The PDF, originally a groundbreaking document format, has evolved into the digital backbone of contemporary society. From contracts and reports to presentations and ebooks, PDFs power information exchange across industries and continents. However, their accessibility often remains a hurdle, excluding individuals with disabilities and hindering information flow.

As per World Health Organization data, there are over 1 billion, which accounts for 15% of the global population, who suffer from disabilities. Here’s where smart remediation comes into the picture: a revolutionary approach to PDF accessibility that harnesses the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Through document remediation and automation, smart remediation ensures the creation of truly inclusive documents, breaking down barriers and fostering a more accessible digital environment. 

Table of Contents:

The Evolution of PDFs: From Static to Smart

The Portable Document Format (PDF) has become the de facto standard for digital documents, offering portability and security. However, PDFs often present significant accessibility barriers for people with disabilities.

Complex layouts, embedded images, and a lack of alt text can make information inaccessible to individuals using screen readers or assistive technologies.

Several international standards define accessibility and PDF Remediation best practices. The most widely recognized is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WCAG 2.1 outlines specific criteria for making web content, including PDFs, accessible to everyone.

Also Read: The Ultimate Checklist for PDF Accessibility: Tips, Tools, and Standards

Smart Remediation: A New Era for PDFs

The global market for digital accessibility solutions is expected to reach $769.5 million by 2028. This shows that the demand for accessible content is on the rise, highlighting the need for effective solutions like smart remediation.

Here’s what makes smart remediation a game-changer:

1. AI-Driven Accessibility

At the heart of smart remediation lies AI-powered document analysis. AI algorithms can intelligently identify accessibility issues like missing alt text, incorrect heading structures, and color contrast violations. This eliminates the need for manual inspection, saving time and resources. Automated document remediation can save up to 80% of document processing time.

2. Automation in Document Accessibility

Once AI identifies issues, automation takes over. Remediation tools automatically fix these errors, generating accessible versions of the original PDF. This includes adding alt text to images, creating a semantic structure with headings and lists, and ensuring proper color contrast.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

The automated nature of smart remediation translates into reduced manual efforts and associated costs. As the demand for accessibility solutions grows, a cost-effective approach becomes paramount for widespread adoption.

Top Five Benefits of Smart Remediation to Explore

Smart remediation leverages AI and automation to transform PDF accessibility. AI algorithms automatically identify and fix common issues like missing alt text, incorrect headings, and color contrast violations.

They analyze complex layouts and apply appropriate techniques, learning and adapting over time for increased accuracy. This translates to numerous benefits: faster turnaround times, reduced costs, improved user experience, and, most importantly, consistent PDF accessibility compliance.

Below are the advantages of smart remediation:

1. Increased Accessibility

Accessible PDFs ensure everyone can access information equally, promoting inclusivity and compliance with PDF accessibility standards like WCAG 2.1. This way, organizations align with global accessibility benchmarks, fostering an environment where information is universally accessible.

2. Enhanced User Experience

Accessible documents are easier to navigate and understand for everyone, regardless of abilities, leading to a better user experience. Additionally, this enhanced user experience contributes to improved engagement, satisfaction, and retention. 

3. Improved Efficiency

Automation significantly reduces the time and effort required for PDF remediation, freeing up resources for other tasks.

As per McKinsey data, automation leads to a 30-50% reduction in time spent on document-related tasks. This reduction in time expenditure translates to increased operational efficiency and allows organizations to focus on strategic initiatives.

4. Reduced Costs

Smart remediation brings about substantial cost savings by minimizing the need for manual intervention. Automation not only reduces labor costs but also mitigates the risk of errors that might incur additional expenses in the remediation process.

5. Future-Proofed Documents

The adaptive nature of AI algorithms ensures that smartly remediated PDFs remain compatible with emerging technologies and evolving accessibility standards. This future-proofing eliminates the need for frequent updates or overhauls, providing a sustainable and long-term solution for document accessibility.

Five Best Practices for PDF Remediation

While AI automates much of the heavy lifting, human expertise remains crucial. Prioritize the user experience, choosing solutions that create user-friendly and engaging documents. Opt for reputable vendors with expertise in AI-powered accessibility and ethical development.

Lastly, stay updated on evolving accessibility standards and best practices to ensure your PDFs remain truly inclusive for everyone.

Hence, even with smart remediation, best practices remain crucial:

1. Prioritize User Experience

Accessibility isn’t just about technical compliance; it’s about creating documents that are truly usable for everyone. Consider factors like:

  • Navigation: Ensure clear and logical document structure with accessible headings, bookmarks, and navigation tools.
  • Fonts and Colors: Use accessible fonts with good contrast and avoid problematic color combinations.
  • Alternative Text: Provide meaningful descriptions for all images, charts, and other non-text content.
  • Interactive Elements: Ensure keyboard accessibility for interactive elements like buttons and links.

2. Choose the Right Tools

Explore AI-powered document accessibility solutions that cater to the specific needs of your organization.

Choose one that offers:

  • Customizable rules and settings to tailor remediation to your specific needs.
  • Human-in-the-loop options for complex documents or specific accessibility requirements.
  • Reporting and analytics to track progress and identify areas for improvement.

3. Integrate Accessibility into Your Workflow

Don’t wait until the end to remediate PDFs. Integrate accessibility checks and best practices into your content creation process:

  • Use accessible authoring tools like Microsoft Word with accessibility features enabled.
  • Train content creators on accessibility guidelines and best practices.
  • Perform regular audits to identify and fix issues early on.

4. Stay Informed and Up-to-Date

Accessibility standards and best practices evolve.

Stay updated by:

  • Following accessibility organizations like W3C and WAI-ARIA.
  • Subscribing to industry newsletters and blogs.
  • Attending accessibility conferences and workshops.

5. Partner with Accessibility Experts

While AI tools are powerful, complex documents or specific user needs may require human expertise. Partner with accessibility specialists to:

  • Develop a comprehensive accessibility strategy.
  • Review and audit the remediated documents for accuracy.
  • Provide ongoing support and training.

Also Read: ADA Compliance 101: What You Need to Know and How to Achieve It


The future of PDFs is inclusive by design. Smart remediation with AI and automation is the key to exploring this future and ensuring information accessibility for everyone. By embracing this technology, we can empower individuals with disabilities, foster collaboration, and build a more equitable digital world.

Team up with Hurix Digital to explore its innovative AI-powered document accessibility solutions. We offer a range of services, from automated remediation tools to expert human consultation, helping you create PDFs that are not just technically accessible but also user-friendly and inclusive.

Contact us to start your journey toward a more accessible digital future today!