WCAG 2.1 Review and Feedback

WCAG 2.0 has been the primary standard for web accessibility since its release in 2008. The WCAG Working Group are now looking to produce a version 2.1 to bring it up to date with current web development techniques, especially the use of mobile devices and touch support.

They have now released the first public working draft of the guidelines, with ​28 new proposed success criteria, and are inviting feedback and comments by 31st March 2017, via Github issues

My Feedback​ - How testable are the criteria?

As a web developer, and especially as I am currently developing some web accessibility testing software, ​my feedback will focus on how testable the new criteria are. Although I'm aware that all the criteria will not be testable by automated means, I aim to highlight any ambiguity or reasons why an automated or manual test may be difficult. 

I'm sharing my feedback here because it's a nicer format to read and it could prove useful to look back on as WCAG 2.1 progresses through the review process. I will also log any concerns on Github as requested by the working group, and urge you to do the same.​

my accessible website detective

The Criteria

​These are the new criteria that I've managed to feed back on so far. Those with arrow icons have a more detailed write-up that you can click through to read more. Those with light bulb icons just have short feedback listed on this page.

Significant Concerns​

  • Level AA: 1.4.16 Popup Interference - This is too significant a change to introduce in WCAG 2.1, as the title attribute is a valid technique in other criteria. It needs to be much more clearly defined.
  • Level A: 2.6.1 Device Sensors - Should be merged into existing SC 2.1.1 Keyboard. It is a special case of that, not a new criterion.

Minor Concerns​

  • Level AA: 1.4.14 User Interface Component Contrast (Minimum) - Would rather the contrast requirement was 3:1 in all cases, as the interface element does not have to be read, just perceived. Needs more guidelines on testing.
  • Level AA: 1.4.15 Adapting Text - Needs some clarification on whether the developer has to provide an on-screen widget. Some restriction on font families is necessary, as I'm sure the intention is to support basic, standard ones. 

No Concerns​

That's as much as I managed to review so far! I'll continue to review the criteria and follow the development of WCAG 2.1