Skip to main content

Need for AEM

Photo of a girl using a mobile device

Determination of need is the first decision point. The decision-making team thinks about whether the student 1) can gain information from standard print-based instructional materials used across the curriculum by all students, 2) needs the materials in a specialized format, or 3) needs modified content or alternative materials.

Option One: The student can use standard print-based instructional materials used across the curriculum by other students.
If the team chooses this option, they anticipate that the student will make adequate progress reading and gaining information from grade-level print-based materials. Evidence indicates that specialized formats of instructional materials are not needed at this time.

Option Two: The student requires exactly the same content in one or more specialized formats.
If the team chooses this option, evidence collected indicates that the student cannot use standard print-based instructional materials effectively at this time. The team anticipates that the student will make adequate progress if exactly the same information is presented in one or more specialized formats (e.g., braille, large print, audio, or digital text).

Option Three: The student requires modified content or alternative materials.
When the team chooses this option, evidence collected indicates that the student cannot use typical print-based materials effectively at this time due to a disability that impacts comprehension of information, and the team anticipates that the student will need alternative materials. Alternative materials address the same educational goals as standard print documents, but content is modified (usually made less complex) so that the student can better understand it. Some students may need alternative materials in specialized formats in order to access them.

Audio

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

View in glossary

Digital Text

Published material retrieved and read via a computer.

View in glossary

Resources for Need

The AIMing for Achievement DVD includes content on a variety of topics that are important to the provision, selection, acquisition, and use of accessible instructional materials. The DVD contains interviews and illustrative scenarios that increase awareness and knowledge that support timely provision of accessible instructional materials to students who need them for educational participation and achievement.

The AEM Navigator is an interactive tool that facilitates the process of decision-making around accessible educational materials for an individual student. Four major decision points in the process include 1) determination of need, 2) selection of format(s), 3) acquisition of format(s), and 4) selection of supports for use. The AEM Navigator also includes a robust set of guiding questions and useful references and resources specifically related to each decision point. Different scaffolds of support are built-in so that teams can access information at the level needed to assist them in making informed, accurate decisions.

Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

Print-based educational materials converted into specialized formats, related to the requirements of the IDEA statute.

View in glossary

Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

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

View in glossary