WCAG 2.1 – Mobile

On June 5, 2018, WCAG 2.1 became the official W3C recommendation. Previous versions were released in 1999 (WCAG 1.0) and 2008 (WCAG 2.0). All new updates build on WCAG 2.0 instead of replacing information (also known as “backward compatibility”). WCAG 2.1 includes one new guideline and 17 new success criteria. Eight of these criteria focus on improving mobile device accessibility, five on the low vision user and four on cognitively impaired user access. If your organization has user accessibility concerns, WCAG 2.1 at Level AA is our current recommendation. The eight criteria addressing mobile environment – including input modalities, adaptability, and keyboard accessibility – are reviewed below.


Input Modalities 2.5

2.5.1 Pointer Gestures – Level A

All functionality that uses multipoint or path-based gestures for operation can be operated with a singular pointer without a path-based gesture, unless a multipoint or path-based gesture is essential.

2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation – Level A

For functionality that can be operated using a single pointer, at least one of the following is true:

  • No Down-Event: The down-event of the pointer is not used to execute any part of the function
  • Abort or Undo: Completion of the function is on the up-event and a mechanism is available to abort the function before completion or to undo the function after completion
  • Up-Reversal: The up-event reverses any outcome of the preceding down-event
  • Essential: completing the function on the down-event is essential

2.5.3 Label in Name – Level A

For user interface components with labels that include text or images of text, the name contains the text that is presented visually

2.5.4 Motion Actuation – Level A

Functionality that can be operated by device motion or user motion can also be operated by user interface components and responding to the motion can be disabled to prevent accidental actuation, except when:

  • Supported Interface: The motion is used to operate functionality through an accessibility supported interface
  • Essential: The motion is essential for the function and doing so would invalidate the activity

2.5.5 Target Size – Level AAA

The size of the target is available through an equivalent link or control on the same page that is at least 44 by 44 CSS pixels:

  • Equivalent: The target available through an equivalent link or control on the same page that is at least 44 by 44 CSS pixels
  • Inline: The target is in a sentence or block of text
  • User Agent Control: The size of the target is determined by the user agent and is not modified by the author
  • Essential: A particular presentation of the target is essential to the information being conveyed

2.5.6 Concurrent Input Mechanisms – Level AAA

Web content does not restrict use of input modalities available on a platform except where the restriction is essential, required to ensure the security of the content, or required to respect user settings

Adaptable 1.3

1.3.4 Orientation – Level AAA

Content does not restrict its view and operation to a single display orientation, such as portrait or landscape, unless a specific display orientation is essential

Keyboard Accessible 2.1

2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts

If a keyboard shortcut is implemented in content using only letter (including upper – and lower-case letters), punctuation, number, or symbol characters, then at least one of the following is true:

  • Turn off: A mechanism is available to turn the shortcut off
  • Remap: A mechanism is available to remap the shortcut to use one or more non-printable keyboard characters (e.g. Ctrl, Alt, etc.)
  • Active only on focus: The keyboard shortcut for a user interface component is only active when that component has focus