Web Accessibility 2.0

I missed the original ruling against Target, but thanks to a post by Alok Jain on iai-members, I've been catching up. I found an excellent legal commentary:

Just last month, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel...ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to some commercial websites. The holding was the first of its kind. Unless Judge Patel's ruling is reversed on appeal, its upshot will likely be that many retail websites - in particular, those intrinsically linked to companies' brick-and-mortar operations - will have to start complying with the ADA. However, because Judge Patel's decision did not reach web-only retailers, it may be necessary for Congress to revisit the ADA if it wishes to ensure that all web retailers make their sites accessible.

In other words, the inevitable legislation of equal access to digital spaces and services hangs like the Sword of Damocles over the owners (and perhaps the builders) of all the inaccessible Ajaxian sites and rich internet applications being created today under the aegis of Web 2.0 (please note that the views of the publisher do not necessarily reflect the views of the polar bear).

Of course, Ajax and accessibility aren't totally mutually exclusive. There's plenty of good reading on the topic:

In fact, the W3C has announced a roadmap for accessible rich internet applications, but it's still early in the process and sounds like an awful lot of work. The good news is that after the Web 2.0 bubble bursts, designers and developers will be kept busy for years, retrofitting for accessibility.