PDF Spring Cleaning Event at CUNY SPS

In recognition of Disability Awareness Month, and with support of the Committee of Institutional Equity and Diversity (CIED), we will be holding CUNY SPS’ first PDF Spring Cleaning event during the first two weeks of April 2022.

In the past, PDFs were considered the best document type for many purposes, but our understanding of technology, accessibility, and user friendliness has evolved. Unless they are crafted with attention to accessibility, PDFs can serve as barriers for individuals with disabilities and can limit access and audience. Revising or converting PDFs is an impactful way to make the School’s communication more accessible.

We are very happy to announce our pilot project with the Office of Student Services and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. The two participating teams will be guided through several different, self-paced options for addressing accessibility barriers associated with public-facing portable document files (PDFs).


Week 1: Inventory and Strategy (April 4-8)

The event commences via a kick-off announcement to the school community, including links to resources and registration for the trainings. Participating units will review existing PDF documents they currently store on their webpages or distribute publicly, for their accessibility. The supporting team will be on hand to assist with PDF search, review, and assessment. Participants will also devise a strategy for each inaccessible PDF, such as remediation, conversion to accessible web page or form, etc.
PDF Accessibility Training #1: Thursday, April 7th, 2022 from 10-11am ET.

Week 2: Editing and Converting PDFs (April 11-15)

The second week will be focused on remediating or converting inaccessible PDFs identified during Week 1, for which participants will receive resources as well as hands-on support. The event concludes via a closing announcement to the school community about the achievements of the participating teams.
PDF Accessibility Training #2: Tuesday, April 12th, 2022 from 2-3pm ET.

Participating Teams in April 2022

  • Office of Student Services. Liaison: Chris Leydon.
  • Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Liaison: Dani Lucchese.


Understanding PDF Accessibility, by University of Colorado Boulder

PDF Accessibility – Converting Documents to PDFs, by WebAIM

Making PDFs Accessible with Word: At a Glance (video)

Quick guide: Creating Accessible PDFs