Remediation Basics for Vendors, Consultants, and Contractors

If you are a vendor providing goods and services to the City of Windsor, you are required to submit certain deliverables and materials in a format that is accessible to persons with disabilities. This page provides useful resources to assist you in creating accessible PDF documents.

Understanding Remediation

The vast majority of PDF documents are not accesisble to persons with disabilities, particularly those with low or no vision. To access a a document, a person with disabilities generally use a screen reader that reads tagged content out loud; but most documents are not structured in a way that screen readers can readily translate. Remediation is the process of adding tags and making structural changes that make it accessible to screen readers.

Vendors can make documents easier to remediate by properly structuring their source documents and by remembering that complex documents usually require complex remediations. Using headings properly and in the right order can solve a vast majority of errors in accessibility. Other good habits include ensuring tables have headers and adding alternative descriptions to images you want to add to a document. Some documents such as maps, diagrams, and desktop publishing documents are considerably harder to remediate so think of simplicity from the design stage.

Remediation Tools

There is no single tool or software application that can remediate all documents and it is common to rely on a toolkit of different applications that have proven effective in creating accessible documents. The following applications and platforms are described below:


This web based portal allows remediators to upload and tag PDF documents that result in well structured, accessible documents. While there is a learning curve to work with this tool, the company provides excellent video tutorials, regular webinars, and an intuitive interface

Discover Equidox


AxesPDF and AxesWord are two applications provided by Axes that offer high-end remediation and validation and conversion of Microsoft Word into validated, accessible PDF's. Though not as large or complex as Adobe, the application is feature rich and easier to use. The built-in checker is an added bonus that allows users to quickly identify problems in their documents and tools that addres many of the more common problems.

Explore Axes


ADOBE DC Pro is an exceptionally powerful tool but also complex and comes with a rather significant learning curve even for seasoned Adobe users that have not done worked on accessible documents in the past. Of all the tools available, this application provides the greatest degree of editing and troubleshooting but it is also the most complex to learn.

Learn more about Adobe DC Pro

PAC 3 Checker

Once a document has been remediated, it is common practice to confirm that the process was completed successfully using a utility. The PAC 3 Checker is a free, simple utility that will check a PDF for compliance and report any errors or warnings. While the tool is not difficult to use, it does take time to interpret the information it provides in order to troubleshoot problems. This is really one of the must-have utilities that is very helpful in diagnosing PDF files.

Check out PAC 3

Remedaiton Services

In the event that your firm decides it does not possess the internal resources to remediate documents or prefers to outsource this work, there are many firms that provide remediation services. Those providers that offer tools, such as Axes and Equidox, both offer document remediation and will allow customers to upload documents for review and receive a quote for the anticipated cost of remediation. These firms may charge by document or per page so it is important to understand the the anticipated complexity and size of a document right from the design stage.

Helpful Resources

The following links offer a range of free education materials and tutorials that will assist you in understanding document remediation.

  1. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  2. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)
  3. Remediation Basics Part 1 - NCRTM Youtube
  4. Remediaiton Basics Part 2 - NCRTM
  5. Creating Accessible Word Documents

Please note the Corporation of the City of Windsor provides these resourcs for information purposes only and does not endorse or recommend any specific product or vendor.