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AEMing for Access

The webinar series AEMing for Access, focuses on accessibility, accessible educational materials, accessible and assistive technologies

Intro to AEMing for Access Webinar Series

Kelli Suding, TA Specialist at CAST is kicking off the series with a quick overview of this new event and to develop a shared understanding for access for every learner.

3 Key Takeaways

  • Families play an important role in ensuring their child with a disability has access to the educational materials they need to learn and succeed.
  • The IDEA requires that students with disabilities who need AEM receive them in a timely manner.
  • A typical barrier for some students with disabilities is actually the educational materials used for learning, like textbooks, handouts, and websites.

Family Guide

Families play such an important role in helping ensure their child with a disability has the best learning experience possible and receives the educational materials they need to learn and succeed. That's why we created A Family's Guide to Accessible Educational Materials, a new resource that helps you understand and advocate for your child's educational needs. In this guide, you will find information on what accessible educational materials are, how they can benefit your child, and how to request them from your child's school. You will also get some handy templates that you can use to communicate with teachers and other professionals about your child's learning preferences and challenges.

3 Key Takeaways

  • Families play an important role in ensuring their child with a disability has access to the educational materials they need to learn and succeed.
  • The IDEA requires that students with disabilities who need AEM receive them in a timely manner. 
  • A typical barrier for some students with disabilities is actually the educational materials used for learning, like textbooks, handouts, and websites.

NETP Overview

The U.S. Depart of Ed released the 2024 National Educational Technology Plan (NETP): A Call to Action for Closing the Digital Access, Design and Use Divides. The Plan articulates a vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible. While acknowledging the continuing need to provide greater equity of access to technology itself, the plan goes further to call upon all involved in American education to ensure equity of access to transformational learning experiences enabled by technology. The presentation slides are available. 

3 Key Takeaways:

  • The learning environment and space must be accessible to all learners.
  • Maximize each digital tool used within the learning environment/ space to its fullest potential to benefit all learners.
  • Ensure that all edtech tools, materials and/or adoption of curricula are accessible. ​

Online Learning Series

The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) at CAST Online Learning Series on Accessible Materials & Technologies mission is to empower educators in understanding and implementing accessible materials and technologies. Whether you are a beginner eager to start or a seasoned learner aiming to deepen your knowledge, we are excited to be a part of your AEM learning journey.

We highly encourage state agencies, districts, teacher education programs, universities, workforce agencies, and other entities to consider adopting the Canvas: Online Learning Series on Accessible Materials and Technologies course for training on best practices for providing accessible materials and technologies for all learners who need them.

3 Key Takeaways:

  • Accessibility is everyone’s responsibility.
  • The online learning series on AEM and technologies are pre-approved for Continuing Accessibility Education Credit (CAEC) for the IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credential. 
  • Users may import the learning series into their own Canvas LMS.

Vetting Accessibility on Assessments

In this AEMing For Access session, we will explore how to vet  a variety of assessments against the POUR principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, robust. POUR lays the foundation for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and, when used, can support all students, especially students using assistive technology.

3 Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the purpose of the assessment and how the results will be used.
  • When vetting assessments for accessibility ask for a demo with assistive technology or ask for access to practice questions and test the accessibility.
  • Keep in mind 3 main questions: can students enter into the content, respond to the content, and is the content itself unbiased?
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