How to improve web accessibility with WCAG 2.2 guidelines

(14th March) - Emma Fegan, Content Marketing Specialist

Improving web accessibility is crucial for businesses to ensure that all users can easily access and interact with their digital content. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide a framework to achieve this goal, with the latest update, WCAG 2.2, introducing new standards to further enhance accessibility. 

In our previous blog, we delved into the WCAG 2.1 guidelines, exploring the fundamentals of web accessibility and the importance of adhering to WCAG standards. Organizations that have adopted WCAG 2.1 are encouraged to integrate the new guidelines from WCAG 2.2 to enhance accessibility further.

What is WCAG 2.2?

WCAG 2.2 enhances web accessibility for diverse user groups, including those with cognitive or learning disabilities, low vision, and users on mobile devices - which represent about 1 billion people around the world. 

Published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), WCAG 2.2 builds upon its predecessor, WCAG 2.1, with additional success criteria and guidelines. These criteria are categorized into three levels: A, AA, and AAA, indicating the level of compliance and accessibility achieved. While WCAG 2.1 remains relevant, adopting WCAG 2.2 ensures improved accessibility and anticipates future policy changes.

Key features of WCAG 2.2 and how to follow them: 

  1. Enhanced focus management:
    - Ensure that while navigating with the keyboard, all interface elements remain visible and aren't covered by other content.
    - Make sure that nothing disappears or is hidden behind other parts of the page when interacting with it.
  2. Improved pointer interactions:
    - Simplify mouse interactions by reducing the need for dragging items around. For example, instead of requiring users to drag sliders to adjust settings, include input fields where users can directly add the desired value or amount. 
    - Buttons, links, and other interactive elements should be big enough to click on without accidentally clicking on something else nearby. The recommended minimum size is at least 24 by 24 CSS pixels.
  3. Consistency in user assistance:
    -‘Help’ buttons or options on your website, like contact information or self-help tools, should be consistent and appear in the same order on every page. 
    - By ensuring this is clearly visible at all times means that users can easily locate and access assistance whenever needed.
  4. Streamlined authentication:
    - Simplify the login and verification process, minimizing reliance on tasks like remembering passwords or completing puzzles.
    - Users should be able to access secure areas of your website without unnecessary complexity.

How ReachDeck can help:

At Texthelp, we're committed to empowering organizations to achieve accessibility goals through our ReachDeck product, simplifying the journey towards WCAG compliance, going beyond the basic requirements.

  • Enhanced accessibility auditing: The ReachDeck Auditor identifies WCAG compliance errors at levels A, AA, and AAA. It scans URLs quickly and at scale, providing you with downloadable reports to prioritize improvements.
  • Improved content readability: Our ReachDeck Editor helps improve content quality and accessibility. It identifies readability errors such as high reading age and lengthy sentences, aligning with WCAG's aim to keep content clear and concise.
  • Accessible website features: The ReachDeck Toolbar allows visitors to personalize their content with features like text-to-speech and translation, enhancing inclusivity and meeting WCAG's emphasis on providing alternative ways to access content.

What’s next with WCAG?

While WCAG 2.2 represents the latest advancements, the journey towards digital inclusion continues. Looking ahead, WCAG 3.0 (project "Silver") aims to provide a more inclusive and understandable set of guidelines. Texthelp remains dedicated to supporting organizations in their accessibility efforts, offering comprehensive digital inclusion solutions.

Gain more insights...

Organizations should aim to meet WCAG Level AA standard. And that’s what we recommend, as a minimum. Explore our guide to understanding WCAG guidelines at every level and discover best practices to enhance your website's accessibility effortlessly.