New WCAG 2.1 Accessibility Guidelines Announced


WCAG 2.1 follows the WCAG 2.0 guidelines that have been the standard for website accessibility. The content listed in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines covers a wide range of things to consider when making web content more accessible.

WCAG 2.1 extends Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 [WCAG20], which was published as a W3C Recommendation in December 2008. In the intervening years, web accessibility grew greatly as a topic of both need within the digital community and as a federally mandated requirement of websites associated with federal programs.

WCAG 2.1 builds upon the foundation of 2.0 guidelines in the sense that web content that conforms to WCAG 2.1 also conforms to WCAG 2.0. The creators of the guidelines say that “While WCAG 2.0 remains a W3C Recommendation, the W3C advises the use of WCAG 2.1 to maximize future applicability of accessibility efforts. The W3C also encourages use of the most current version of WCAG when developing or updating Web accessibility policies.”

WCAG 2.1 adds new success criteria, definitions to support them, guidelines to organize the additions, and a couple additions to the conformance section. The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group recommends that sites adopt WCAG 2.1 as their new conformance target, even if formal obligations mention WCAG 2.0, to provide improved accessibility and to anticipate future policy changes.
The following Success Criteria are new in WCAG 2.1 (there are three levels of complaince, A, AA and AAA, which are represented in parentheses):

1.3.4 Orientation (AA)
1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose (AA)
1.3.6 Identify Purpose (AAA)
1.4.10 Reflow (AA)
1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast (AA)
1.4.12 Text Spacing (AA)
1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus (AA)
2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts (A)
2.2.6 Timeouts (AAA)
2.3.3 Animation from Interactions (AAA)
2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (A)
2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation (A)
2.5.3 Label in Name (A)
2.5.4 Motion Actuation (A)
2.5.5 Target Size (AAA)
2.5.6 Concurrent Input Mechanisms (AAA)
4.1.3 Status Messages (AA)

These guidelines and the technical language that they are written in is confusing for most people. That’s why we recommend that you
hire agencies who are experienced in working with these guidelines. The creators of ADA Plugin have experience with the guidelines since the first version. The ADA Plugin is always updated whenever there are big changes, so you can know that by using it you are doing two key things: Providing an accessible website to the world, and protecting yourself and your business from lawsuits. Get in touch to learn more!