WCAG 2.1 Now A W3C Recommendation

On 5 June 2018, WCAG 2.1 was published with a Recommendation status, which means it’s stable and ready for implementation. The new guidelines help fill gaps in WCAG 2.0 particularly in the areas of mobile, low vision, and cognitive disabilities.

The new guidelines are backwards compatible with 2.0 as the official W3C announcement by Andrew Kirkpatrick and Michael Cooper explains:

All the criteria from WCAG 2.0 are included in WCAG 2.1, so web sites that conform to WCAG 2.1 will also conform to WCAG 2.0.

Learn more in an upcoming A11Y Talks What’s New with WCAG 2.1 with Carie Fisher and Andrew Macpherson, 27 June 2018.

Summary

Here is a quick list of the new criteria:

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 W3C Recommendation 05 June 2018 W3C
W3C page heading for WCAG 2.1

Further Reading

The Accessibility Interpretation Problem

Some aspects of digital accessibility can be straight-forward. But many are complex and can be subjective, especially when interpreting WCAG 2.0 guidelines. The following tweet is humorous because there’s a strong ring of truth to it—if you ask 10 accessibility specialists you will get 20 different answers.

Inconsistency in accessibility reporting can be a big problem in an organization and its employees. In the white paper A11Y Wars: The Accessibility Interpretation Problem, Glenda Sims (@goodwitch) and Wilco Fiers (@wilcofiers) do a deep dive into this issue. Topics in the paper include:

  • Summary of Findings
  • Causes of Interpretation Problems
  • Causes of WCAG 2.0 Interpretation Differences
  • Accessibility Peace Model
  • Standardization
  • Recommendations

The paper proposes an “Accessibility Peace Model” which helps clearly define the perspective your organization is using for accessibility testing. This will reduce inconsistencies in accessibility testing and reduce the natural tension between the goals of users, designers, developers, testers, trainers, project managers, and executive employees. In turn, this will save much time, hassle, and ultimately lower costs.

The Accessibility Peace Model recognizes that there are different, equally valid, ways to use WCAG 2.0. To get consistent results, organisations should define with what perspective they want their tests to be done. This is by no means the only measure that needs to be taken to ensure consistency, but it does make discussions on interpretations significantly more effective.

If your organization is serious about accessibility, consider reading A11Y Wars: The Accessibility Interpretation Problem.

This white paper was presented by Glenda and Wilco at CSUN 2018 in San Diego, CA, and are also presenting on the topic this week at AccessU 2018 in Austin, TX.

Upcoming Web Accessibility Events, Spring 2018

Here’s a great list of upcoming events relating to web accessibility.

Force Focus Tools

When testing web accessibility, missing visual focus indicators is a “violation” of 2.4.7 Focus Visible. And when it fails, it also makes other checkpoints difficult to test (for sighted testers) such as focus order.

blue ring around the words "words cognitive concerns" in a block of text

To get around this problem, here are a few tools to help force a visual indication of keyboard focus. Keep in mind that sometimes the tool doesn’t work, usually due to extremely poor markup and lack of keyboard access entirely.

Do you know any others?

More on visual focus indication:

CSUNATC18 Wrap-Up—Resources and Tweets

Another CSUN Assistive Technology Conference has come and gone. Below are some great resources and tweets from the conference. Watch the keynote by Dan Goldstein via YouTube. Read my CSUN 18 preview.

Next year the event will move a bit north to Anaheim, California. CSUNATC19 is planned for March 11 to 15, 2019 at @AnaheimMarriott.

Resources

Tweets

https://twitter.com/dennisl/status/976682591532167168