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Selection of AEM

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This section focuses on the second step of the AEM decision-making process, selecting specialized formats. After the team determines that a student needs specialized formats, they select which formats are needed. The selection process includes the following checkpoints:

  1. List the print instructional materials used across the curriculum.
    The team gathers information about the print instructional materials used across the curriculum in which their student will participate and makes a list.
  2. Consider the instructional context.
    Next the team considers their student's skills, needs, and preferences; the environments in which the student will be working; and the tasks for which specialized formats will be needed. Thinking about the student, environments, and tasks helps the team understand how materials are used so that they can make informed decisions about which specialized formats or combination of formats—braille, large print, audio, or digital text—will work for their student.
  3. Select formats needed.
    Subsequently, the team determines which specialized format(s) will be most useful to their student. They select the format(s) needed by this student based on matching the student's needs and the instructional context needs with the features that can be manipulated in the specialized format(s). More than one may be needed and selected.
  4. Match formats to materials.
    The team uses the information gathered to select which print instructional materials are needed in which format(s).

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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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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Audio

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

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Digital Text

Published material retrieved and read via a computer.

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Resources for Selection

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 AIM Explorer is a free software simulation tool that combines grade-leveled digital text with access features common to most text readers and other supported reading software. Magnification, custom text and background colors, text-to-speech (synthetic and human), text highlighting, and layout options are presented in a logical sequence to help struggling readers, educators, and families decide which of these supports might enable the student to access and understand text.

The AEM Navigator is an online interactive tool that facilitates the process of decision-making around accessible educational materials for an individual student. The 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.

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Text-to-Speech (TTS)

Artificial production of human speech, using special software and/or hardware.

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