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IBM Accessibility Requirements

Empower your diverse user base by creating accessible products

IBM’s accessibility requirements are updated regularly to address current worldwide standards and regulations in a unified list. Version 7.2 is the current version that incorporates WCAG 2.1, US 508, and EN 301 549 V3.1.1 standards.

The tables show the new requirements introduced in each version and their pace of completion level as defined in the Equal Access Toolkit.

Meeting the requirements helps ensure your technology is usable by persons who have disabilities and works with their assistive technologies. IBM teams, see Understanding Corporate Instruction CI-162 for more information.

New requirements
for version 7.2
5.2 Activation of accessibility featuresLet users activate accessibility features3
5.7 Key repeatLet user adjust keyboard key "repeat" rates3
5.8 Double-strike key acceptanceLet user adjust keyboard key "bounce" accept rates3
5.9 Simultaneous user actions Let user activate keyboard "sticky keys"3
7.1.4 Captions characteristicsEnsure video players support presentation characteristics of closed captions3
7.1.5 Spoken subtitlesEnsure video players support spoken output of available captions3
New requirements
for version 7.1
1.3.4 OrientationDon’t lock content to either portrait or landscape presentation mode2
1.3.5 Identify Input PurposeMake the meaning of common inputs available via technology3
1.4.10 ReflowEnsure content can be enlarged without horizontal scrolling1
1.4.11 Non-text ContrastEnsure important visuals meet same minimum contrast as large text2
1.4.12 Text SpacingLet users adjust text spacing to make it easier to read 3
1.4.13 Content on Hover or FocusEnsure content that appears on hover/focus persists until dismissed2
2.1.4 Character Key ShortcutsEnsure custom shortcuts are not accidentally triggered3
2.5.1 Pointer GesturesLet users operate touchscreens with a simple gestures2
2.5.2 Pointer CancellationMake operations consistent to avoid accidental activation of controls3
2.5.3 Label in NameMake the visual label for controls a trigger for speech activation2
2.5.4 Motion ActuationDon’t rely solely on device motion to control page content2
4.1.3 Status MessagesLet assistive technologies notify users about messages in the content that don’t take focus2
Change history
03/30/20217.2Clarified: 7.1.2 Captioning synchronization.
12/03/20207.2Version 7.2 includes EN 301 549 V3.1.1 (updated), WCAG 2.1, and US Revised 508 standards.

Added 6 new requirements: 5.2 Activation of accessibility features, 5.7 Key repeat, 5.8 Double-strike key acceptance, 5.9 Simultaneous user actions, 7.1.4 Captions characteristics, and 7.1.5 Spoken subtitles.
09/19/20197.1Added or modified: 1.3.4 Orientation, 1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose, 1.4.11 Non-text Contrast, 1.4.12 Text Spacing, 1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus, 2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts, 2.5.1 Pointer Gestures, 2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation, and 2.5.4 Motion Actuation.
06/23/20197.1Version 7.1 includes EN 301 549 V2.1.2 (updated), WCAG 2.1(updated), and US Revised 508 standards.

Added 12 new WCAG 2.1 requirements. Renumbered: 4.1.3 to 4.4.1, to, 10.2.39 to 10.5, 10.2.40 to 10.6, 11.6.4 to 11.8.4. Updated impact analysis and change summary docs.
10/26/20177.0Reworded short descriptions for 2.4.1, 2.4.5, 3.2.3, and 3.2.4 to match WCAG.
07/25/20177.0Added 7 new EN 301 549 V2.1.2 requirements, covering ICT with video capabilities.
07/18/20177.0Minor changes to checklist introduction text to reflect official July 18 date of adoption.
06/13/20177.0Reformatted checklist to match IBM’s current v18 publishing standard.
05/08/20177.0Version 7.0 includes EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (new), WCAG 2.0, and US Revised 508 (updated) standards.

Removed legacy section of 508 requirements that are no longer required.