What's new in WCAG 2.2?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 have been released. But what does that mean for you and your organisation? What’s changed and how can you make sure you’re meeting the new requirements?

Delve into the core changes and discover how to meet the new requirements with our expert accessibility and usability consultants, Alice Taylor and Claire Poste.

In this webinar, Alice and Claire went through the new criteria, shared helpful tips on understanding them, as well as illustrating how WCAG 2.2 impacts you and your customers.
Graphic of a person outline in a circle. Text: WCAG 2.2

In this webinar we covered:

  • A brief overview of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), what’s changed in WCAG 2.2 and why
  • Who the new success criteria impact and some examples of failure and conformance
  • What’s next for WCAG and accessibility

Download a text transcript of 'What's new in WCAG 2.2'

Download a copy of the slides from 'What's new in WCAG 2.2' webinar

Upcoming WCAG 2.2 training

Learn more about WCAG 2.2 in our online training course. The training will include demonstrations of the tools and techniques available to test your content for compliance and provide an opportunity to ask questions about the standars and how they will impact your work or the content you produce. 

Who will benefit from this recording?

The session is aimed at anyone who would like to learn about WCAG 2.2, including managers, designers, developers, testers, or anyone passionate about digital accessibility and inclusion. The resources shared can be used to help anyone in your organisation.

Meet the panellists

Alice Taylor, Principal Accessibility Consultant Team Leader at AbilityNetAlice Taylor smiling at the camera

Alice Taylor joined AbilityNet after spending five years working as a Front End Developer in a range of digital agencies.

As a senior accessibility consultant in our Accessibility Services Team, Alice provides in-depth auditing of web/mobile websites and applications and carries out design, wireframe and specialist assistive technology reviews, for a wide range of clients across the public and private sectors.

Claire Poste, Senior Accessibility Consultant at AbilityNetClaire Poste, smiling at the camera

Claire Poste joined AbilityNet with a background in publishing, online education and digital accessibility, having most recently worked as an Accessibility Specialist for BT.

As a Senior Accessibility Specialist in our Accessibility Services Team, Claire carries out audits and reviews of websites and apps, as well as providing training and consultancy on a variety of accessibility topics to a wide range of clients across the public and private sectors.

Q&A

This webinar lasted 60 minutes and included an opportunity to pose questions to the guests. The panel was able to answer many questions from attendees during the live session, which you can find by watching the webinar playback or accessing the transcript. 

General WCAG questions

Q: What is Parsing?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: Please see the WCAG Understanding SC 4.1.1 page for more information. Or you can read our blog article on WCAG 2.2.

Q: Had no idea WCAG was going to be completely renamed, any idea why they're changing it to W3C Accessibility Guidelines instead? Will this be abbreviated like WCAG? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: This is to reflect that the WCAG 3 standard will cover a lot more than just web content. They will still be abbreviated to WCAG. 

Q: How will WCAG 2.2 affect PSBAR? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: As of October 2023, PSBAR (the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018) now requires that affected websites and apps meet WCAG 2.2 level AA. However, the Government Digital Service will continue monitoring accessibility of relevant websites and apps to  WCAG 2.1, level AA until October 2024. From October 2024 GDS will start to monitor accessibility of relevant websites and apps to WCAG 2.2, level AA. 
 

2.4.11 – Focus Not Obscured (Minimum) (AA) 

Q: Is the 2.4.11 only for keyboard focus? Or also includes click focus? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: The criterion specifies only “the keyboard focus. 

Q: Can this criteria be tested by automation or via human audit? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: At present it would require a human audit to test this criterion. 

Q: Is the Focus Not Obscured (Minimum) Success Criteria only in scope for content displayed automatically by the website? For example, the cookie dialog is shown automatically when the page first loads. Or is it still in scope for content that can be opened and closed by the user, like the chat window, if it remains open and it's possible to focus on items behind it?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: It is in scope for everything, but there is an exemption for user-opened content that can be closed/moved out of the way without moving the keyboard focus, for example by using the Esc key or the arrow keys. Have a look at the user-opened content section on W3 website.
 

2.5.7 – Dragging Movements (AA) 

Q: Would the google maps example fail this criteria as it doesn't have the options to move left/right with a single pointer?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: Yes, in the official docs for Dragging Movements, an example of conformance is “A map allows users to drag the view of the map around, and the map has up/down/left/right buttons to move the view as well.” 

Q: I am seeing the arrow buttons on the keyboard working to scroll left and right up and down on google maps. does this qualify?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: This would not pass. While this means the user can navigate the map using a Keyboard, the requirement for Dragging Movements is that there is a single pointer alternative. This requirement is separate to the keyboard requirement, and the official docs for Dragging Movements note “While many designs can be created for a dragging alternative which address both keyboard accessibility and operability by single pointer operation, the two requirements should be assessed independently.” 

Q: With a slider component, does tapping / clicking somewhere on the scale (rather than dragging the slider handle) count as a single pointer gesture?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: Yes, in the official docs for Dragging Movements, an example of conformance is “A linear slider control widget, where the value can be set by dragging the visual indicator (thumb) showing the current value, allows tapping or clicking on any point of the slider track to change the value and set the thumb to that position.” 

Q: For the Trello example of dragging and dropping, the alternative is within the card through options. How does that count as a single pointer (which is defined as pointer input that operates with one point of contact with the screen, including single taps and clicks, double-taps and clicks, long presses, and path-based gestures)?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: In the example, each of the steps require a single pointer. In the official docs for Dragging Movements, an example of conformance is “A taskboard that allows users to drag and drop items between columns also provides an additional pop-up menu after tapping or clicking on items for moving the selected element to another column by tapping or clicking on pop-up menu entries.” 

Q: For the map dragging examples, if you can move side to side by using keyboard arrows as an alternative to dragging, does this constitute a pass? I assume not for mobile use?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: There is a difference between a single pointer and a keyboard, they cover different success criteria. Single pointers involve mouse clicks, finger taps, etc. Being about to do something using a keyboard is covered by criterion 2.1.1 Keyboard, which is a different area of accessibility.
 

2.5.8 – Target Size (Minimum) (AA) 

Q: Are there any methods to test target size for native mobile apps you’re aware of (specifically for iOS)? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: The Accessibility Scanner on Android has a Touch target testing tool in it. Details can be found on Android accessibility help: Touch target size. Unfortunately at the moment we’re not aware of any similar testing tool for iOS. 

Q: Why CSS pixel? What's the difference between that and a regular pixel? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: This is to clarify between CSS resolution and screen resolution. A CSS pixel is an absolute unit of measurement, which is roughly the same across all device screens. The screen resolution (made up of device pixels) will be different dependent on the device. So using CSS pixels gives a standard unit of measurement to follow no matter which device your target may be displayed on. 

Q: 24px x 24px on links - if your link text is very short what do you do? How many is 24px - how many letters is the minimum? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: This very much depends on the font size of your text. If your link text is very short you could ensure compliance by adding padding or margin around the link itself (to meet the spacing recommendation) or seeing if one of the other exemptions is relevant. 

Q: For 2.5.8 - target size AA, is there a maximum limit to the size? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: There is no maximum limit, just a minimum.

Q:Regarding Target size AA (2.5.8) - What about custom radio buttons/ checkboxes?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: Any custom buttons, checkboxes, etc. would need to meet the criterion.

Q: Does the target size minimum criteria include internal as well as external URLs?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: Yes, anything that would be on "a website" internal or external is covered by WCAG.
 

3.3.7 – Redundant Entry (A) 

Q: For redundant entry - does this just apply to same session, or does it also apply when, for example I am logged into a site and the the company already knows my info as I have provided it in a previous session? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: This only applies to the “same process” where you have entered information and are then required to enter that information again. You can see example definitions of “process” on the W3C website. 

Q: If one has multiple forms *on different pages*, does this apply? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: If they are part of the same “process” and require the same information to be entered, then yes. 

Q: Will 3.3.7 be required for job application sites? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: If they meet the definitions provided for being in the same process, then yes, if the site is to conform to WCAG 2.2. 

Q: What methods can we use for Redundant Entry without the use of cookies which people can switch off? Especially if we need to comply without someone returning to a form later that was not saved? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: You can see example techniques which meet Redundant Entry on the W3C site. “This Success Criterion does not add a requirement to store information between sessions. A process is defined on the basis of an activity and is not applicable when a user returns after closing a session or navigating away.” – from the Understanding SC 3.3.7 page on the W3C website
 

3.3.8 – Accessible Authentication (Minimum) (AA) 

Q: In case of accessible authentication, if you have a pin field which has separate characters, should you be able to paste entire pin into first field and all subsequent fields are also populated, or is ability to paste individual character of pin into each field sufficient to pass (accept this would be poor user experience but would it comply? 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: The requirement is that the user is able to copy and paste, to avoid transcription. In the official docs it notes that “Blocking people from pasting into authentication fields, or using a different format between the copied text and the input field (for example, "Enter the 3rd, 4th, and 6th character of your password"), would force the user to transcribe information and therefore fail this criterion, unless another method is available.” 

Q: Since people with disabilites are more often affected by phishing and poor security how can you make sure Authentication has high security standards?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: We are unable to advise on security considerations, the examples given reflect the requirements of the Accessible Authentication success criteria only. 

Q: Would object recognition be secure on its own as an alternative to confirm identity? Usually used to confirm humanity. 

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: Unfortunately we can't advise on security, we can only advise on the accessibility of authentication.

Q: Would object recognition not be inaccessible for those with sight impairments?

Claire and Alice from AbilityNet: Potentially but that would fail other success criteria, rather than accessible authentication. The best practice would be to have a range of options for authentication.
 

Useful links

Date of webinar: 
31 Jan 2024 - 13:00