May 2024 WCAG 3 Working Draft Update

The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AGWG) has updated the W3C Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3 Working Draft.This draft includes an updated list of the potential outcomes which we are exploring. The list of outcomes is longer than a listing of Success Criteria list in WCAG 2.2. Why? Because the intent at this stage is to be as inclusive as possible of potential outcomes.  

We expect this exploratory list to change and evolve:

  • The final set of outcomes in WCAG 3 will be different from the list in this draft. 
  • Outcomes will be added, combined, and removed. 
  • The text of the Outcomes will evolve, likely to become more specific and identify exceptions. 
  • Outcomes that need more research at the time of our first draft will be postponed to a future draft when the research can better support them.
  • Only some of the Outcomes will be required at the base level of conformance.

Why are we publishing if the guidelines are only an early draft? 

The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group wants public feedback on WCAG 3 early and often. For this update, we hope public reviewers will help us to:

  • Better understand the scope of needs by providing feedback on guidance we missed and should be exploring, and
  • Locate and conduct research to validate or invalidate the outcomes listed.

When reviewing this update, please focus on the Guidelines section. We did not make changes to conformance related sections and we did not publish an updated WCAG 3 Explainer.  

Please consider the following questions when reviewing this list of outcomes:

  • What outcomes are needed to make web content accessible and are missing from this list?
  • What research supports or refutes these outcomes?
  • Are any of these outcomes out of the scope of accessibility guidance? If so, please explain why.

Then give use your feedback on these questions by filing a GitHub issue or sending email to (if you are unable to use GitHub). Please create 1 GitHub issue or send 1 email per topic – it makes our work much easier which leads to faster standards creation. 

We want to hear from you, especially if:

  • You know of missing guidance;
  • You know of existing research relating to an Outcome; or 
  • You are interested in conducting research in a related area.

As always it’s worth noting that: 

  • This WCAG 3 draft doesn’t replace WCAG 2. WCAG 2 is used around the world and will still be required by different countries for a long time to come. 
  • Public feedback is an important part of the W3C process and the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG) takes the comments we receive seriously.
  • If you want to learn more about WCAG 3, please read the WCAG 3 Introduction.

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day!


I believe we need to shift the way we think and talk about disability and accessibility. We need more holistic conversations about what it means to be disability-friendly. Focusing on just a building, just a website, just an email, just an event, or just an accommodation – well, it is just not enough. We live our lives moving between these spaces. I believe our discussion of accessibility needs to do so as well.

I founded Accessible Community to address this and we are committed to nurturing disability-friendly communities through ethical technology. Unlike many functional needs mappings, the tools we are building require a mapping that includes facilities, events, websites, social media, and accommodations. 

The taxonomy has to be detailed enough that we can map accessibility requirements to functional needs but clear and usable enough that a wide audience of people with disabilities could use it successfully. We have used a multi-level approach to meet these often conflicting needs.

This work resulted in useable, a multi-level disability needs taxonomy. To celebrate disability pride month and to encourage more disability-centered tools, we shared our mapping in an open source GitHub repository. There is currently a JSON structure that can be incorporated into various tools by simply downloading it.

Useable is a work in progress. We encourage anyone interested to review and comment on it. We will incorporate comments and feedback monthly. Our goal is that useable will aid in worldwide tool development of disability-centered applications. Please help us shift the conversation.

Understanding the WCAG 3 Working Draft Update

Understanding the WCAG 3 Working Draft Update

The WCAG 3 Working Draft has been updated. WCAG 3 doesn’t replace WCAG 2. WCAG 2 is used around the world and will still be required by different countries for a long time to come. 

When we published the first public working draft, we received over 300 comments.  Public feedback is an important part of the W3C process and the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG) took the comments we received seriously. We aggregated and organized the feedback and revised our approach to WCAG 3. 

Below is an overview of what you will find in this draft: 

  • All content is labeled with content maturity levels: Placeholder, Exploratory, Developing, Refining, and Mature. There has been confusion in the past about how mature content is and when to adopt it. These maturity levels inform readers about how complete and ready to use each piece of content is.
  • You will find a placeholder list of guidelines. We have temporarily removed all of the draft guidelines that were in earlier drafts of WCAG 3. These guidelines were initial examples.  Over the next 6-9 months we will be writing an exploratory draft of outcomes for each guideline. Part of this process will be updating previous draft content, such as the APCA approach for color contrast, and adding that guidance back in within the context of the full set of guidelines.
  • This draft presents pieces of a conformance model which have shown promise during conversation and testing. These include conformance levels, percentages, pre-assessment checks, issue severity, and user generated content. This working draft does not contain a complete conformance model. We’ve reviewed numerous options but want to evaluate each for testability, repeatability, etc. before publishing the most promising model.
  • The AG is applying a more granular way of thinking about guidance based on how repeatable test results are by the same tester and across testers. Clearly identifying when tests contain a subjective component will help when explaining and applying WCAG 3.
  • We have added an approach that allows for guidance that only applies in certain conditions, such as situations where a specific language is used.
  • We have also added “Assertions”. Assertions are statements about whether a process was completed. Examples of such processes include usability testing, plain language evaluations, and assistive technology testing. Testing an assertion only includes evaluating whether an organization made an assertion, and if the required documentation is complete. Testing an assertion does not test the results of the process. The hope is that Assertions will allow WCAG to promote certain processes that improve accessibility without requiring repeatable results.

You can read more about this update at the WCAG 3 Introduction.

We are not requesting wide review, that is, we are not looking for general public feedback on this draft, but you are always welcome to comment through GitHub. If you are not able to use GitHub, email Please create 1 GitHub issue or send 1 email per topic.

I will be posting additional details about WCAG 3 and the next steps for the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group over the next week or two.

Why members of the disability community must support each other

I am arranging sign language interpreters for mutua11y’s upcoming workshops. I am surprised by how many of of the interpreting companies’ websites (100% so far) are inaccessible. Some even use overlays. I am often also surprised by videos on accessibility that are not captioned or interpreted so the situation is a two way street.

It has been my experience, both as an individual with a disability and an accessibility professional, that the disability community lives in silos.

As an overarching community of people with disabilities, caretakers, allies, and advocates we need to do better in supporting each other. We need to put in the work to make our products, websites, content, etc. accessible. It is not enough to say, I need this accommodation. We must say, “I need this accommodation and recognize that you need a different accommodation.” We need to work together to demonstrate disability inclusion. Anything less undermines the overall message of inclusion and accessibility.

It is also not helpful to assume that someone with one disability knows how to support someone else’s needs. Attacking each other when we don’t get it right also undermines our message and goal. I believe inaccessibility must be approached first as opportunities for education, inside and outside the disability community.

Finally, I want to acknowledge that this is not easy. Real accessibility takes effort and engagement. It takes working together and thinking ahead. It also takes changing attitudes and shifting the focus from the work needed to the benefits gained.

So what can you do about this?

  • Commit to broad accessibility. Learn about the diversity within the disability community. Follow disability advocates and educators on social media. Respectfully ask questions when you don’t know.
  • If you lead an organization, one resource is Accessible Community’s tip of the week. This gives you one recommended action you can complete in a week to improve accessibility.
  • Stand up for your needs and those of others. I prefer to do so with an education-based approach and with compassion but find what works for you.

WCAG 2.2 Updated Candidate Recommendation (Take 2)

In response to concerns raised with the Focus Appearance and Target Size success criteria in the most recent Candidate Recommendation (CR), the working group has decided to publish another CR. This allows review and implementation of the substantive changes proposed to address these concerns, along with fallback options (known as “at risk”) if the solutions raise new concerns.

The group felt that keeping these success criteria is important and that the changes were valuable enough to delay the final Recommendation. Restarting CR starts a new 90-day patent review clock, so we are looking at finalizing the Recommendation in Q3 of this year.

The following changes have been made since the last CR:

  • Focus Appearance has been simplified, made slightly more rigorous to reflect new research, and moved to AAA. Several notes were also adjusted to support these changes.
  • Focus Visible will not be moved to A and will remain at AA
  • Two exceptions in Target size have been modified:
    • The phrase “ or is in a bulleted or numbered list” has been removed from the Inline exception. This has no effect on the intent to provide an exception for text links in body. The phrase was too narrow and was causing confusion. Additional explanation about inline lists will be included within the understanding documents.
    • The spacing exception was reworded to use a 24 CSS pixel diameter circle centered on the bounding box instead of a target offset.

You can read the revised editor’s draft.

As always, you can learn more from What’s New in WCAG 2.2

CSUN Talk: WCAG 3 Update

I had a chance to talk at CSUN today about WCAG 3. The slides were fresh off the presses to make sure they included the work that the AGWG did on Monday. They also are information dense so I wish we’d had two hours to really dive into them. The slides are attached for anyone interested.

We were full up and had to turn a number of folks away. CSUN is unable to support a second session (I asked) so I will try to record a virtual version and post it here in a week or two.

To all those who could attend – Thank you.

Room full of accessibility professionals

WCAG 2.2 Updated Candidate Recommendation

During the first Candidate Review period several issues were raised that the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG) felt needed to be addressed before publication. As a result, the AG made changes and has published an updated Candidate Recommendation (CR) of WCAG 2.2

The changes included:

  • 2.5.8 Target Size (Minimum): Changed to the exceptions for spacing and incline targets and a new note on interpreting line height.
  • 3.2.6 Consistent Help: Changed to the first note.
  • 3.3.8 Accessible Authentication:  Changed the first note.
  • 3.3.9 Accessible Authentication (No Exception): Renamed to Accessible Authentication (Enhanced)
  • 4.1.1 Parsing: Removed

The new Candidate Review period began on January 25th. Based on this, the AG expects to finalize WCAG 2.2 as a W3C Recommendation in mid-April. 2.4.11 Focus Appearance remains at risk. 

As always, you can learn more from What’s New in WCAG 2.2

WCAG 2.2 Update

WCAG 2.2 is still in the candidate recommendation stage. During this stage we are testing websites that implement the new Success Criteria (SC) to make sure the SC are feasible. We are also processing recent comments. Based on where we are in that process and the upcoming holidays, we now expect the release to occur in early 2023.

You can learn more at What’s New in WCAG 2.2.

WCAG 2.2 Moving to CR

WCAG 2.2 has become a W3C candidate recommendation (CR). We have marked one new success criteria, Focus Appearance, at risk due to concerns about its complexity. 

The draft now goes through implementation testing to demonstrate the standards are achievable and a final review period before publication. 

We are still on track to publish this year, but if concerns are raised during the CR review period, we may slip to early next year. You can learn more at What’s New in WCAG 2.2.