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AEM Connector for Fall 2017


AEM Center Happenings

Cynthia Curry Named New Co-Director

The AEM Center is thrilled to announce that Cynthia Curry, formerly Director of Technical Assistance, is now Co-Director with Skip Stahl. Joy Zabala has reduced her time and remains closely connected to the AEM Center while providing her incomparable expertise to additional CAST projects. Look for Cynthia's comments about her transition to Co-Director in this issue's TA Tips. 

CAST Figuration 3.0 Released 

Is your website accessible? If not, CAST Figuration is a starting point for building an accessible, cross-device, interactive website. Openly licensed, Figuration contains styles for text and buttons; interactive elements such as menus, tabs, sliders, and modal dialogs; column and grid layouts that adapt to the screen and device in use; color schemes that pass WCAG contrast checks; and advanced components such as an HTML5 audio and video player with interactive captions. All components are built to be usable via mouse, keyboard, or touch interaction as well as accessible to screen readers and other assistive technology. What's even better? Figuration has been upgraded to 3.0! Learn more about CAST Figuration .

Upcoming Conference Presentations

As the school year gets underway, the AEM Center is hitting the road and hoping to see you during the upcoming conference season. Here's where you'll find us!


EdNET, Scottsdale AZ


See our Events page for presentation details.

State Spotlight on AEM

Texas Requires Bidders to Validate Accessibility

The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) has made accessibility a core component of its procurement policy. SBOE uses proclamations to notify both publishers and the public that bids for furnishing instructional materials are being accepted. Proclamation 2019, issued in April of this year, requires that publishers' electronic information materials be compliant with WCAG 2.0 AA and Section 508 accessibility standards. As outlined in the proclamation, an accessibility audit of the material must be conducted by an independent third party tester, followed by a comprehensive report verifying that the product meets the required accessibility standards. Materials that are not fully accessible will be removed from the SBOE adopted list. The AEM Center applauds Texas, which is one of the AEM Best Practices Cohort states. Download Proclamation 2019 from the Texas Education Agency website

From Our Partners

SETDA Features Accessibility Policy in Navigating the Digital Shift II

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) announced the launch of Navigating the Digital Shift II: Implementing Digital Instructional Materials for Learning during June's Emerging Technologies Leadership Forum in San Antonio. In the report, SETDA calls out "Accessibility for All Students" as one of six essential conditions for implementation. Read the report for guidance on accessibility policies and practices. Download Navigating the Digital Shift II for guidance on accessibility policies and practices

Benetech Establishes Global Certified Accessible Program

Benetech launched Global Certified Accessible, the first ever program to evaluate the accessibility of ebooks. The program offers publishers an opportunity to have a product assessed and, if awarded a "stamp of approval" from Benetech, market its accessibility to purchasers and procurement officers at K-12 and higher ed institutions. Learn more about Global Certified Accessible.

Understood Offers Back-to-School Ready 2017: First-Day Ready 

"Your First-Day Ready Guide" is a customized search for what you need to be prepared for the school year. Whether your child is in preschool or college, First-Day Ready will gather resources for success in academic, organization and social skills. Check out Understood's First-Day Ready Guide.

Ed Tech Developers

U.S. Access Board Announces Section 508 Webinar Series

AccessibilityOnline, a collaborative training program between the ADA National Network and the US Access Board, is offering a webinar series on best practices for applying the revised Section 508 standards to mobile software development and the use of WCAG 2.0 for creating accessible content. Learn more and register for the Section 508 webinar series

TA Tips

As many of you are transitioning to a new academic year, I too am entering a new phase. As the recently named Co-Director of the AEM Center, I'm deeply grateful to Joy for everything she has taught me over many years, but especially the past several months. While no one could replace her, it's a privilege to succeed Joy in this position. And, not to worry, she's continuing to be a high profile AEM force! You'll see her in upcoming AEM Center conference presentations and webinars, and she remains " a fingertip away!"

The opportunity to co-direct the AEM Center with Skip is an honor. I look forward to continuing its mission to bring accessibility to every learning corner. Let's have a great 2017-18!

Cynthia Curry 

Co-Director, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning

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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CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology)

Non-profit organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through research and development.

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Digital form or representation of a sound which may be used for non-visual access to text and images.

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

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

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Accessibility Standards

Current or revised electronic and information technology accessibility standards developed under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

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Electronic version of a book.

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