The WCAG 2.2 was released by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on October 5, 2023.  WCAG 2.2, in common with earlier versions, aims to make digital content accessible to disabled people by providing a set of accessibility guidelines and associated techniques.

By following the guidelines, digital content creators can make their content more accessible to disabled users. Adhering to the guidelines also ensures publishers have a larger potential audience for their content.

Updates from WCAG 2.1. to WCAG 2.2. put a focus on ensuring accessible navigation and interaction for mobile apps and websites.

A summary of the changes from WCAG 2.1:

  • Added two new Level A success criteria.
  • Added four new Level AA success criteria.
  • Added three new Level AAA success criteria.
  • Removed one success criteria.

The parsing requirement has been removed from WCAG 2.2

WCAG 2.2 removes the parsing success criterion that required markup to follow parsing best practices. For example, failing to nest elements appropriately used to be a WCAG checkpoint fail. User agents are more sophisticated now and can deal with simple syntax errors in markup.

Apart from these changes, the remaining criteria are mostly identical to WCAG 2.1.

Here are the new Level A and AA criteria:

  • Success Criterion (SC) 2.4.11, Focus Not Obscured, when an item gets keyboard focus, that focus should not be entirely covered or hidden by other page content. (Level AA)
  • SC 2.5.7, Dragging Movements, actions that involve dragging can also be completed without dragging, by using a single pointer. (Level AA)
  • SC 2.5.8, Target Size, input target sizes should be at least 24 by 24 pixels unless the action can be achieved in another way, the target can be modified, the target is not a list or sentence or there is no a similar-sized target interfering nearby. (Level AA)
  • SC 3.2.6, Consistent Help, help details and/or functionality always appear in the same place on all pages. (Level A)
  • SC 3.3.7, Redundant Entry, information previously entered should not need to be re-entered by the user later. (Level A)

Websites already compliant with WCAG 2.1 will need to do very little to comply with WCAG 2.2.

The new guidelines and equality laws

Digital accessibility-related laws are expected to adopt WCAG 2.2 as the de facto way to measure whether digital content can be considered accessible to disabled people or not – and by extension, whether they meet equality legislation. However, at the time of this article, WCAG 2.2. has not been adopted by any government as the standard to aim for.

Accessible Website Design and audits - WCAG 2.2 - what's new and what's different from WCAG 2.1

Accessibility auditing and consultancy

I provide comprehensive digital content accessibility consultancy services, including an accessibility auditing of your websites and documents – measured against the WCAG 2.2 standard. Get in touch to ensure your content is accessible to your widest possible audience and meets equality legislation requirements.

Resources relating to the differences between WCAG 2.2 and WCAG 2.1

Further information can be found on the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 website and W3C What’s New in WCAG 2.2 .

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You will learn both the techniques of accessible website design and an entire ‘framework for thinking about the subject’. It will equip you with the skills to understand, identify and fix issues any accessibility issues you come across. Watch the free videos to get a taste of what is on the course. Video image from Web Accessibility Online Training Course - WCAG 2.1 Compliance
Compass because wcag 2.2 is about navigation

Working with non-profits, charities, voluntary and public sector organisations and social enterprises for over 20 years. Jim set up one of the worlds first website accessibility web agencies in the mid 1990s.