The following table shows the anticipated impact of the dozen new WCAG 2.1 checkpoints introduced in the 7.1 checklist. Products transitioning from earlier checklists, should review the 7.0 Analysis. The impact ratings are defined as follows:

  • High: Significant effort to design, implement and test new requirements.
  • Medium: Additional requirements for one or more phases of design, implementation or test. Represents learning curve and more effort to achieve.
  • Low: Either effort to achieve is not significant, or the new requirement is not relevant to most applications.

WCAG 2.1 A and AA

Checkpoint Objective Impact Comments

1.3.4 Orientation. Content does not restrict its view and operation to a single display orientation, such as portrait or landscape.

Don’t lock content to either portrait or landscape presentationLow Easy to test and implement (by not disrupting the operating system orientation). Potential medium impact for some native mobile applications.

1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose. The purpose of each input field that collects information about the user can be programmatically determined when the field serves a common purpose.

Make the meaning of common inputs available via technologyMedium-Low Easy to implement and test using HTML auto-complete attributes, but represents additional minor effort on most web applications.

1.4.10 Reflow. Content can reflow without loss of information or functionality, and without requiring scrolling in two dimensions.

Ensure content can be enlarged without requiring horizontal scrollingHigh There will be a need for responsive design for most web applications. For applications not already using responsive design, this will result in substantial implementation effort. Requires additional testing for all web applications.

1.4.11 Non-text contrast. The parts of graphical objects required to understand the content, and the visual information required to identify UI components and states, have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent colors.

Ensure important visual information such as graphics and icons meets the same minimum contrast that is required for larger textHigh Requires significant new design and testing effort for almost all applications, including a review of contrast for meaningful graphics and UI components and their state indicators.

1.4.12 Text Spacing. No loss of content or functionality occurs when users change letter, word and paragraph spacing, as well as line height.

Let users adjust text spacing to make it easier to readMedium Most additional effort is in the design phase, ensuring text presentation is malleable. Testing is straight forward using sample CSS style sheets.

1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus. Where hover or focus actions cause additional content to become visible and then hidden, the additional content is dismissable, hoverable and persistent.

If content can appear and disappear without a user intentionally triggering it, design the interaction in such a way that all users can operate it and perceive the contentMedium Applications that use hover or focus to display content will require additional effort to implement. Additional testing for all web applications.

2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts. If a keyboard shortcut is implemented using only letter, punctuation, number or symbol characters, then the shortcut can be turned off, remapped or activated only on focus.

Ensure custom shortcuts are not accidentally triggeredMedium-Low Easy to address by including modifier key for all custom shortcuts.

2.5.1 Pointer Gestures. All functionality that uses multipoint or path-based gestures for operation can be operated with a single pointer without a path-based gesture.

Let users operate touchscreens with a simple actionMedium-Low Slider controls may require modification; however, this is considered relatively low impact since IBM does not anticipate many custom gestures. If custom gestures are prevalent, medium impact.

2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation. For functionality that can be operated using a single pointer, completion of the function is on the up-event with an ability to abort, undo or reverse the outcome.

Reduce accidental activation of controls by making their operation consistentMedium Where complex pointer actions are implemented, additional effort is required to understand and test, with the most burden on developers. Drag and drop functions may require modification.

2.5.3 Label in Name. For user interface components with labels that include text or images of text, the accessible name contains the text that is presented visually.

Make the visual label for controls be a trigger for speech activationMedium-Low Expected to be low impact since it reinforces good existing practice. May affect multi-input field groupings (e.g., telephone number) and other grouped components.

2.5.4 Motion Actuation. Functionality that can be operated by motion can also be operated by user interface components, and the motion trigger can be disabled.

Don’t rely solely on device motion to control page contentLow Simple to comply by having no dependency on motion activation, and an ability to turn any motion trigger off.

4.1.3 Status Messages. In content implemented using markup languages, status messages can be programmatically determined through role or properties so that messages can be presented by assistive technologies without receiving focus.

Let assistive technologies notify users about messages in the content that do not take focusMedium For most web applications, involves minor effort to identify and remediate existing status messages. All web applications will have additional effort to test.