The Journal of Higher Education Web Professionals conducted an interview with Shawn Henry, who leads the W3C Web Accessibility outreach programs.
One of the key things that I got out of reading the transcript of this interview is the suggestion to find users with disabilities who can provide insight on how accessible your website is. It definitely puts a human touch on the process. There can be rules galore, but the people who know best are the users themselves.
Here’s the link to the interview: http://link.highedweb.org/2011/10/six-questions-with-shawn-henry/
There are also links from that page that go to a set of accessibility tools and ways to find users with disabilities that can help.
Another tip that I’ve found personally helpful is to keep up with accessibility in general via the Twitter hashtags #a11y, or #axs. That’s a one one y, not ally. You’ll find some pretty honest (and often sarcastic) opinions about various websites, software, and hardware there.
Here is a good case study on the step by step process of making a website accessible: http://www.adamsofineti.com/2011/10/web-accessibility-a-case-study/
The key thing to remember is this: by making your website inaccessible, you’re preventing a whole group of users from accessing information they may need.
On another note…hey Google, what’s up with all of the white space in all of your tools?