Module 1: Introduction to AEM
About This Module
The AEM Center offers this module as a part of an online learning series. Each module is self-paced and self-directed with technical assistance available from AEM Center staff.
Contact AEM Center staff through email or Twitter at anytime:
The AEM Center is only providing the content for these modules. The listed activities are suggested to encourage reflection as you interact with the content. If you are taking this module for credit, you may be required to submit assignments to your credit provider. The AEM Center itself will not be collecting assignments for these modules. If your district, state, or other agency is offering credit, please follow instructions provided to you for submitting evidence of participation directly to that agency.
All of the modules in the AEM series are pre-approved for the IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credential. If you currently hold IAAP Certification, you can submit completed activities for CAECs through the International Association of Accessibility Professionals.
Start by watching a 1-hour webinar. The webinar will cover the following topics:
- The mission and goals of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center)
- Definition of AEM
- The importance of AEM and accessible technologies for student learning
- Examples of accessible digital materials and technologies
- A tour of relevant resources on the AEM Center website
After watching the webinar, choose a level of mastery based on your goals for this module:
Time Commitment: 1 hour
Goal: Be able to explain the importance of accessible materials and technology to a colleague.
- Review AEM Basics
- Watch Bailey’s or Juna’s story (choose one)
After reviewing the selected resources, explain to a colleague the importance of AEM. In your response, consider including:
- Your own personal definition of AEM
- An example of how functional skills relate to students’ needs for AEM
- How AEM can make a difference to students’ opportunities to learn
Time Commitment: 2 hours
Goal: Describe examples of how students with disabilities use accessible materials.
- Read Audio-Supported Reading and Students with Learning Disabilities or Building a Firm Foundation: Supporting Students with More Intensive Support Needs in UDL Environments (choose one)
- Watch the short videos in the W3C Web Accessibility Perspectives collection
After completing the Entry level activity, choose two students with unique functional access needs and assess the accessibility of at least one educational material they currently use in the classroom. In your assessment, consider the following:
- What barriers are present in the material?
- What functional skills are needed for the learner to make the best use of the material?
- What additional supports may be needed for the learner to make the best use of the material?
Time Commitment: 3 hours
Goal: Demonstrate features of accessible materials that support access by students with disabilities.
- In what ways are the content and the interface perceivable to diverse learners? Are there any barriers for perception? If so, what are they, and what are some ways they could they be addressed?
- In what ways are diverse learners able to interact with the content and the interface? Are there any barriers for interaction? If so, what are they, and what are some ways they could be addressed?
- In what ways are diverse learners supported in understanding the content and enjoying a predictable experience? Are there any barriers to understanding? If so, what are they, and what are some ways they could be addressed?
- In what ways does the content work across different platforms (for digital materials)?
Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)
Print- and technology-based educational materials designed to be usable across the widest range of individual variability.View in glossary
Access for all people, including people with disabilities, to web environments.View in glossary
Technology that can be used by people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. Incorporates the principles of universal design.View in glossary
Equipment or system where principal function is creation, conversion, duplication, control, display, interchange, transmission, reception, or broadcast of data.View in glossary