Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (Lightning Talk)

Presenter: Rachael Montgomery
Duration: 5 min

All talks

Slides & video

Keyboard shortcuts in the video player
  • Play/pause: space
  • Increase volume: up arrow
  • Decrease volume: down arrow
  • Seek forward: right arrow
  • Seek backward: left arrow
  • Captions on/off: C
  • Fullscreen on/off: F
  • Mute/unmute: M
  • Seek percent: 0-9
Slide 1 of 8

AGWG Update

Rachael Montgomery
Accessibility Guidelines WG co-chair

Have you been wondering about the latest and greatest happenings in accessibility?

Asking yourself how you can leverage the Web Accessibility Initiative to help your organization.

Are you hoping to find a way to get involved in this important W3C area?

Or, are you just listening to this talk because you're locked in your house due to COVID-19?

Regardless, I am excited to take the next few minutes to share what's happening at the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group with you.

Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AGWG) Update

Mission: To develop specifications to support making implementations of web technologies accessible for people with disabilities, and to develop and maintain implementation support materials.

AGWG Main Page

Part of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), Contacts: Judy Brewer and Shawn Lawton Henry

Co-Chairs (email): Alastair Campbell, Chuck Adams, and Rachael Bradley Montgomery; Staff Contact: Michael Cooper

The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group's mission is to develop guidelines and support materials to make web content accessible for people with disabilities.

Accessibility Guidelines Working Group

  • WCAG 2.2 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)
    • Expected completion: Q4 2020
    • Approximately 8 New Success Criteria Moving onto First Public Working Draft, Editors Draft
    • Cognitive/Learning Disabilities: Accessible Authentication, Hidden Controls, Findable Help, Redundant Entry, Error Correction (Processes)
    • EPUB: Fixed Reference Points
    • Low Vision: Focus Visible (Enhanced)
    • Mobile: Dragging

The main AG Working Group has been focusing on WCAG 2.2.

That stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and 2.2 is due out the fourth quarter of this year.

We're adding about eight new Success Criteria.

We have five that are from the Cognitive and Learning Disability Accessibility Task Force.

We've got one from the Mobile Accessibility Task Force.

We've one from the Low Vision Accessibility Task Force and one from EPUB.

Now these Success Criteria expand support for individuals with disabilities, particularly around cognitive and learning disabilities.

Accessible Authentication

If an authentication process relies on a cognitive function test, at least one other method must also be available that does not rely on a cognitive function test.

Cognitive function test - A task that requires the user to remember, manipulate, or transcribe information. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • memorization, such as remembering a username, password, set of characters, images or patterns;
  • transcription, such as typing in characters;
  • use of correct spelling;
  • performance of calculations;
  • solving of puzzles.

So one example: there's a new SC, Accessible Authentication, and it states, “If an authentication process relies on a cognitive function test, at least one other method must also be available that does not rely on a cognitive function test.” In other words, if authentication is required, then there must be at least one way to authenticate that does not require that a user remember, manipulate, or transcribe information.

And this Success Criteria is going to help make sure that individuals with cognitive and learning disabilities are able to successfully get into sites and to web content.

W3C Accessibility Guidelines 3.0

  • WCAG 3.0 (W3C Accessibility Guidelines)
    • Harmonized guidance across technologies and industries to facilitate adoption
    • Improved usability, measurability and conformance model
  • Silver Task Force
    • Testing and exploring potential conformance models
    • Developing example guidelines and tests
    • Working on First Public Working Draft of WCAG 3.0

We're also working towards the next generation of accessibility guidelines, the W3C Accessibility Guidelines 3.0.

Now you might notice this is the same acronym as the WCAG 2.2, but with a slightly different scope.

So more and more technology is moving onto the web as a central infrastructure that can reach billions of users.

And since most new technologies do have a web interface, it's important that the accessibility guidelines apply to all these different web-related technologies.

WCAG 3.0 guidelines are aiming to incorporate a new approach to testing and conformance that will improve usability and measurability of the Accessibility Guidelines as well a providing a harmonized guidance that applies across web-related technologies.

And the goal of this update is to be able to facilitate more and more adoption of accessibility.

The Silver Task Force is actively working towards the First Public Working Draft of WCAG 3.0.

This Task Force is developing guidelines and methods, along with testing potential conformance methods and models.

Our other task forces are also doing some pretty exciting work.

The COGA, Low Vision, and Mobile Task Forces continue to contribute to WCAG 2.2 as well as to WCAG 3.0.

COGA is also near completion on design guidelines for developers.

And these design patterns, personas, and user needs are going to help developers support end users with cognitive and learning disabilities.

The ACT Rules community published the ACT Rules Format in October of 2019.

This rule format defines a common way to write accessibility tests.

And this common format makes it easier for accessibility testers to document and share tests.

The Group is now writing tests using the Rules Format and is currently working with the main AG Working Group on where these rules will fit in to WCAG 2.2, likely in the Techniques section.

Diverse Opportunities to Engage

Functional Areas

  • Cognitive and Learning
  • Hearing
  • Motor
  • Neurological
  • Speech
  • Vision
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Aging-related Conditions


  • Augmented and Virtual Realities
  • Digital Publishing
  • Digital Identity
  • Gaming
  • Graphics
  • Mobile
  • Machine Learning
  • Web of Things

Now are you wondering how to get involved in this important work?

There are a number of ways to get engaged.

Task Forces and sub-groups work in functional disability areas including cognitive and learning disabilities, hearing disabilities, motor impairments, neurological disabilities, speech or vision disabilities, multiple disabilities, and age-related conditions.

Accessibility representation is also needed in a wide variety of technology areas, including gaming, personalization, virtual and augmented reality, and others.

Now, if you or your organization is new to the concept of accessibility, then we can help you get started.

The Web Accessibility Initiative provides a variety of educational resources, including video tutorials on accessibility related subjects.

They also provide documents in over 20 languages.

If you have questions about this work or you want to get involved, please feel free to reach out to me or the other chairs, Michael Cooper, our staff contact, or Judy Brewer, the Director of the Web Accessibility Initiative.

All of our contact information is on the first slide in this deck.

Thank you so much for your time.

All talks