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WCAG 2.1 Compliance

WCAG 2.1 ComplianceWCAG 2.1 Background

On June 5, 2018 the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 became an official W3C Recommendation. WCAG 2.1 Compliance adds one new guideline and seventeen new success criteria to the existing WCAG 2.0. These success criteria extend WCAG 2.0 to improve accessibility for people using mobile devices and for people with low vision or cognitive impairments.

WCAG 2.0 has been a W3C recommendation since 2008. The Guidelines focus on Web content and are technology neutral. While HTML is the de facto language of the Web, WCAG 2.0 included other technologies of the time such as Flash, JavaScript, and WAI-ARIA, which was still under development. The age of the smartphone and mobile Web was just beginning. There were also some disability types that did not get much coverage in WCAG 2.0 - namely low vision and cognitive. The technology landscape has changed in the last 10 years and WCAG 2.0 needed an update.

The WCAG 2.1 Working Group polled various disability groups to determine the most pressing issues. They researched and prioritized community input to propose new success criteria. Success Criteria must be testable and an implementation must exist in order for a proposal to reach specification status. The global community can be confident that the new success criteria are achievable because several organizations, EqualWeb included, have implemented them.
Some things to note as you look at the new Guidelines:
  • WCAG 2.1 does not alter or change WCAG 2.0. It is fully backward compatible.
  • Content that conforms to WCAG 2.1 also conforms to WCAG 2.0.
  • Compliance at the AA level is still recommended.
  • New success criteria were added at the end of the list of the existing ones associated with the relevant guideline.
  • The order and numbering of WCAG 2.0 are therefore maintained, but the success criteria in each guideline are no longer grouped by conformance level.

Seventeen New Success Criteria

So, there is one new guideline and seventeen new success criteria.

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