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The phrase "passion led us here" on the ground.

A brief history of WCAG

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the industry standard for website accessibility. Following WCAG principles, which were developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is the best and simplest approach to make your website accessible to all of your consumers.

Many governments and healthcare institutions are required by law to follow these guidelines. Being WCAG compliant is not required for a virtual, private, or high-street company. Following this guideline ensures that your website and online booking page are accessible to as many people as possible.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 First Public Working Draft was released by the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG WG) in early 2020. This working draught includes the prospective success criteria that were examined during the creation of WCAG 2.1 but were not included in the 2.1 guidelines owing to a lack of time to construct the criteria and the necessity for other standards to mature before they were incorporated.

The new WCAG 2.2 success criteria are expressed as testable assertions rather than being technology-specific.

The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group's objective is to provide guidelines for making web technology implementations accessible to persons with impairments, as well as to create and maintain implementation support resources. Now we're being introduced to WCAG 2.2. success criterion.

Now, with so many people working online, it's more important than ever that online content be accessible to all users, including those with impairments. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) issued a draught of the newest version to its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.2 earlier this year to assist achieve that aim (WCAG 2.2).

WCAG 2.2 improves on the previous version, WCAG 2.1, by providing better accessibility recommendations for people with cognitive and learning disabilities, people with impaired eyesight, and those who use mobile devices.

What's new in the WCAG 2.2 success criteria?

WCAG 2.2 is backwards compatible, adding nine additional, new success criteria to the previous rules. Eight of these are at A and AA level; so if you're seeking Level AA like a lot of companies, you'll want to pay attention.

2.4.13 Page Break Navigation (A)

Those with visual impairments who depend on electronic media will benefit from this new guidance. The requirement states that established reference points in a physical publication, such as page numbers, must likewise be present in the electronic version.

As an example, if a teacher instructs students to read a passage on page 88 of a book, page 88 in the digital version must correspond to page 88 in the physical book, so users may quickly go to the relevant page in the e-publication.

3.2.6 Consistent Assistance (A)

This criterion suggests a number of methods for making it simpler for all users to receive assistance on a website. FAQs or a phone number, for example, should be easily accessible.

3.3.7 Authentication that is easily accessible (A)

If a cognitive function test is used in an authentication procedure, at least one additional authentication technique that does not use a cognitive function test must be accessible.

If entering into an account needs a username (which necessitates the cognitive function of remembering a username), alternative non-cognitive log-in mechanisms, such as biometric sensing, must be offered as well.

3.3.8 Duplicate Entry (A)

In a multi-step procedure, the W3C states that the user should not be required to recollect or re-enter previously given information, which would be challenging for a user with cognitive or memory issues.

If a user has previously provided their billing information, an option to validate that the delivery address is the same should be available.

2.4.11 Minimum Focus Appearance (AA)

This criterion applies to the keyboard focus indicator, which provides a visual representation of where someone is on a website. The criteria specifies the minimal degree of visibility that should be used to guarantee that the focus indicator is visible to users.

2.5.7 Dragging Movements (AA)

This criterion is intended to increase accessibility for users who are unable to correctly execute an on-screen dragging movement action, or who depend on assistive technology that does not allow for dragging, such as an eye-gaze system. The user must have access to an alternate system, according to the requirement.

For example, if dragging enables you to move about inside a map, the map must also allow you to navigate around using other ways, such as arrows.

2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum)

The portion of the display that will receive a pointer action, such as a mouse click or a touch on a touchscreen, is referred to as a target. "Buy now" buttons and links are examples of objectives.

This requirement stipulates a particular amount of space between targets so that users may easily engage one without mistakenly triggering another.

3.2.7 Controls that are visible (AA)

The W3C advises that controls that are required to finish or advance a process be accessible at the moment they are required, without the user needing to hover a pointer over them or interact with them in any other way. One way to achieve this condition is to keep the controls visible all of the time.

2.4.12 Enhanced Focus Appearance (AAA)

This criterion builds on the previous criterion by adding additional standards to guarantee that the keyboard focus indicator is visible at all times.

Why should businesses comply with WCAG 2.2 success criteria now?

Many organisations worldwide are now legally required to offer digital accessibility.

Apart from the legal repercussions of failing to maintain an accessible website, businesses lose out on market share. This is particularly true in the COVID-19 era when an increasing number of people are depending on digital services to acquire the help they need.

As the demands rise, corporations must comply with the law or risk severe risk and the loss of commercial opportunities.

Although WCAG 2.0 success criteria are a W3C recommendation, organisations should start using WCAG 2.2 criteria today, both ensuring their efforts remain future-proof and to better support the needs of their varied users.

Why should you comply?

You've undoubtedly realised that adhering to the new rules — as well as all of the previous WCAG guidelines — requires a great deal of technical precision.

Furthermore, the standards are always changing. The W3C team is already working on WCAG 3.0 success criteria. This will be a substantial overhaul of the accessibility rules and is set to be released in November 2022.

Many companies struggle to achieve a basic level of compliance due to the technical and resource hurdles of maintaining up to date with new success criteria requirements, limiting the effectiveness of their websites. We assist our clients in achieving an inclusive and great user experience for everyone. At Code Enigma, we're supporters of web accessibility for all.

Talk to us about an initial accessibility audit.