Yes, it is not only possible to ensure the correct reading order, it is the right thing to do! When you convert from Word is the PDF tagged (check in the Acrobat Tags pane)? If so ensure the tags are correct; if not then tag it. The image should be tagged as a figure, with meaningful alt text. Each text box could be tagged as a paragraph. Arrange the order of the tags in the desired reading order. Then select the Page Thumbnails pane, right click the page thumbnail, select Page Properties, and set the Tab Order to Use Document Structure.
Hope this makes sense. If not, please post your questions.
a 'C' student
Thank you for your quick response to my question! I am not an experienced Adobe user, so I had to search for the functions you suggested.
I could not find the "Acrobat Tags pane". Is this in MSWord or in Acrobat? I figured out how to add 'text' tags in Acrobat, because the option to add 'paragraph' tags was not there. I also figured out how to change the reading order of the tags and confirmed the order was correct with the 'read out loud' tool. However, I can't figure out how to retrieve the "Page Thumbnails pane". Adobe sure likes to make things complicated!!
One other question, when I created the 'text' tags for each of my text boxes, the number image I used within the text box was not captured. I guess that makes sense since the text box is tagged as 'text and the number image is an image'. I suppose the order in which the content is read aloud is important, but hearing the numbers isn't. The numbers correspond to numbers on the image, which they may not be able to see. I used the pop-up text from various buttons/tabs/icons from the web page (which is the image I am explaining in this document) and used that text in the text boxes, where applicable. I think this makes the document as accessible as possible....
In Acrobat version X (10) the Page Thumbnails and Tags icons are in the sidebar at the far left side of the screen. If you do not find them there go to the View menu > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes and select them. Other Acrobat versions may be slightly different. It sounds like you found the Tags pane though, since you are adding and rearranging tags.
You are correct, selecting Text on the TouchUp Reading Order tool creates a paragraph <P> tag. To include the number images - tag each one as a figure, include the numeral as the alt text, and move the tags to their correct place in the reading order.
"As accessible as needed" is a good goal. "As accessible as possible" is a lot more work, but if you are interested in building this expertise you could google “PDF Techniques for WCAG 2.0”, “PDF/UA”, and “PDF Accessibility Checker from Access for All”.
Hope this helps.
a ‘C’ student
HI. Thanks. This has been helpful!