Nixon Digital

WCAG 2.2 is coming, but what does it mean to you?

The new accessibility standard is expected to arrive in December. What does WCAG 2.2 mean for you?

The WCAG (or web content accessibility guidelines) consists of a set of guidelines that your digital portfolio must meet to be called accessible. For the past 4 years, we’ve all been working with WCAG 2.1, a set of 50 level A and AA success criteria. The update to WCAG 2.2 adds 7 new level A and AA success criteria. In addition, success criterion 2.4.7 Focus visible shifts from level AA to level A. 

New success criteria in WCAG 2.2

  • 2.4.11 Focus appearance (minimum) (AA) 
  • 2.5.7 Dragging movement (AA) 
  • 2.5.8 Target size minimum (formerly Pointer target spacing) (AA) 
  • 3.2.6 Consistent help (formerly Findable help) (A) 
  • 3.3.7 Accessible authentication (A) 
  • 3.3.8 Redundant Entry (A) 

Success criterion 3.2.7 Hidden controls (AA) gives way to the new success criterion 2.4.12 Focus not obscured (AA), a success criterion that describes that visible focus should not be hindered by overlapping content. 

Changing legislation

The temporary government digital accessibility decree is called EN 301 549. This in turn refers to another European ICT standard, indicating that the latest updated version of WCAG is this standard. The documentation of EN 301 549 has yet to be updated to the new version. This is expected to take several months. 

What does this mean for your accessibility study and accessibility statement?

If your organization is part of a government or semi-government, your organization must publish an updated accessibility statement annually stating that the website is accessible to all. This statement is valid for one year. Accessibility survey reports are valid for three years, regardless of whether the new standard is in effect. So there is no need to conduct a new survey immediately after the new standard comes into effect (unless you have made significant changes to your site). So there is no need to worry.

The new success criteria are relevant to your business only when a new survey is needed for a Web site, application or intranet. But it’s well worth doing a new survey beforehand to complete your annual accessibility statement (so you can also claim to meet the new success criteria) and show that digital accessibility is important.