Assemble a Team
From the designers to the developers, every group on a website team is responsible for accessibility. By assembling your "A-Team" early, you can designate who is responsible for each task that will make your content accessible to all.
Right from the start, designers need to keep color contrast in mind so users who are colorblind or have low vision can scan and comprehend important information. Designers should also educate themselves about the principles of information design, such as creating a clear hierarchy of information, following a logical sequence, and maintaining consistency play a large part in accessibility.
Content Writers and Managers
Information architects and content strategists work together so the site is accessible from the inside out. All institutions handle content differently, but content team members tend to have either one of two roles: content writers and content managers. Content writers will create readable and usable content, including the text most people won't see until they need it, like alt text and captions. Content managers, who often handle editing and content entry, will ensure that the alt text, captions, and any other accessibility-related details appear in the right places.
You won't know if a site is truly accessible until you ask real-life users to perform tasks. For quick projects, you could test your site with a screen reader, but you can't beat working with users who truly need assistive technology, and you'll earn bonus points if you include members of specific user groups, such as students, parents, or alumni.
Since you will need to prepare for future content updates, ask members of your accessibility team to record their decisions and prepare documentation so others can check for WCAG 2.0 compliance. In the higher-ed field, you may also need to prepare an accessibility policy to post to your institution's website and schedule future meetings to address any changes in the rules.
If your team has accessibility chops, prospective students and other audiences should know. An accessible site could make it easier for a prospective student — or their parents — to access information that will shape their decision on schools.
Bringing It All Together
While accessibility is always a team exercise, you'll still need a point person to clear up any questions and confirm that all teams are completing accessibility-related tasks. During each project or maintenance cycle, make sure a member of your team is well trained in WCAG 2.0, and ask that person to provide sign-off that your site is not just accessible but also enjoyable to use.