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WCAG 2.1: The final list of candidate Success Criteria is here
What's new and how to submit comments

After 4 years of work, much reasearch, and public input, we've finalized our list of Success Criteria to consider for WCAG 2.1. That does not mean some of these won't get changed, moved to a difference level (A, AA, AA) or dropped before Candidate Recommendation at the end of 2017. But we will not be reviewing any more Success Criteria for WCAG 2.1. There are 24 Success Criteria proposals and a new conformance reporting proposal.

  • 6 SCs at Level A
  • 13 SCs at AA
  • 5 SCs at AAA

Breaking these up by Task Forces:

  • Cognitive Task Force (7 New SC Proposals)
    • 1 Level A,
    • 4 Level AA
    • 1 Level AAA
  • Low Vision Task Force (7 New SC Proposals)
    • 5 Level AA
    • 2 Level AAA
  • Mobile Task Force (10 New Proposals)
    • 5 Level A
    • 4 Level AA
    • 1 Level AAA
    • Mobile conformance clarification that conformance is required at each breakpoint
  • ADOHOC SC: 1 at level AAA
  • ePub Task Force: 1 conformance addition

NOTE: the latest draft is Aug 16, 2017, Public Working Draft (FPWD) of WCAG 2.1.

New Success Criteria in WCAG 2.1

Below are the proposed new Success Criteria summarized in plain language. Note: The 63 Success Criteria from WCAG 2.0 are grandfathered into WCAG 2.1. There may be consolidation in later drafts.

Short Name

Plain language summary of requirements

Who does it help and how? Issue SC # Lvl
Purpose of Controls

Ensures common names are provided in meta data or in the ACCNAME, ACCDESCRIPTION etc. (not limiting which scheme to use or which attributes to use) for common interactive elements, so that assistive technology can identify them, customise them, add icons or symbols, and present them to cognitive users.

(With exceptions)

Users with cognitive disabilities, low vision and others who need to personalize the interface, either to simplify it, or another change. 6 In next draft early Sept AA
Contextual Information Anticipates the release of Cognitive metadata that will be used by assisitve technology to personalize, and simplify user interfaces, so that assistive technology can identify them, customise them, add icons or symbols, and present them to cognitive users. Users with cognitive disabilities, low vision and others who need to personalize the interface, either to simplify it, or another change. 6 1.3.4 AAA
Zoom content

Increases zoom requirements to 400% without horizontal scroll. Usually by browser zoom. Basically requires Responsive design (or a few tricks to get zoom to work)

(With exceptions)

Users with low vision who need to make things larger. 77 1.4.10 AA
Graphic Contrast (Minimum)

Extends 4.5:1 and 3:1 contrast minimums to important graphical information.

(With exceptions)

Users with low vision and cognitive disabilities need help seeing or perceiving information in graphics. 9 1.4.11 AA
User Interface Component Contrast (Minimum)

Extends contrast minimums to visible focus indicators and other interactive controls.

(With exceptions)

Users with low vision and cognitive disabilities who need help seeing or perceiving interactive components. 10 1.4.12 AA
Adapting Text

Requires author not to interfere with user style sheets and other CSS based client side interventions.

Users with low vision or cognitive disabilities who need to override the font, line spacing, paragraph spacing, color scheme etc. 78 1.4.13 AA

Printing

Requires that the page the way it looks on the screen without glitches and overlaps.

Users with low vision who need the print output to be larger. 76

Pending CFC formal approval

AAA
Content on Hover or Focus

(was Popup Interference)

Requires hover effects like custom tooltips etc, not to obscure the trigger that activated them, and helps users move into the hover box without having it close on them.

Users with low vision who need to work without hover behavior obscuring content.

 

75 1.4.14 AA
Timeouts

Requires authors to not use timeouts or save data to repopulate forms after timeout.

(With exceptions)

Users with low vision and cognitive disabilities get extra time. 14 In next draft early Sept AAA
Interruptions (minimum)

Requires a mechanism to suppress or postpone interruptions and changes in content.

(With exceptions)

Users with cognitive disabilities who need to work without interruptions. 47 2.2.6 AA
Accessible Authentication

Authentication does not rely on memorization.

(With exceptions)

For cognitive users who have trouble with memorization

23 2.2.7 A
Animation from interactions

Requires authors not to use motion as a result of a user clicking (or activating) something, or provide a way to turn it off. Addresses parallax scrolling and CSS animations etc.

Users with vestibular disabilities (motion sickness) and those with cognitive disabilities who need to use the site without being triggered. 18

Pending CFC formal approval

AAA
Character key shortcuts

Requires authors to not use single key shortcuts, or provide a way to turn them off or change them.

Shortcut keys that have a combination of keys are much less likely to be triggered this way.

Users of speech technology. (e.g., If the site hijacks "p" key for shortcut, when the user dictates words such as "happy" the shortcut can be triggered.)

69 2.4.11 A
Target Size Ensures buttons, links and other interactive elements is 44x44px, with a list of exceptions for inline links, lists of links, in page links etc.. Helps those with dexterity disabilities hit the target. 60 2.5.1 AA
Target Size (no exceptions) Same as above, removes exceptions Helps those with dexterity disabilities hit the target. 60 2.5.2 AAA
Pointer gestures Requires authors to ensure the user can perform touch functions with assistive technology or one finger. Users with dexterity disabilities, those who are blind or have other disabilities that interfere with the use of timed gestures, multi finger, or complex gestures. They can use simple pointer events. 61 In next draft early Sept A
Orientation

Requires authors not to rely on a screen orientation.

(With exceptions)

Users who have their device mounted, or who cannot change orientation can still use the site even though they have a fixed orientation. 70 2.6.1 AA
Device Sensors Provide another way to get Device sensors info. Users who have their device mounted, or who cannot shake or tilt the device, can still use the site. 67

Pending CFC formal approval

A
Accessible Name

Requires any visible label that is not the accessible name to be part of the string that makes up the accessible name.

An example, speech users say "click Go" if they see a button with the word "go" visually on it. If the button has an aria-label="submit" then that command will do nothing, and because the accessible name is not visible, the speech user wouldn't know what to say to press it.

But if the word "go" was part of the string in the ACCNAME, (i.e, aria-label="Go, Submit" then saying "Click Go" would activate the button. 68 2.7.1 A
Accidental Activation

Requires authors to use up-event triggering (which is standard) on interactive components.

(With exceptions)

Users with dexterity disabilities who miss the target. It ensures the target is not triggered on touch down, but rather on touch up allowing them to move their finger away from the wrong target if they miss. 65 3.2.6 A
Change of content

Requires authors to use aria-live or another way to notify AT users when something on the page changes.

(With exceptions)

Users of AT who can't see changes or have trouble perceiving changes on a page, such as shopping cart updates. Their AT will announce a short phrase about new content added to the page. 2 3.2.7 AA
Undo Requires authors to provide a way to undo actions and go to previous steps in a process without loss of data. Users with cognitive and other disabilities who have a tendency to make errors on input. 38

3.3.8

Pending CFC formal approval

AAA

 

Other changes include:

  • Clarification that page conformance requires each break point to conform, to remind stakeholders that mobile content needs to conform also.
  • Addition to Optional Components of a Conformance Claim to include metadata about the accessibility features and level of accessibility of the document. This will help users with disabilities identify accessible ePub books online, and give search engines tools to find accessible content.

How to comment?

Click a link to a Success Criterion in the table and ask yourself the following:

  • Is it testable by expert human evaluation or automation?
  • Is it implementable across technologies (or are exceptions sufficient)?
  • Is it scalable across human languages?
  • Could your organization implement 2.1? Why or why not?
  • If not, do you have suggestions to improve it?

To comment, open a new issue on Github.

 

Feel free to comment on this article on Twitter @davidmacd

Author information:

David MacDonald is a 15 year WCAG veteran and co-editor of Using WAI ARIA in HTML5. Opinions are my own.




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