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Making Everyday Curriculum Materials Accessible for All Learners

The National AEM Center invites new K-12 educators to participate in a free professional development opportunity to improve the accessibility of the materials your students use for learning. Many students with disabilities experience barriers to using curriculum materials due to physical, sensory, or learning disabilities. The outcome of the offered professional development is that you will improve your students’ access to the same curriculum materials as their classmates. And, we’re certain that you’ll discover that accessibility improves the quality of your curriculum for all learners.

For this learning opportunity, we’re targeting educators in their first, second, or third year of teaching; however, we welcome all interested participants. Small groups from the same school or district are encouraged.

Open Registration is 5/8/18 - 2/5/19: You need only register once during the open registration period and you are welcome to do so at any time.

Register for this learning opportunity today! (and read on for additional details)


Five topics have been selected for online modules related to providing accessible classroom materials. The five topics are directly relevant to the curricular materials you use with students on a daily basis:

One topic will be introduced every seven weeks, with varied options for independent practice between them. You will select activities according to the time and effort you choose to commit; based on your choices, the time commitment will range from approximately one to three hours per seven-week topic. AEM Center staff will hold virtual office hours to support practice between topics, and participants will have the option to learn from one another over social media. 

Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

Print- and technology-based educational materials designed to be usable across the widest range of individual variability.

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Access for all people, including people with disabilities, to web environments.

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Module 1: Introduction to Accessible Educational Materials and Technologies

July 11-August 29

Module 1 will serve as the foundation of the online course. You’ll learn the definition of accessible materials and technologies with examples, the benefits for all learners, and related legislation.

Starts with one-hour recorded video conference: Jul 11, 4-5 PM ET (Register by 7/6)

Module 2: How to Make Your Documents Accessible

August 29-October 17

Some simple changes to how you create common documents, such as Word, Pages, Google Docs, PowerPoint, web pages etc., will make them more widely accessible to your learners, including students with disabilities.

Starts with one-hour recorded video conference: Aug 29, 4-5 PM ET (Register by 8/24)

Module 3: How to Locate Captioned Videos and Make Your Own

October 17 – December 5

Captions on videos have benefits that extend beyond learners who are deaf or hard of hearing. You’ll learn how to find videos with captions, identify quality features, and have the option to create your own.   

Starts with one-hour recorded video conference: Oct 17, 4-5 PM ET (Register by 10/12)

Module 4: How to Find Specialized Formats of Print Materials

December 5 - February 6

Some students have difficulty using standard print materials, including textbooks and related materials that come bundled with them. You’ll learn how some students with disabilities experience barriers to print, sources of alternative (“specialized”) formats, how to acquire them, and related supports for student use.  

Starts with one-hour recorded video conference: Dec 5, 4-5 PM ET (Register by 11/30)

Module 5:  How to Select Accessible Digital Materials

February 6 - March 27

EdTech developers are increasingly designing products with accessibility features. You’ll learn how to identify these products, ask vendors about accessibility, and best practices for ensuring that accessible products are procured for teaching and learning.

Starts with one-hour recorded video conference: Feb 6, 4-5 PM ET (Register by 2/1)


Open Registration is 5/8/18 - 2/5/19: You need only register once during the open registration period and you are welcome to do so at any time. However, if you are interested in a specific topic as opposed to the full series, we recommend that you register ahead of that module for timely participation, including live attendance at the introductory video conference.

Some eductional agencies are offering the modules for credit. If you are taking the course for credit, check with your administrator for more specific details regarding participation requirements.

Register for this learning opportunity today!


Equipment or system where principal function is creation, conversion, duplication, control, display, interchange, transmission, reception, or broadcast of data.

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Print Instructional Materials

Printed materials written and published for use in elementary and secondary school instruction, required by a SEA or LEA for use by students in classroom.

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