PDF Accessibility

SUNY Cortland standards

SUNY Cortland is committed to ensuring universal access to college information, regardless of physical or cognitive ability. This commitment is not just a legal obligation but a moral one, emphasizing our responsibility to make content accessible to all. This page outlines guidelines and best practices for PDF documents on public-facing SUNY Cortland websites. 

SUNY Cortland has adopted Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. Please see the Technology Accessibility Policy for broader information on the university's standards for technology accessibility.

Limiting the use of PDFs

In order to enhance accessibility, mobile-friendliness and content accuracy on our website, we are reducing the use of PDFs. Moving forward, the uploading of PDFs to cortland.edu will be restricted. Instead, content should be published as webpages and online forms should be used when submissions are needed. Learn how to create a webpage or request a new online form

Any PDF documents available on the SUNY Cortland website must adhere to current WCAG accessibility standards and be mobile-friendly. Learn how to check PDF accessibility and fix common PDF accessibility errors

Removal of PDFs with errors

PDFs on the website found to have accessibility errors may be subject to removal at the recommendation of the Technology Accessibility Advisory Committee. This ensures that the website remains compliant with accessibility standards.

Internal documents

PDFs containing internal information, such as meeting minutes and other non-public documents, should not be posted on public SUNY Cortland websites. Instead, these documents should be stored in a secure system like SharePoint. Learn how to add a document to SharePoint and how to share a SharePoint document


Exceptions can be approved by the Technology Accessibility Advisory Committee for PDFs that are legally required or when the formatting of a PDF document is critical. However, the office or department needs to provide an accessible alternative to the PDF or third-party PDF remediation services will be required.  

Note: Expenses related to accessibility remediation may need to be covered by the office or department responsible for the problematic PDF.