WCAG 2.2 vs. 2.1 AA: What’s the Difference?

So how does WCAG 2.2 compare to previous versions?

Well I’m going to look at conformance level AA and when we have 2.0, this is what I call the classic standard.

2.0 is what is published in 2008 and contains 38 different success criteria at conformance level AA.

There are more success criteria but they’re in AAA and we are primarily concerned with AA.

When we get past AA then that’s what we can get into AAA.

2.1 was published in 2018 it added 12 additional success criteria.

The important thing to remember with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is they’re backwards compatible.

So nothing was undone in these original 38, just 12 new were added to it and now 2.2 will be published at some point after this video and there are an additional 7 success criteria in conformance level AA.

So none of your work has been undone.

If you are ready to advance to 2.2, there are seven additional considerations.

And these considerations address motor disabilities, low vision, and cognitive and learning disabilities.

So let’s quickly run through them.

Focus appearance. Basically, what this means is making sure that your focus indicator is more visible, is easier to- it stands out more against the page.

Focus not obscured. This is giving at at no point do you want a user to lose focus because of some let’s say, it’s a pop up or there’s a sticky footer or something like that – at all times focus should be visible.

Dragging movements. This is getting at making sure that there is an alternative to dragging.

If you want to have a box that drags and drops, that’s fine, but there needs to be a way to also drag by just by just using a single pointer movement, so just clicking up arrow or down arrow.

Target size.

This is making sure that targets such as icons are not so small that it’s difficult to click on them, particularly on mobile devices.

So include increasing the target size of your smallest targets.

Consistent help. This is making sure that where help is available it’s available in the same place or similar places throughout your website.

So you want to make sure that if you have a- if you have a chat box it’s available at the same place in a predictable manner as the rest- as the rest of your pages so one page doesn’t have a chat box.

And the other one doesn’t or let the help link for example or support link you know you don’t want to have one footer where there’s a link for support and then another footer on an on a separate page that doesn’t have a link for support.

So the underlying premise here is just that help is consistently available in a predictable manner, same place most and for the most part it’s consistent throughout the website.

Accessible authentication. This is basically making sure that authentication can be accessed in multiple ways and there is not a singular reliance upon, let’s say, remembering a password or solving a solving a puzzle, some type of cognitive puzzle.

There are alternatives to do so or there are ways to assist in accessible ways in assisting so that the puzzle can be solved so basically making sure that authentication that signing in is accessible.

And then the last AA success criteria is redundant entry and so this is making sure that where you are entering in inputs that you have already entered into that there is a way to auto complete that or make it so that you don’t have to re-enter the same information more than once unless it is absolutely necessary.

So that’s the- this is this is what’s new in WCAG 2.2.

Again, it’s just seven more additional success criteria over 2.1.