Take Flight to Accessibility with the AEM Pilot
This is a guest post written by Cynthia Curry, Director of the AEM Center at CAST. SETDA continues an on-going partnership with CAST to support access to instructional materials and tools for all learners.
The National AEM Center at CAST has enjoyed collaborating with SETDA on improving access digital materials and technologies for learners with disabilities in your states and districts. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), one of our primary roles is to provide technical assistance to states and districts on how to select, procure, create, and distribute accessible educational materials (AEM) and related technologies. Accessibility in this context means that learners with disabilities are afforded the same opportunity for independence, participation, and progress in the curriculum as learners without disabilities. A common misconception is that inaccessible materials can be efficiently retrofitted by special educators or that alternatives can be readily acquired through special education services. The reality is that many learners with disabilities, who are estimated to represent 11% of the student population, experience delays or even full barriers to learning when materials are selected without consideration for accessibility. The good news is that resources and tools are available to guide states and districts on accessibility best practices. One of these is the newly released AEM Pilot. Check out this AEM Pilot video to learn more.
About the Author
Cynthia Curry is Director of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning (AEM Center) and Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems (CITES). She is responsible for ensuring that the Centers meet their goals to increase the use of accessible educational materials and accessible technologies by learners with disabilities across preK-12, higher education, and workforce development. To that end, Cynthia collaborates with state leaders and AEM Center partners to lead the development of AEM and accessible technology provision systems.