Request your free digital audit today

Chris Jones |

Three people are sitting at a table with laptops, engaged in a discussion. Two individuals are facing the camera, while the third person has their back to the camera.

As previously discussed in our last blog, “Ensuring Digital Inclusion – Accessibility for Web,” there have recently been updates to the WCAG Guidelines. In this article, we will explore these updates to help you understand the ins and outs of the guidelines.

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility encompasses various elements such as colours, colour ratio, font sizing, font type, contrast, navigation, and alt text. The new WCAG 2.2 focuses on accessibility for web users with low vision, cognitive and learning disabilities, and motor disabilities, including access to touch-screen devices. This builds on and improves the work done in WCAG 2.1.

Therefore you will be pleased to learn that the new version is backwards compatible (Hooray!), so as long as you meet the criteria stipulated in 2.1, you can be sure you satisfy the criteria in 2.2.

Does my website need to be compliant? Who checks!?

The GDS (Government Digital Service) are the people reviewing websites.

Accessibility regulations came into force for public sector bodies on 23 September 2018. Therefore you may be breaking the law if your public sector website or mobile app does not meet accessibility requirements. They are currently reviewing websites and mobile apps against the WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards.

You need to be compliant if you fall within these categories:

  • Public sector organisations.
  • Domain names registered on public sector top-level domains, (such as, and

GDS is working on how to assess the new success criteria in WCAG 2.2 and will start monitoring for the extra criteria in October 2024. Until then they will continue to monitor accessibility of websites and apps to WCAG 2.1 level AA.

How do you start to break them down?

You will remember that WCAG is categorised into three different conformance levels.

  • Level A: The minimum level of accessibility, addressing the most basic web accessibility features.
  • Level AA: Addresses the most significant and common barriers for disabled users. This is the level that most organisations aim to meet.
  • Level AAA: The highest and most complex level of web accessibility, ensuring maximum accommodation for users with disabilities.

The WCAG then organises its guidelines into set categories perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

Category Breakdown

(1.) Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

A brief look into what this category stipulates. The content that you put together should be easily perceived by all users. For example, if there is audio or video content, you should provide text alternatives. If there is text content, you should provide audio alternatives or a way that assistive technology such as screen readers can consume it for the end-user.

It should be ensured that content is provided in a way that it can be adapted easily. Such as the simplification of content and that this content isn’t restricted to one type of display orientation.

This category also looks at text spacing, non-text contrast and the reflow of a website’s content, amongst other things.

(2.) Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.

All users must be able to operate your site. Keyboard accessibility is a key element here, as users with disabilities use a keyboard to navigate. Utilising shortcuts along the way to navigate, interact with, and access content. When designing and developing your site, the consideration of users making mistakes should come into practice, offering ways to retract, correct, and confirm information.

(3.) Understandable – Information and the operation of the user interface must be understandable.

This is where we think common sense prevails. Content is structured and designed in a way that is easily understood. It is not just a case of your users being able to operate your site. They need to understand it too. Interactive elements on a site including menus, icons, and links should all give an insight to their destination.

(4.) Robust – Maximise compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

This again, we feel falls into the realm of expectation with the modern-day website. As a user, they should be able to access your site from any device, platform, or browser. This can be done by adopting best development practices which in turn support different browsers and operating systems. This would then (hopefully) ensure a functional site for a variety of different audiences.

Two men in an office look at computer screens. One is pointing and smiling, while the other sits next to him, wearing glasses and a green sweater. A plant is seen in the background.
A person draws a website wireframe on a glass board using a white marker, with their reflection visible in the glass.
Two adults in a room with a brick wall, writing on large sticky notes attached to a glass surface. One person is focused on writing, while the other looks at the notes.

What are WCAG updates specific to AA compliance?

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of what the WCAG Guidelines involve whilst also seeing how they categorise their guidance. 

We have put together a checklist for the changes specific to WCAG 2.2 that impact AA compliance. Where we can, we have also included suggestions on how you can comply.

WCAG 2.2 Checklist ‘Operable Criteria’

2.4.11 Focus Not Obscured (Minimum) (AA)
Ensure the current point of focus is visible, at least partially, and not hidden by other content.
This could be achieved by designing a thick border around an element or significantly changing the background colour.

2.5.7 Dragging Movements (AA)
Provide single pointer mode alternatives for path-based gestures.
Enabling keyboard navigation with arrow keys or alternatively provide on-screen buttons for movement around the site.

2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum) (AA)
Ensure touch targets are at least 24×24 CSS pixels.
Best practice is to increase the clickable area to 44x44px and ensure adequate spacing between elements.

WCAG 2.2 Checklist ‘Understandable Criteria’

3.2.6 Consistent Help (A): Ensure help mechanisms are consistently available in the same relative place across pages. For example, place contact details or self-help options in the same spot on every page.

3.3.7 Redundant Entry (A): Ensure information previously entered by the user is auto-populated or available for selection. For example, in a multi-step form, carry forward previously entered details to avoid re-entry.

3.3.8 Accessible Authentication (Minimum) (AA): Provide alternatives to cognitive tests for authentication. For example, allow the use of password managers, or support copy-pasting into fields.

Digital Accessibility is Here to Stay…

The release of these updates demonstrates that the process of digital accessibility is ongoing. Requirements are constantly evolving to respond to users’ needs, which means website owners must stay vigilant to ensure compliance with the expected standards.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for accessibility, but it is at the core of our process. At WebBox, we offer dynamic solutions that complement your branding and guidelines, ensuring a minimum of WCAG 2.2 AA compliance.

If you are unsure about any of the information covered in this blog and want clarification, we are more than happy to talk you through anything.

We include accessibility checks within our Free Digital Audit, which is a great way to start any conversations about bringing things up to speed or ensuring everything is compliant.

Toggle dark mode
Skip to content