Initially referred to as PDF/Access in 2004 by the AIIM standards committee, PDF/UA was a response to the proliferation of PDF documents that were valid according to the PDF specification, but were not accessible to persons with disabilities.
To meet the needs of the widest possible audience, the producers and viewers of PDF content needed a common standard.
Published in 2012, PDF/UA defines, in specific technical terms, the precise features of PDF required to enable accessibility to the widest possible range of users.
The main PDF standard, ISO 32000, already defines the format’s accessibility features. ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA) clarifies and demonstrates how those features should be used, for both producing and consuming PDF documents.
PDF/UA is not software; it’s a document describing the correct use of another document (ISO 32000) to achieve an outcome (accessible PDF).