New criteria introduced in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.2

What does it try to improve?

The revision 2.2 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) aims to build on the same pillars version 2.1 did:

In order to achieve that, it introduced 9 new criteria.

The list of new criteria in WCAG 2.2

First thoughts

Regarding 2.4.13 Focus Appearance (AAA)

I'm wondering if my least favourite focus state, the one from the Material UI (MUI) Button, would pass this new criteria. I don't think so, and I find that focus state terrible :). I really do hope the gods are listening and amend this.

A bit disappointed by 2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum) (AA)

Fighting for minimum targets has been tough since the beginning of time. Up until now we had 2.5.5 Target Size (Enhanced) (AAA) which guaranteed 44 by 44 pixels for a target. The introduction of a so-called "minimum" criterion to me sounds like the perfect excuse for people to continue to make tiny user interfaces that I can barely type with my average sized hands and no motor problems. But now they have the WCAG "law" protecting them.

Hooray for 3.3.7 Redundant Entry (A)

This is something that should not even be part of the web accessibility guidelines. No user should have to re-introduce the same information several times, period.

Targetting robots should not come at the cost of humans. 3.3.9 Accessible Authentication (Enhanced)

Just quoting the guidelines here:

A cognitive function test (such as remembering a password or solving a puzzle) is not required for any step in an authentication process unless that step provides at least one of the following:

  • Alternative

    Another authentication method that does not rely on a cognitive function test.

  • Mechanism

    A mechanism is available to assist the user in completing the cognitive function test.

—WCAG 2.2, 3.3.9 Accessible Authentication (Enhanced)

Adding considerations for privacy and security

While no new criteria has been added for privacy or security, some of the existing ones have been categorized as related to those aspects. You can read about the ones regarding privacy and the ones connected to security.

I find this amazing, since these two aspects are very important to me and sometimes I felt like web accessibility came at the expense of those. So it's great that we can start talking about web accessibility without undermining such fundamental topics in our ever-increasing digital life.

Hungry for more?

The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is working on a major update to our beloved accessibility guidelines that will substantially change and restructure them. However, since this is a considerably bigger effort, minor revisions are likely to still come for version 2 in the meantime.

Need resources for auditing your project?

You can use WebAIM's checklist to verify you're providing an accessible experience on your site following the latest guidelines, or refer to the ARIA Authoring Practices Guide (APG) if you need to implement a custom component and want to make sure it's accessible.