WCAG 2.2 is the next version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, published 5 October 2023. It includes all of WCAG 2.1, minus 4.1.1 Parsing, plus nine new criteria. Of those, six are in Level A + AA, the most commonly tested combination of levels.
Let's look at how you could meet the new Level A + AA criteria (note: this is just my summary and interpretation, for the official specification and wording, refer to WCAG 2.2):
- Focus Not Obscured (Minimum) (2.4.11, AA): don't obscure the element that has focus (eg with sticky headers/footers or modals)
- Dragging Movements (2.5.7, AA): when some action in your UI requires dragging, ensure the same action can also be performed without dragging (with a “single pointer”). Example: a map that can be dragged to move around, but also offers buttons to move up, down, left and right.
- Target Size (Minimum) (2.5.8, AA): ensure that things you can click (or otherwise “point”, eg using pen, touch etc), are more than the specified minimum size, unless there's enough distance, it's inline or the small size is “essential”
- Consistent Help (3.2.6, A): if your page/app contains help options, they are in the same order across pages (unless user zooms/turns device; these kinds of user-initiated changes are excepted)
- Redundant Entry (3.3.7, A): avoid that users have to enter the same information twice, instead auto-populate or allow previous input to be selected. Some exceptions apply.
- Accessible Authentication (Minimum) (3.3.8, AA): if your auth requires a “cognitive function test” (user has to remember, manipulate or transcribe), offer a way without such a test, or allow for assistance (eg support password managers, don't block copy/paste)
One SC was removed: Parsing (4.1.1). It existed because assistive technologies had to parse HTML, but they no longer do so directly.
Notably, the new SC Focus Appearance (2.4.13), that was initially put in Level AA, is going to be Level AAA. It has requirements for what focus styles look like, regarding contrast, size of the contrasting area and contrast of adjacent colors (this one may be the most tricky and “at risk”, but there's a lot of examples in Understanding Focus Appearance)
An overview of the new criteria, including examples of how they are useful to real people can be found on What's new in WCAG 2.2.
List of updates
- 5 October 2023: WCAG 2.2 comes out today, updated intro to match that.
- 18 September 2023: The post said “Accessible Authentication” was Level A, but it is AA. Updated this (thanks Jules!).
- 18 July 2023: Removed comment on Focus Visible level change (to A) as it was changed back (to AA); renamed and renumbered Accessible Authentication; renumbered Focus Not Obscured; added removal of Parsing.