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Maryland State Story

Maryland has embedded its work on AEM and assistive technology into existing statewide UDL initiatives in order to facilitate collaboration and create a multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted system for addressing the needs of all students. To this end, the state has developed written guidelines (Quality Indicator 3) related to the effective and efficient acquisition, provision and use of AEM, but those guidelines are in need of an update (for example, they still refer to AIM instead of AEM). Maryland has districts ranging from 7 to 200 schools, and "providing guidance and resources that make sense for individual districts is the priority," said Marny Helfrich, a Low-Incidence Resource Specialist in the Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Maryland has a robust system for acquiring AEM for students who are blind or who have visual impairments, but the same is not true for students with other disabilities. The National Federation of the Blind is headquartered in Baltimore, and its advocacy may play a role in focusing attention on the needs of students who are blind or have visual impairments.

 

 

 

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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Technology

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

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Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Framework of learning and teaching, resisting one-size-fits-all approach. Encourages offering multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement.

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Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

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

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