By Kimberly Spriggs, Sept. 7, 2022
The New Possibilities Group and Accessiblü teams are proud to be a part of the announced update to the release of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.2. An official public release is set for December 2022. We are excited to be part of a working group of the W3C that assists with testing new WCAG 2 guidelines.
As one of the groups working with the W3C and having an interest in helping to plan and test recommendations for the new WCAG 2.2 guidelines, we are honored to be part of the experts who may begin implementation testing for our clients from now through October 4th, 2022.
For the accessibility community, we have been anticipating this update for some time now. Accessiblü and New Possibilities Group are excited to be able to be some of the first experts trusted with helping to establish this new level of web accessibility criteria. There are some notable new criteria, and you can read more about them at what’s new in WCAG 2.2.
So, get ready to update your site! Website accessibility is getting a makeover and we are a part of ushering it in. Accessibility is a big issue for users with disabilities, a group that includes 26% of American adults, according to the CDC. It’s a big issue for businesses and site owners, too, because if your site is impossible for people to use, no matter the ability, they’ll take their business somewhere else.
“We have great reverence and value for the upcoming finalization of the candidate recommendation WCAG 2.2 standards. WCAG 2.2 Will make content accessible to a wider range of people with physical and cognitive disabilities and benefit those relying upon desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices“ — Rick Flores, Lead Accessibility Auditor, Accessiblü and NPG
Accessiblü and New Possibilities Group – Proactively Working On Our Client’s Behalf
We are excited that some of our clients’ websites in the process of remediation may become examples on how implementing WCAG 2.2 can be done in time for the official release of the new WCAG 2.2 guidelines. We started immediately working on WCAG 2.2 testing for our clients.
“This means we can begin applying the new WCAG 2.2 guidelines to all of our current and upcoming projects. This is a huge bonus for our clients as it will allow them to get a jump on conforming with the new accessibility standards before they become official later this year. This is a welcome – and much needed – update to WCAG. The new 2.2 release includes 9 new criteria from the previous 2.1 version.” — Jeff Rodgers, Accessibility Manager, Accessiblü and NPG
Managing a more accessible site means improving the user experience (UX ) ― for all visitors, not just a user with diverse abilities. WCAG has helped establish protocols to move the internet in the right direction. With the WCAG 2.2 rollout (in December 2022) this will include new criteria, such as:
- Introduction, Timeline, Changes
- Guideline 2.4 Navigable
- 2.4.11 Focus Appearance (AA)
- 2.4.12 Focus Not Obscured (Minimum) (AA)
- 2.4.13 Focus Not Obscured (Enhanced) (AAA)
- Guideline 2.5 Input Modalities
- 2.5.7 Dragging Movements (AA)
- 2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum) (AA)
- Guideline 3.2 Predictable
- 3.2.6 Consistent Help (A)
- Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance
- 3.3.7 Accessible Authentication (AA)
- 3.3.8 Accessible Authentication (No Exception) (AAA)
- 3.3.9 Redundant Entry (A)
How will the new WCAG 2.2 help?
It is noted that several of the new WCAG 2.2 criterion address input assistance and cognitive function tests related to password authentication processes. One criterion (Focus visible) has been moved from Level AA to A which means it is now a minimum requirement for website accessibility as opposed to a recommended one. Anyone with a website and an interest in digital accessibility should familiarize themselves with these new accessibility guidelines and how accessibility technology will be better utilized.
The reason more WCAG guidelines were needed is to clear the air of accessibility question. Enhanced focus for users utilizing specialized tools to engage with a website in order to have a good user journey and experience as the rest of us. As such, not all disabilities are permanent or need special devices, just good design like zooming capabilities, alt+text, labeled headers, or captioning for videos is a good place to start. By establishing more accessibility coding details can hopefully lead to less questions and a better internet for all.
Want a new website that’s accessible and conforms to WCAG 2.2?
A team like Accessiblü and New Possibilities Group offers over 26 years’ experience in digital creation, management, and now paving the way with accessibility design in the last seven years, we can do it all, start to finish. With proper auditing and monitoring capabilities, our team can offer the proper guidance and training your team to take the site forward. We can build it from an agency perspective, while keeping your digital landscapes aesthetically-accessible.
If you’re not up to speed on what’s required and recommended now, start by finding out what every website owner needs to know about ADA compliance and Web Accessibility. You can also find the most comprehensive web accessibility resources, including accessibility fundamentals, at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3) Web Accessibility Initiative.