Not sure what this court ruling really means, but the Register and TechCrunch are reporting that California courts are “leaning” toward requiring Web site accessibility for the visually impaired. For the folks who build websites using progressive enhancement and POSH (plain old semantic HTML), this would not be a problem. (Thanks to Joe Tennis for the link to POSH)
For the most part front end presentation code has been either been patched together by backend developers, or created by visual designers using photoshop with no understanding of how their pictures relate to code. There are a few brave souls that continue to spearhead the concept of designing with HTML. While it’s hard for the front end designer/coders to set the strategic agenda, I think it’s time they did. Right now there are a few people who can fill that role, I’m thinking of Jeremy Keith, Zeldman, Jason Fried, Eric Meyer and a few others.
I wonder if it would be a good or bad thing if the courts mandated POSH and progressive enhancement? I’m sure some back-end developer will create some inflexible, horribly tortured way to meet the requirement by creating multiple versions of a Web site. And then some online journal will document it as a “best practice.” This really could turn into a case of the blind leading the blind.