WCAG 2.2 AA Guide + Checklist for 2024 Web Accessibility

(Updated for 2024)

WCAG 2.2 is now officially released and there are 6 success criteria that fall under AA conformance (and 3 for AAA).

Although this marks a new version of WCAG, it is not a major update as there are only 6 additionally success criteria to add to our WCAG 2.1 AA checklist.

What’s New in WCAG 2.2?

As mentioned, six additional success criteria will be released under conformance level AA.

Per the W3C, here is the WCAG 2.2 AA checklist:

  • 2.4.12 Focus Not Obscured (Minimum) (AA)
  • 2.5.7 Dragging Movements (AA)
  • 2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum) (AA)
  • 3.2.6 Consistent Help (A)
  • 3.3.7 Redundant Entry (A)
  • 3.3.8 Accessible Authentication (Minimum) (AA)

Read the official 2.2 documentation for full details.

Details

This new version of WCAG addresses accessibility considerations for people with motor disabilities, cognitive and learning disabilities, and low vision.

And, of course, new versions of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are backwards compatible which means nothing is undone with previous versions.

So if you’re working on WCAG 2.0 AA or WCAG 2.1 AA conformance, keep going and get to 2.2 when you can.

As a reminder, here is the success criteria breakdown:

  • WCAG 2.0 AA (38)
  • WCAG 2.1 AA (50)
  • WCAG 2.2 AA (55*)

*4.1.1 Parsing is removed in 2.2 (even though WCAG was supposed to be backwards compatible).

This means 2.1 AA added 12 additional success criteria (or accessibility requirements for conformance) to the 38 in 2.0 AA.

And 2.2 AA adds 6 more success criteria and removes one to the 50 in 2.1 AA.

For Beginners New to WCAG

WCAG is the acronym for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. 2.2 is the latest version for WCAG and the official release is finally here.

Previous versions of WCAG are 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1.

There are three conformance levels no matter what the version: A, AA, AAA.

99.9% of you reading this only need to concern yourself with AA but if you want to strive for an even higher threshold of accessibility, try to incorporate some AAA success criteria.

Each version of WCAG works on top of the previous version so nothing has been undone if you conform to a particular version. Here’s how it works:

WCAG 2.0 AA is comprised of 38 success criteria

WCAG 2.1 AA is 50 (38 + 12 new success criteria)

WCAG 2.2 AA is 55 (49* + 6 new success criteria)

*With 2.2, they actually removed one of the success criterion from 2.1 AA (4.1.1 Parsing) so 2.2 would only be building off 49 success criteria.

Think of success criteria as bullet points you need to check off for accessibility.

WCAG 2.2 AA Checklist

Here is my plain English checklist of the 6 new 2.2 AA success criteria.

You can download my WCAG 2.2 AA Checklist and Guide cheatsheets for free at Accessible.org (no subscription required).

2.4.11: Make sure focus is never completely hidden (e.g., by a sticky footer).

2.5.7: If a dragging movement is required (e.g., when adjusting a slider), provide an alternative means of dragging such as tapping or clicking.

2.5.8: Make sure all interactive targets (e.g., linked icons) take up at least 24x24 CSS pixels of space. This can include white space around the target.

3.2.6: If you make a help option available, make sure it is available consistently, in the same relative place, so it can be easily be located.

3.3.7: If there is a cognitive test to login (e.g., memorizing a username and password or a puzzle), there needs to be an alternative way to authenticate that does not require a cognitive test (e.g., authentication via clicking an emailed link).

3.3.8: When filling out a form, any previously entered information is available through auto-fill or selection. Confirming passwords and abandoned forms are exceptions.

Success Criteria Summary

In a nutshell, here is what the new success criteria accomplish:

Focus not obscured requires focus not to be lost behind other content such as a sticky footer.

For example, if you tab through the website, nothing should ever cover up focus.

The dragging success criteria requires that if something is draggable, the same movement can be accomplished by a single point means (e.g., a single mouse click on point A and point B).

Target size makes it so that clickable targets are large enough so that no one clicks or touches on the wrong thing.

Consistent help means that help or support should be located in a predictable and consistent manner throughout a website (e.g., the support link is in the same place on all pages).

Accessible authentication means providing an alternative to remembering passwords and/or performing cognitive tests to login. For example, you can enter your email and click on the link emailed to you to authenticate.

Redundant entry means that you don’t have to re-enter information where you have already done so.

WCAG 2.2 Legally

Be on the lookout for any authoritative incorporation or reference to WCAG 2.2 (e.g., DOJ NPRM for Title II of the ADA, 508 refresh discussion, etc.)

This very well may impact compliance requirements in the next few years.

WCAG Training

By the way, the WCAG Course is my personal training on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Inside the course you will find modules that organize lessons by WCAG 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2 for conformance level AA.

There are video and text explanations for each success criterion.

Sign up and start learning now at WCAGCourse.com.

You’ve learned about WCAG 2.2 AA in this article, but read about WCAG 2.0 vs. 2.1 to get more context.

Learn about the ADA website compliance legal landscape and services marketplace.

Would you like to certify your website’s accessibility? Read my guide to ADA website compliance certification.

Are you new to ADA compliance and website accessibility? Read my website accessibility for beginners introduction.

Researching VPATs? Read why you should know what an ACR or accessibility conformance report is. My VPAT guide is essential for procurement teams.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is just one of the laws that concerns website accessibility. Read my 504 compliance website and 508 website compliance guides. Companies with employees in Ontario may also be interested in my AODA website compliance requirements explainer.

--

--