Database design accessibility

Hi there,

I’m having a few problems with designing my database navigation/forms/reports etc. This is for a college assignment, so this needs to be done. The assignment requires that my database be usable by a partially sighted user, so I therefore need to take into consideration how this minority will be able to use my database.

I’ve tried many things, changing colors, changing text styles, hell I even increased text size to 72 PX and made it bold but my tutor still cannot read it (my tutor is partially sighted).

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could do this, possibly without destroying the look of my database application? :smiley: This would be greatly appreciated.


P.S. I wasn’t sure exactly where to post this, but it seems more graphics related so I posted it here. Sorry if i got it wrong.

Hmm, I forgot to add when I created a fairly large database that was successfully deployed for a FE College. Designed to monitor all the hardware ‘Computer Faults’ within the campus for over several thousand PC’s (mainly to be used by the ICT Department).

That I used fairly self-explanatory Labels so that is was very easy to pick-up on how to use the database even if you hadn’t read the full documentation.

In addition I used error trapping routines, which I suspect you will have done. Albeit one issue that generally occurs is a ‘dialogue style box’ will appear - upon an input error. Now, this is where you really see if you can catch your tutor off-guard. Because if he can read the database ‘error messages’ let’s say for example for a duplicate or null value - input via your form front-end - then you know ‘text size’ wasn’t the issue. :wink:

It is a Database Form Design issue.

I was going to say similar to Andrew regarding ‘higher-contrast’ and that if he still has issues reading the forms with ‘very large text’…

But if he still comers up with awkward answers then you could write up in your ‘Database Design’ documentation how to activate the Accessibly options within the Database and OS. Perhaps it may have also been a case of drawing larger form buttons and using tool-tips and having supportive text.

How much of this is because the tutor is being stubborn; compared with regards to the assignment’s actual design brief?

Andrew, you know how our tutor is…
I increased the text size to 72 and he said he still had trouble reading it. And I don’t think the color contrast is the problem, black text on white background is the best practice for accessibility.

And I did ask my tutor what I needed to do, he replied “Make it so I can use it without my glasses on”.

I did however, show him some other color combinations and he still had troubles reading it. He didn’t speculate what needed to be changed, just that he should be able to read it.


I probably should of mentioned that this is an Access database. Heres a screenshot of one of the data entry forms, bare in mind that this is the original design, I have modified the text of this and it is still not accessible enough.

Any suggestions? :frowning:

it is ~not~ a database issue


We might need to get a sense of the visual look of the database. Does it have a lot of columns etc? This could be a CSS issue, and accessibility issue (contrasting colors etc), or even a database issue. If your tutor needs to see better and making the text huge is not helping, perhaps you need to look more at the color combinations.

I would suggest you also post up the modified design with the larger text size so everyone else can get an idea on what changes you’ve made to the text to help partially sighted users and whether it should be changed in another way instead, as ralph.m said, it could be an issue with colours and colour contrast.

I know where you’re coming from here ralph, but it isn’t that kind of “accessibility” he’s looking for. It’s simply an issue of the partially sighted user being able to read the text. It’s a hypothetical scenario because our tutor actually has glasses that he wears to see things on the screen :slight_smile:

I agree with you here ralph. I think that cptnox should confirm with his tutor what he actually needs to do, why he needs to do it, and ask how he would go about doing it. If your tutor is being that picky then it might be best if you could ask your tutor if you could test the database with an accessibility software application that zooms in such as the ones used in college, to make sure that the database application is compatible with it so partially sighted users can still use the database, even without glasses.

Andrew Cooper

Which is why I posted this in the graphics section. I’m not asking for any help with SQL or anything. I just want to know how I can make this more accessible.

That could mean several things. Some of that text could be larger, but I’d venture to say color is still a bigger issue. Another accessibility issue might be that the Labels are not links with the inputs… but we’d have to see your code to know.

So your request is still a bit vague… though my memory of tutors/lecturers is that they complain but are very vague about what they actually want–so I expect part of the vagueness is his/her fault.

okay, a slight correction, then :slight_smile:

ms access is actually two products wrapped up into one – a database engine (commonly called jet) and a user-friendly graphic interface

this is still not a database issue :slight_smile: