  2. Identify (and mark in Column E) any documents that can be converted to HTML.
  3. In WordPress, make a new page, give it the same title as the document you are replacing, and then transfer the content from the PDF to the WYSIWYG. (Copy and paste makes this easy!)
  4. Keep in mind the Accessibility Top 7 to make your page accessible – add features like the semantic heading structure and alt text!
  5. Publish your page, replace the old document link, and delete the PDF from your Media Library.

Week 3 – Converting PDFs to Web Forms

Links and Resources

Assignment

  1. Attend the live session OR review the slides or video at your convenience.
  2. Email accessibility@olemiss.edu to request access to the Gravity Forms plugin OR you can access Google Forms using your @go.olemiss.edu email address.
  3. Identify (and mark in Column E) any documents that can be converted to web forms.
  4. Use the tools provided to create fields, customize where information is sent, and what the user sees.
  5. Utilize Box as necessary for sensitive information.

Registration has closed.

If you would like information about PDF remediation, please contact accessibility@olemiss.edu.