Achieving Accessibility: What’s New In WCAG 2.2
With our increasing reliance on the internet for everyday tasks and activities, it’s critical that everyone has equal access to websites and online services. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are designed to help achieve this goal by serving as the fundamental set of standards for web accessibility.
Introduced in 1999, the WCAG is followed by individuals, organizations and governments worldwide. Its guidelines ensure that all web content, including text, images, and sounds, is accessible to people with disabilities and those experiencing changing abilities, such as the elderly.
Over time, WCAG has evolved alongside the internet; it’s now in the third iteration, WCAG 2.1, which was published in 2018. The newest version, WCAG 2.2, is scheduled to be completed and published in 2023. However, a draft is currently available offering a sneak peek of what’s to come.
So what’s new in WCAG 2.2? There appears to be one criterion update, one criterion removal, and nine proposed new criteria. Note that the success criteria cover three levels of conformance: A, AA, and AAA, with Level A as the minimum level and Level AAA as the maximum level (ensuring access to the widest possible audience).
- Success criterion 2.4.7 Focus Visible will return to Level A from Level AA
- Success criterion 4.1.1 Parsing will be removed entirely
- New success criteria in WCAG 2.2 are expected to range from Accessible Authentication to Target Size.
- Success criterion 2.4.11 Focus Not Obscured (Minimum) (AA)
- Success criterion 2.4.12 Focus Not Obscured (Enhanced) (AAA)
- Success criterion 2.4.13 Focus Appearance (AAA)
- Success criterion 2.5.7 Dragging Movements (AA)
- Success criterion 2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum)
- Success criterion 3.2.6 Consistent Help (A)
- Success criterion 3.3.7 Redundant Entry (A)
Success criterion 3.3.9 Accessible Authentication (Enhanced) (AAA)
Keep Practicing POUR
Like previous WCAG versions, the POUR principles of accessibility (Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust) will still underpin digital content creation:
Your website visitors must be able to perceive the information being presented to them.
Your website visitors must be able to operate the interface.
Your website visitors must be able to understand the information being presented to them.
Your website content must be robust enough that it can be reliably interpreted by a wide variety of assistive technologies, including screen readers.
Learn more about the POUR principles and achieving ADA compliance in this Rhythm article.
Stay Tuned For WCAG 3
Believe it or not, WCAG 3 is already in the works, although its guidelines are not expected to be released for many years. That said, you can influence future accessibility standards now by joining a working group or task force.
Need Help With ADA Compliance?
The impending update to WCAG 2.2 brings important changes and enhancements to the existing accessibility guidelines. It’s crucial for developers and organizations to stay informed about these updates and ensure compliance with the new success criteria. By embracing accessibility, we can build a web that is truly inclusive and welcoming to all.
That being said, keeping your website in compliance can be tricky. But you don’t have to do it alone. Rhythm works with many brands to ensure their websites provide better experiences for those with disabilities. Ready to join them? We can provide a detailed report of all known issues that require fixing in order to reach ADA compliance. So let’s talk!