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.

WCAG 2.2 is now officially released and there are 6 success criteria that fall under AA conformance (and 3 for AAA).

Although this marks a new version of WCAG, it is not a major update as there are only 6 additionally success criteria to add to our WCAG 2.1 AA checklist.

What’s new in WCAG 2.2?

As mentioned, six additional success criteria will be released under conformance level AA.

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

  • 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 Redundant Entry (A)
  • 3.3.8 Accessible Authentication (Minimum) (AA)

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 (55*)

*4.1.1 Parsing is removed in 2.2 (even though WCAG was supposed to be backwards compatible).

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 6 more success criteria and removes one to the 50 in 2.1 AA.

Success Criteria Summary

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

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 or touches 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 authoritative 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 next few years.