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WCAG 2.2 in language I can understand

First posted in Accessibility; updated 22nd September 2022

I organised my breakdown of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA using their POUR (Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust) grouping, but since there are only nine criteria in the up-coming version 2.2 I’ll just list them one by one.

Again, that caveat:

  • This is for me, but hopefully it will help you get started understanding the intent of each rule (or ‘success criterion’)
  • It’s not a comprehensive explanation; you’ve got WCAG itself for that:
    • It’s over-simplification in order to get to the essence of each criterion
    • Lots of exceptions have been left out, in order to keep things concise
    • There are very few measurements
  • I haven’t gone into why each criterion is helpful
  • There are very few examples, except where they help keep things brief

Before I dive in, it’s worth mentioning that 2.2 hasn’t quite made it to final release yet, so there’s an outside chance that things could change between now and release. But at this stage, if something were to change, it’s likely to be small tweaks and adjustments rather than anything major.

2.4.11 Focus Appearance

The focus indicators for keyboard users are easy to spot: they have a contrast ratio of 3 to 1 (or higher) with their contents, their surroundings, and also the unfocused state.

There are a couple of ways the indicator can look, but an outline is the simplest.

2.4.12 Focus Not Obscured (Minimum)

When tabbing to a focusable item, the element should be at least partially visible; not completely covered by a ‘sticky’ footer element, for example. This ensures keyboard users can see where the item that currently has focus is.

2.4.13 Focus Not Obscured (Enhanced)

Almost the same as 2.4.12 Focus Not Obscured (Minimum), but the focusable item should be fully visible when it’s tabbed to, so that no scrolling is necessary to bring it into view.

2.5.7 Dragging Movements

An action that is achieved by dragging from one point to another (for example, drag-and-drop for reordering) can also be performed using individual clicks or by pressing buttons.

This is related to 2.1.1 Keyboard and 2.5.1 Pointer Gestures.

2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum)

2.5.5 Target Size has been renamed slightly: 2.5.5 Target Size (Enhanced) and a new Minimum requirement has been added at level AA.

Anything clickable should be at least 24 by 24 pixels, except links within a sentence which will just be the size of the text.

3.2.6 Consistent Help

Some form of help is available from every page, whether contact details, a contact form, a link to a contact page, or a link to help documentation.

3.3.7 Accessible Authentication

If the user is required to log in, they don’t have to remember a password, for example they can:

  • copy and paste a password into the right form field
  • use password manager software to fill out the log-in details automatically
  • have a verification link sent to their email

3.3.8 Accessible Authentication (No Exception)

Almost the same as 3.3.7 Accessible Authentication, but CAPTCHAS can’t be included in the log-in process.

3.3.9 Redundant Entry

If the user as already given some information, it’s either:

  • not asked for again
  • pre-populated in the subsequent field
  • available to select in a dropdown


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More posts

Here are a couple more posts for you to enjoy. If that’s not enough, have a look at the full list.

  1. WCAG AAA in language I can understand

    A follow-up to my post on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, level AA; this time covering the rules that make up the stricter level AAA.

  2. WCAG, but in language I can understand

    An as-close-to-a-single-paragraph-as-I-can-manage summary of each rule in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 2.1, level AA.