The Access Board congratulates the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG WG) with publishing Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 as a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation. WCAG 2.2 adds nine new Success Criteria to WCAG 2.1 (which added 17 Success Criteria to WCAG 2.0) and includes links to supporting documents that explain how to make web content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities. The additional Success Criteria address barrier encountered by people with visual, mobility, hearing, and cognitive disabilities, but not covered by WCAG 2.1 or 2.0. The new requirements in WCAG 2.2 address ways to help users navigate and find content, operate functionality more easily through various inputs beyond keyboard, develop webpages to appear and operate in predictable ways, and readily avoid and correct mistakes. Additionally, WCAG 2.2 includes Stories of Web Users to help explain some aspects of the WCAG Success Criteria.
“The U.S. Access Board congratulates the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for finalizing version 2.2 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines,” remarked Board Executive Director Sachin Pavithran. “It is critical that testable and technology neutral requirements for digital accessibility be expanded to the extent practical, and to have unambiguous industry consensus standards that are not technically infeasible or merely aspirational. The W3C and the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is to be applauded for their thoroughly mindful work, which has been conducted in public and followed an inclusive open process.”
WCAG 2.2 culminates years of hard work and is the final edition in the WCAG 2 line of normative requirements for web accessibility. The AG WG has now turned its attention to WCAG 3, which is currently an incomplete draft, but that is intended to develop into a W3C Standard in a few years.
The mission of the AG WG is to develop specifications to make content on the web accessible to people with disabilities and to participate in the development and maintenance of implementation support materials for the WCAG. The U.S. Access Board participated in the AG WG to development of WCAG 2.0, as well as the two subsequent versions, and continues to assist with supporting materials and test rules for the accessibility criteria that harmonize with those used in the federal space. Board Accessibility Specialists provide their input and feedback to ensure websites and web content are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
Significantly, the Board’s Revised Section 508 Standards incorporates WCAG 2.0 by reference (IBR) to ensure information and communication technology (ICT) developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies is accessible to people with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. The 508 Standards extend WCAG 2.0 to all digital documents and non-web applications.
Under Section 508, the Board is also responsible for providing technical assistance on the standards. Subject matter experts are available by email at email@example.com for questions, and the Board also offers free Section 508 Best Practices webinars, virtual and in-person training, and, in close collaboration with the General Services Administration, materials and resources that are available at Section508.gov.