2023 Website Accessibility: WCAG 2.2 AA New Success Criteria (vs. 2.1)

man points single finger at phone
One WCAG 2.2 success criterion addresses minimum target size.

The WCAG 2.2 can has been kicked since mid-2022, but at some point between now and early 2023, I’m convinced we will see the WCAG 2.2 working draft become an official release.

What’s new in WCAG 2.2?

Seven additional success criteria will be released under conformance level AA.

Per the W3C, here is the WCAG 2.2 AA checklist:

  • 2.4.11 Focus Appearance (AA)
  • 2.4.12 Focus Not Obscured (Minimum) (AA)
  • 2.5.7 Dragging Movements (AA)
  • 2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum) (AA)
  • 3.2.6 Consistent Help (A)
  • 3.3.7 Accessible Authentication (AA)
  • 3.3.9 Redundant Entry (A)

Read the official 2.2 documentation for full details.

This new version of WCAG addresses accessibility considerations for people with motor disabilities, cognitive and learning disabilities, and low vision.

And, of course, new versions of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are backwards compatible which means nothing is undone with previous versions.

So if you’re working on WCAG 2.0 AA or WCAG 2.1 AA conformance, keep going and get to 2.2 when you can.

As a reminder, here is the success criteria breakdown:

  • WCAG 2.0 AA (38)
  • WCAG 2.1 AA (50)
  • WCAG 2.2 AA (57)

This means 2.1 AA added 12 additional success criteria (or accessibility requirements for conformance) to the 38 in 2.0 AA.

And 2.2 AA adds 7 more success criteria to the 50 in 2.1 AA.

Success Criteria Summary

In a nutshell, here is what the new success criteria accomplish:

Focus appearance ensures that your focus indicator is easy to spot. It needs to have sufficient contrast with the background and be thick enough to stand out.

Focus not obscured requires focus not to be lost behind other content such as a sticky footer.

For example, if you tab through the website, nothing should ever cover up focus.

The dragging success criteria requires that if something is draggable, the same movement can be accomplished by a single point means (e.g., a single mouse click on point A and point B).

Target size makes it so that clickable targets are large enough so that no one clicks on the wrong thing.

Consistent help means that help or support should be located in a predictable and consistent manner throughout a website (e.g., the support link is in the same place on all pages).

Accessible authentication means providing an alternative to remembering passwords and/or performing cognitive tests to login. For example, you can enter your email and click on the link emailed to you to authenticate.

Redundant entry means that you don’t have to re-enter information where you have already done so.

WCAG 2.2 Legally

Be on the lookout for any authoratative incorporation or reference to WCAG 2.2 (e.g., DOJ NPRM for Title II of the ADA, 508 refresh discussion, etc.)

This very well may impact compliance requirements in the near future.

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