Skip to main content

WCAG 2.2 in language I can understand

First posted in Accessibility; updated 24th July 2023

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

The W3C moved WCAG 2.2 to ‘Proposed Recommendation’ on the 20th of July 2023, and a fair amount changed since I first published this back in February 2022. This document has been updated to reflect those most recent changes.

2.4.11 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.

2.4.12 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.

2.4.13 Focus Appearance

The focus indicators for keyboard users are easy to spot: they are at least 2px thick and have a contrast ratio of 3 to 1 (or higher) against their unfocused state. This used to be a lot more complex.

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 carried out by pressing buttons (‘Move item up’, ‘Move item down’, etc.).

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 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

3.3.8 Accessible Authentication (Minimum)

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

It also allows photo recognition, like CAPTCHAs and user-uploaded picture recognition.

3.3.9 Accessible Authentication (Enhanced)

Almost the same as 3.3.8 Accessible Authentication (Minimum), but CAPTCHAs and user-uploaded pictures can’t be included in the log-in process.

4.1.1 Parsing

This has been removed from the specification.

Accessibility in your inbox

I send an accessibility-centric newsletter on the last day of every month, containing:

  • A roundup of the articles I’ve posted
  • A hot pick from my archives
  • Some interesting posts from around the web

I don’t collect any data on when, where or if people open the emails I send them. Your email will only be used to send you newsletters and will never be passed on. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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.