WCAG 2.2 Is Here (Finally): 4 Takeaways

By admin
On

October 5, 2023
DATE

,

the World Wide Web Consortium
ORG

(W3C) officially released

the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
ORG

(WCAG)

2.2
CARDINAL

.


WCAG
ORG

is the international standard for digital accessibility. The guidelines are occasionally updated — and “occasionally" is the key term. It’s been just over

five years
DATE

since the publication of WCAG

2.1
CARDINAL

, and the accessibility community has been waiting for

more than two years
DATE

for WCAG 2.2 to become the law of the (digital) land.

The long-awaited update introduces

two
CARDINAL

new Level A success criteria,

four
CARDINAL

new

Level AA
ORG

success criteria, and

three
CARDINAL

new Level AAA success criteria. Otherwise, it’s mostly identical to WCAG

2.1
CARDINAL

, but the new criteria are certainly important for real-life users.

Below, we’ll explain several major takeaways from WCAG 2.2’s official publication and provide tips for earning conformance with the new success criteria.


1
CARDINAL

. WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

is expected to be the last version of WCAG

2.X
CARDINAL

From this point forward,

the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group
ORG

at

the World Wide Web Consortium
ORG

(W3C) will focus their attention on WCAG

3.0
CARDINAL

.

The group has said that they will “probably not do another version of WCAG

2
CARDINAL

,” so WCAG 2.3 is not on the way — of course, that could change. WCAG

3
CARDINAL

is expected to introduce a new conformance system and other broad changes, which could take

years
DATE

to design and test.

If digital technologies change substantially, WCAG

2.3
CARDINAL

could become a reality. For now, though, WCAG

2.3
CARDINAL

is the last planned version of WCAG

2
CARDINAL

.

Related: What Content Creators Should Know About WCAG 3.0


2
CARDINAL

. WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

focuses on making navigation and interaction accessible

All of the new criteria in WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

address accessibility issues that affect how people interact with content. The requirements are applicable to both mobile apps and websites — and generally, they’re common-sense suggestions for creating a better user experience.

The new Level A and AA criteria include:

Success Criterion (

SC
ORG

)

2.4.1
CARDINAL

, “

Focus Not Obscured
WORK_OF_ART

,” which requires that when an item gets keyboard focus, that focus is at least partially visible.

which requires that when an item gets keyboard focus, that focus is at least partially visible.

SC 2.5.7
ORG

, “

Dragging Movements
WORK_OF_ART

,” which requires that actions that involve dragging can be completed using a simple pointer alternative.

which requires that actions that involve dragging can be completed using a simple pointer alternative.

SC 2.5.8
ORG

, “

Target Size
WORK_OF_ART

,” which sets requirements for pointer target sizes and spacing.

which sets requirements for pointer target sizes and spacing.

SC 3.2.6
ORG

, “

Consistent Help
WORK_OF_ART

,” which requires that help resources appear in the same place across multiple pages.

which requires that help resources appear in the same place across multiple pages. SC

3.3.7
CARDINAL

, “

Redundant Entry
WORK_OF_ART

,” which requires that information previously entered by (or provided to) the user does not need to be reentered by the user later in the process.

which requires that information previously entered by (or provided to) the user does not need to be reentered by the user later in the process. SC 3.3.8, “

Accessible Authentication
WORK_OF_ART

,” which requires alternative mechanisms for login processes.

For additional details about the new success criteria, read: What’s New in WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

: New Success Criteria for

Digital Accessibility
ORG

.

If your website already conforms with WCAG

2.1
CARDINAL

Level A/AA, you don’t need to do too much work to meet WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

Level A/AA. More importantly, the new criteria aren’t a burden — and they can improve experiences for all users.

Related: Why Web Accessibility is Important:

4
CARDINAL

Reasons to Create Accessible Content


3
CARDINAL

. WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

is the

first
ORDINAL

version of WCAG 2 that is not fully backward compatible

WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

removes success criterion (

SC
ORG

)

4.1.1
CARDINAL

, “Parsing,” which requires content that uses markup languages to have complete start and end tags, to next elements appropriately, and to follow other best practices of parsing.

The W3C recognized that this criterion is basically obsolete. Modern user agents can handle incomplete tags, incorrect element nesting, and other parsing issues. That’s required under the HTML standard — and other WCAG criteria address the types of markup issues that actually impact users with disabilities.

If you’re not ready for a deep dive into HTML theory, here’s the important takeaway: WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

is the

first
ORDINAL

(and potentially, the last) version of

WCAG
ORG

to actually remove a success criterion. Previously, each new version of the guidelines contained all of the criteria from earlier versions, word for word.

As such, the decision to remove a criterion is somewhat controversial in the accessibility community. That highlights the challenges that the W3C faces when issuing a new version of WCAG: Creating a universal set of standards that apply to all types of digital content is difficult — and as technology changes,

WCAG
ORG

needs to change, too.

Related:

5
CARDINAL

Quick Ways to Check Your Site Against New WCAG 2.2 Standards


4
CARDINAL

. Content creators should start using WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

immediately

As of

this month
DATE

,

WCAG 2.2
ORG

is an official recommendation. It’s very likely that digital accessibility laws will use WCAG 2.2 as a framework in the near future, and the new criteria benefit the end user — outside of strict compliance considerations, there’s no reason to use an earlier version of

WCAG
ORG

.

At

the Bureau of Internet Accessibility
ORG

, we’re dedicated to building sustainable strategies for digital accessibility. We’ve been preparing for WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

by updating our automated auditing tools and manual testing methods, and we’re excited to help our clients find new ways to improve their content.

If you’re ready to get started, send us a message to connect with an expert. Or, to learn more about WCAG

2.2
CARDINAL

, download our free eBook: Checklist for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.2 A/AA.