WCAG 2.1: The final list of candidate Success Criteria is here
What's new and how to submit commentss. Comments requested by 10 October 2017.
After 4 years of work, much research 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 different level (A, AA, AAA) 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 21 Success Criteria proposals (17 for those meeting AA) and a new conformance reporting proposal. Here's the breakdown and the links:
- 6 SCs at Level A
- 11 SCs at AA
- 4 SCs at AAA
Breaking these up by Task Forces:
- Cognitive Task Force (5 New SC Proposals)
- 1 Level AA,
- 2 Level AA
- 2 Level AAA
- Low Vision Task Force (5 New SC Proposals)
- 5 Level AA
- 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
- AD HOC: 1 level AAA
- ePub Task Force: 1 conformance addition
NOTE: the latest draft is W3C Working Draft Sept 12, 2017 of WCAG 2.1
Working Group will work to optimize the structure of the WCAG 2.1 requirements. To support this work, the Working Group requests wide review of this draft as soon as possible.
The Working Group plans to publish another Working Draft in November that incorporates the above work plus addresses remaining public comments received on this and earlier drafts. Addressing comments will become more difficult at that stage, as the group plans to begin implementation testing with a goal to finalize WCAG 2.1 as a W3C Recommendation by mid 2018, so comments on this draft are critical. Comments are requested by 10 October 2017.
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.
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.
|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||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||1.3.5||AAA|
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)
|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.
|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.
|Users with low vision and cognitive disabilities who need help seeing or perceiving interactive components.||10||1.4.12||AA|
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|
|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.
Authentication does not rely on memorization.
For cognitive users who have trouble with memorization
Requires a mechanism to suppress or postpone interruptions and changes in content.
|Users with cognitive disabilities who need to work without interruptions.||47||2.2.7||AA|
Requires authors to not use timeouts or save data to repopulate forms after timeout.
|Users with low vision and cognitive disabilities get extra time.||14||2.2.8||AAA|
|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||
|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.)
|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||2.5.1||A|
|Concurrent Input Mechanisms||
Ensures authors don't interfere with the way a user is accessing content. For instance don't disable mouse interaction is a user has a touch screen.
It doesn't require authors to do anything extra, just ensures they don't actively disable input modalities.
|Users who need a variety of ways to input due to repetitive strain, or are limited to one less common input way to interact with the computer.||64||2.5.2||AA|
|Target Size||Ensures buttons, links and other interactive elements are 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||2.5.3||AA|
|Target Size (no exceptions)||Same as above, removes exceptions||Helps those with dexterity disabilities hit the target.||60||2.5.4||AAA|
|Device Sensors||Will require functionality from shaking, tilting etc., also be usable with interface components.||People who have a mounted device, or who cannot shake or tilt a device||67||2.6.1||A|
Requires authors not to rely on a screen orientation.
|Users who have their device mounted, or who cannot change orientation can still use the site even though they have a fixed orientation.||70||2.6.2||AA|
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|
Requires authors to use up-event triggering (which is standard) on interactive components.
|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.
|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|
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.
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to comment on this article on Twitter @davidmacd
David MacDonald is a 15 year WCAG veteran and co-editor of Using WAI ARIA. Opinions are my own.
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