Sitemorse testing, WCAG 2.2 and Web Accessibility

05 Sep 2023 | Accessibility | Legislation | News

Victoria Nieuwenhuys
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You may have heard of the updates to the 'WCAG' (technical web content guidelines) and be wondering how we are going to incorporate them into Sitemorse. Will litigation be even more complex and confusing - is a technical standard fit for litigation purposes?

In today’s world, we rely on the internet for almost everything. The web has become an essential part of our lives and continues to evolve, offering new opportunities and services for individuals and businesses worldwide. But have you ever thought about how challenging it can be for some people, especially those with disabilities, to use the internet? This is why we need guidelines to make the web a more inclusive online environment.

What is WCAG 2.2

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and it’s basically a set of rules to make sure websites and apps are easy to use for everyone, including those with disabilities. WCAG 2.2 is the next soon-to-be-released version, introducing nine additional success criteria that function as an updated and enhanced guidebook, making the web even more inclusive.

Although WCAG 2.2 is not yet an official recommendation, Sitemorse is actively getting ready for its adoption. Sitemorse is committed to incorporating all the features of WCAG 2.2 into its reports, engine and API, typically adding support for a new WCAG version within three months of its final release.

What’s new in WCAG version 2.2?

The following is a summary of what is anticipated in the proposed release.

Focus Enhancement (Level AA & AAA): Enhanced Keyboard Focus: Make sure that when an item is selected using a keyboard (not a mouse), it’s easy to see with a clear and noticeable indicator. This helps people who rely on keyboards and those who may have trouble seeing small changes. Easier Interaction Targets (Level AA): Make actions that involve dragging simpler by offering a straightforward alternative. Additionally, ensure interactive elements are of a reasonable size or spaced adequately. This helps users who can’t use a mouse for dragging and individuals with physical impairments who struggle with small, closely-spaced buttons. Consistent Help (Level A): Keep help information in the same location across multiple pages. This makes it easier for people who need assistance to consistently find the help they require. Simplified Authentication (Levels A, AA, AAA): Make the login process straightforward for all users. Avoid requesting the same information twice in one session and do not require users to solve, recall or transcribe complex elements like puzzles when logging in. Also, refrain from relying on users to recognise objects or user-supplied images This can be challenging for individuals with cognitive disabilities who may struggle to remember previous entries and may have difficulties with such tasks.

Under discussion

It is important to note that while WCAG 2.2 shares some common principles with the previous versions, it is not inherently backward compatible with WCAG 2.1 and WCAG 2.0. This means that some standards from the previous versions may be removed or modified in WCAG 2.2. This aspect has sparked discussion within the industry, especially concerning its implications for discrimination laws in certain countries. Whether these changes will have legal consequences remains unclear and this topic continues to be a subject of debate within the industry.

Our checking, when updating

Sitemorse (the assessment engine we use) is fully aware of the evolving landscape of web accessibility, particularly the advancements introduced by WCAG 2.2. We are diligently preparing for all the changes and enhancements, ensuring that our reports, engine and API are ready to incorporate the features of WCAG 2.2. Our commitment to making the web more inclusive remains unwavering and we are actively working towards providing the best accessibility solutions for our users. As the digital world continues to evolve, you can trust that Sitemorse is at the forefront, ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow