Monday (January 24) is the deadline for submitting comments related to the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) proposed rulemaking related to web accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act. See the Instructions for Submitting Public Comments and the proposal.
In their proposal, the DOJ has specifically asked 19 questions on which they're seeking feedback. A key question is question #1:
Should the Department adopt the WCAG 2.0´s "Level AA Success Criteria" as its standard for website accessibility for entities covered by titles II and III of the ADA? Is there any reason why the Department should consider adopting another success criteria level of the WCAG 2.0? Please explain your answer.
In Jim Thatcher's Response, he argues that "level AA is too strong, too complicated, too much." Instead, he recommends that the DOJ require Level A conformance, plus just one Level AA success criterion, 2.4.7 (visible indication of current keyboard focus). He says the DOJ should recommend all of WCAG 2.0, but not require it.
To make it easier for readers to digest his recommendation, he provides a list of all 26 Level A success criteria. I think it's equally important though to list the success criteria that would be missing if the DOJ were to go with Jim's recommendation. So, the following is a paraphrased list of WCAG 2.0 Level AA success criteria. In my opinion, many, if not all, of these success criteria, are just too important to not be required.
WCAG 2.0 Level AA Success Criteria
- 1.2.4 Live captions for real-time online events
- 1.2.5 Audio description on prerecorded video
- 1.4.3 Minimum foreground/background contrast of text and images of text (includes exceptions for large text, incidental content, and text within logos)
- 1.4.4 Text resizable up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.
- 1.4.5 Use text rather than images of text
- 2.4.5 Multiple Ways to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages
- 2.4.6 Headings and Labels
- 2.4.7 Focus Visible for keyboard users
- 3.1.2 Human language identified
- 3.2.3 Consistent Navigation on multiple Web pages within a set of Web pages
- 3.2.4 Consistent Identification of components that have the same functionality within a set of Web pages
- 3.3.3 Error Suggestion if an error is detected (e.g., alerting user to required fields or specific data formats)
- 3.3.4 Legal or financial form errors are either reversible after submission, or the user can check or confirm their information prior to submission