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Coordinating Early Childhood Systems

Adults and a young child collaborating in an early learning classroom

While early childhood providers and families prioritize activities that optimize interactivity with peers and the natural environment, print and digital materials and technologies are commonly present in early learning settings, including the home and community. If and when they are determined to be appropriate, interactive materials and technologies need to be accessible if children with disabilities are to benefit from inclusive settings. Examples of accessible materials and technologies in early learning settings can include:

  • Tactile books that include a combination of print and braille
  • Video that includes captioning of sounds and audio description of visual elements
  • Mobile apps that are compatible with a child’s assistive technology (AT)

Ensuring that children with disabilities in early childhood programs can participate in all range of activities in early childhood programs is effectively achieved through a coordinated approach requiring collaboration between a number of agencies, federal, state, and local service providers, and families and caregivers.

The Critical Components of the Quality Indicators for the Provision of Accessible Educational Materials & Accessible Technologies for Early Childhood describe how agencies, programs, and services can work together to improve the accessibility of early learning environments for children with disabilities.

Read the Critical Components for Early Childhood

Read the Year 1 Knowledge Development Synthesis for Early Childhood

Relevant Laws and Policies

In addition to guiding early childhood programs toward more inclusive settings for all children, the Quality Indicators address the following laws and policies related to equal access for children with disabilities:

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