Spotlight 31

New WCAG 2.2 Criteria

(WCAG 2.5.7, 2.5.8, 3.2.6)

After many months of anticipation, WCAG 2.2 was finally published in October 2023.

What changed

The previous version of the criteria (WCAG 2.1) had 78 recommendations. WCAG 2.2 introduced 9 new requirements and made one existing criterion obsolete. This means that there are now 86 criteria to comply with. 

The now obsolete criterion is:

And the 9 new criteria are:

Here's a visual breakdown of where the new criteria fit in:

A table listing the above-mentioned 9 criteria in 4 rows according to the grouping and 3 columns according to the level.
Table showing new guidelines in WCAG 2.2

*Out of the 9 new criteria, we think 3 are really relevant to learning content. These are the 3 that we highlighted before and marked with asterisks. In this spotlight, we only detail them. 


Note that we will also cover some of the new criteria in upcoming articles and we have edited our existing spotlights (wherever relevant) on our website to include the new guidelines.

So let's go through the 3 relevant new criteria.

2.5.7 Dragging Movements (AA):

This criterion has probably been long-awaited by learning content creators. It concerns actions that require dragging elements on the screen, such as drag and drops, sliders or using multiple fingers to zoom into something. The criterion requires that if such interactions are used, you provide a single-pointer alternative. This means that if you use an activity that involves dragging movements, you should offer learners the option to complete the activity with only clicks/taps involved. 

The criterion mentions that content may be exempt from this requirement if the dragging is essential or the functionality is determined by the tool. So, for example, if you're teaching how to upload content to the internet by dragging the file to the upload area, it's essential to perform the dragging movement and that's exempt. If you embed a map that requires double-pointer zooming, that's also exempt because you have no control over the functionality. 

2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum) (AA):

Update: We now cover this criterion in Spotlight 36 Sizing

There is an existing criterion in WCAG 2.1 (2.5.5 Target Size - AAA) that is similar to the new criterion. The existing guideline required that interactive items such as buttons or icons are at least 44 by 44 CSS pixels in size (around 9 mm). 

The new requirement is a more forgiving version of the existing criterion. It is an AA guideline that requires the size of the target for pointer inputs to be at least 24 by 24 CSS pixels. 

There are many exceptions. For example, objects that are sufficiently spaced from each other may still meet the criterion because the spacing eliminates accidental activation. 

3.2.6 Consistent Help (A):

Update: We now cover this criterion in Spotlight 21: Consistency

In Spotlight 21: Consistency, we already talked about the importance of placing repeated elements in the same position. And in Spotlight 6: Meaningful sequence, we explored focus order. This new guideline is concerned with the placement (and focus order) of help options. If you make a help option available (help icon, info icon, or contact information), this guideline requires you to place it in the same location and order and make sure it’s available on every slide or page. 


Discussion questions:

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