What is visible focus indication?
Visible focus indication is a key requirement for people who rely on or prefer keyboard navigation. This need for focus indication includes people with mobility challenges who use a variety of assistive technologies to navigate a web page or web application. It also applies to low vision and other users who use a combination of assistive technologies to perceive and use technology. In WCAG 2.0, the requirement for a perceivable focus was solidified by success criteria 2.4.7 Focus Visible level A. What was lacking in this early requirement was a specification as to how much of a focus indication was required. In an attempt to solve this ambiguity the W3C published WCAG 2.1 with success criteria 1.4.11 Non-text Contrast Level AA.
What changes are ahead in the WCAG 2.2 release?
While success criteria 1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast did establish needed content contrast guidelines, it also set a precedent that went against a long-standing community belief that default focus indication was insufficient. It now appears that a pending release of WCAG 2.2 may reverse this. In an attempt to make sense of all these requirements, I recently delivered a presentation covering the various success criteria that now makeup focus and contrast requirements for focusable objects, as well as a preview of what might appear in WCAG 2.2.
Presentation to the Austin Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetup
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External Links Referenced in Presentation
- Presentation Links: WCAG 2.0 – https://www.w3.org/TR/WCA
- WCAG 2.1 – https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/
- WCAG 2.2 – https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG22/
- WCAG 2.2: 5.1 New Features – https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG22/#x5-1-new-features-in-wcag-2-2
- WCAG 2.2: 5.1 Focus Visible Enhanced – https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG22/#focus-visible-enhanced
- WCAG 2.2: Understanding: https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Understanding/focus-visible-enhanced.html#size-of-indicator
- WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.1 – https://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-practices-1.1/
- WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.1: 3.22 Tabs – https://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-practices-1.1/#tabpanel
- G149: Using user interface components that are highlighted by the user agent when they receive focus – https://www.w3.org/TR/2016/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20161007/G149
- Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) – https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/atag/
- User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) – https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/uaag/
- Border Without Focus: Active User Interface Components – https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Understanding/non-text-contrast.html#user-interface-components
- Non-Text By Example – http://at.microassisthosting.com/matraining/a11ymeetup2020/WCAG21nontext/index.html
- Default Focus Example – http://at.microassisthosting.com/matraining/a11ymeetup2020/defaultcontrast/index.html
- Chromium New Focus Blog – https://blog.chromium.org/2020/03/updates-to-form-controls-and-focus.htmlee
- Microsoft Chromium Blog – https://blogs.windows.comhttps://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2019/10/15/form-controls-microsoft-edge-chromium//msedgedev/2…
- Paul J Adam Test – http://pauljadam.com/demos/focusvisible.html