WCAG 2.1 Proposed Changes

The first working draft for the WCAG 2.1 changes were released on February 28th, 2017. There are 28 proposed new success criteria. The existing 63 WCAG 2.0 success criteria will be grandfathered into WCAG 2.1.

Here’s a sample of some of the proposed additions:

  • Orientation – Requires authors not to rely on a screen orientation. Users who have their device mounted, or who cannot change orientation, can still use the site even though they have a fixed orientation.
  • Target Size – Requires authors to use 44 x 44px targets for mobile for finger targets and 24 x 24px for mouse and stylus targets. Users with dexterity disabilities or people without fingers, who have trouble touching a small target.
  • Adapting Text  – Requires author not to interfere with user style sheets and other CSS-based client side interventions. Users with low vision or cognitive disabilities who need to override the font, line spacing, paragraph spacing, color scheme, etc.
  • Graphic Contrast (Minimum) – Extends 4.5:1 and 3:1 contrast minimums to important graphical information. Users with low vision and cognitive disabilities need help seeing or perceiving information in graphics.
  • Resize Content – Increases zoom requirements to 400% without horizontal scroll. Usually by browser zoom. Users with low vision who need to make things larger. WCAG 2.0 currently requires zoom to 200%.
  • Change of Content – Requires authors to use aria-live or another way to notify AT (Assistive Technology) users when something on the page changes. Users of AT who can’t see changes or have trouble perceiving changes on a page, such as shopping cart updates. Their AT will announce a short phrase about new content added to the page.
  • Device sensors – Requires authors not to rely on shake and tilt, etc., or provide an alternative for assistive technology or one finger. Users with a mounted device that can’t be tilted or shaken can still access the content.
  • Timeouts – Requires authors to not use timeouts or save data to repopulate forms after timeout.  Allows users with low vision and cognitive disabilities extra time.
  • User Interface Component Contrast – Extends contrast minimums to visible focus indicators and other interactive controls. Users with low vision or cognitive disabilities need assistance perceiving interactive components.
  • Linearization – Requires a web page to reflow to a single column either by responsive design or a browser plugin. Users with tunnel vision, low vision or cognitive disabilities that require a zoomed in page without a horizontal scroll.