Dick Detzner developed the mechanism for building the flipbook for the Illini Success 2022-23 Annual Report within the Illini Success website. This flip-book style site was not converted from a PDF; rather, it was created directly on the web using Drupal editing tools. It’s a single-page experience meant to approximate the feel of flipping through a booklet. Here are some key points about this implementation:

This is part 2 in a 3-part series highlighting PDF flipbook alternatives.

This is part 1 in a 3-part series highlighting PDF flipbook alternatives.

Vance Martin, Mark McCarthy, Matt Macomber, and Steven Martin will join us to share their experience using Foleon to develop the 2022 System Annual Report. They will discuss the pros and cons of using Foleon, plus their experience so far working with the vendor to address accessibility concerns.

Melissa Waller is investigating how to put gorgeously designed books and brochures online in an engaging way. This typically involves uploading a PDF to a site like Issuu, which provides an interactive viewer for the PDF, but also introduces accessibility concerns.

If you do not see the tags icon (looks like a price tag) in your left side menu, you may not have the tags panel activated.

From the top menu, Select:

View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Tags

You should now see the tags icon in your left side menu. 

opening the tags panel


After running the Accessibility Checker you will be given a report. Two items will always show up on the report as manual checks:

  • Logical Reading Order
  • Color Contrast

Use the chevrons to the left of an item to expand it for additional information. Right-click for a submenu that will give you the following options:

Adobe Acrobat contains an Accessibility Toolbox which contains the Accessibility Checker and the Reading Order options box which will aid you in creating an accessible PDF.

To make the Accessibility Toolbox show up on the right-hand column of icons on your Acrobat screen:

It is not that PDF files are meant to be troubling, it is that they were just not made to be accessible in the beginning. 

  • Originally developed (early 1990’s) as an export option, just like a printer
  • Most times, created by scanning a paper document and saving it as an image file
  • Never meant as an editing environment
  • When introduced, the use of Assistive Technology to read a PDF was not widely available

Today, most people who are working with a PDF have received the PDF file directly and face stumbling blocks:

An accessible PDF is comprised of three layers:

Visual Layer

This is the layer you see on the screen or would see if you printed out the PDF. It is essentially a picture of your document. 

If you are supplementing your course with interactive course materials such as fillable PDFs or E-text, you'll want to make sure disabled students are able to complete these items independently. The materials must be made accessible before sharing or assigning to the class. Most materials can be made accessible relatively quickly so that all students have the same material at the same time.

This category includes such things as Google Docs, Clickers, PDFs, and E-text.