Better Accessibility

As with other Office programs, Access 2003 has new features that make Access easier for people with disabilities. Some of the key improvements are due to having the Access forms and dialogs function more like Windows dialog boxes. So standard accessibility aides will function more effectively and require less customization to work well with Access. Additional improvements are in the areas of speech recognition and the use of keyboard shortcuts.

Speech recognition continues to improve. It can be used for both commands and data entry. And, since the Access Forms and Controls behave more like standard Windows dialog boxes, they are more familiar and intuitive for users to master. Additionally there are seemingly hundreds of keyboard shortcuts. Access not only recognizes the standard shortcuts of other Office menu commands, but there are fairly intuitive keyboard shortcuts for menu and toolbar items. Plus, as was mentioned in the error checking, developers can confidently create keyboard shortcuts for any (and all) command buttons on their forms.

For a list of Access keyboard shortcuts, go to Access Help, and in the Table of Contents, go to Startup and Settings, Accessibility, and then Using Accessibility features in Access. Figure 3-19 shows a partial list of general keyboard shortcuts for navigating and for working with menus.

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