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Presentation on theme: " Accessible Educational Materials in 2015: The BASICS for Educators and Families Joy Zabala, Ed.D., Director of Technical Assistance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accessible Educational Materials in 2015: The BASICS for Educators and Families Joy Zabala, Ed.D., Director of Technical Assistance Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and the National Center of Accessible Educational Materials for Learning

2 Purpose and Big Ideas of this Session The purpose of this webinar is to provide foundational information related to the timely provision of AEM. Content will focus on the following main ideas: Legal and pedagogical rationales for providing AEM The changing language of AEM Sources of AEM and who can use each source Supportive tools and resources

3 AIM Center to AEM Center The goal is to build the capacity of states, districts, postsecondary institutions, families, publishers, and other stakeholders to increase the availability and use of high-quality accessible educational materials (AEM) that support improved learning opportunities for students in K-12, Higher Education and workplace environments. 2

4 What do the IDEA regulations say about accessible materials? Section 300.172

5 IDEA Fed. Reg. Section 300.172 Provisions require state and local education agencies to ensure that textbooks and related core instructional materials are provided to students with print disabilities in specialized formats in a timely manner. Legal requirement is placed on state and local education agencies. IDEA cannot place requirements on publishers 4

6 Print Disability Language appears in IDEA and is not specifically defined. In general usage, it refers to being unable to read or use standard print materials because of blindness or other disability

7 6 Joint Dear Colleague Letter June 29, 2010, Department of Justice and Department of Education

8 What are Accessible Educational Materials?

9 Keeping Language Current  Language as a barrier Changes over time Acting from common misunderstandings  Language as a capacity-builder Keeping up with change Common vocabulary

10 AEM as NIMAS XML files the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) can be readily transformed into student-ready specialized formats.

11 AEM as NIMAS The national repository of NIMAS-compliant files that are created by publishers and deposited when required by SEA/LEA purchasers.

12 Language Change Over Time Facilitator: purchasers, publishers and media producers Barrier: decision-makers for individual students, educators, families Common misunderstandings: eligibility, student- ready, is all that’s needed

13 AEM as Specialized Formats Braille, large print, audio, and digital text Exactly the same information as the printed materials Only the presentation of the material is different

14 Language Change Over Time AEM = Specialized Formats Facilitator: broadens understanding beyond NIMAS as sole means of providing accessible materials Barrier: applies only to print-based materials, limited to students meeting copyright criteria, equates need to specific disability categories Common misunderstandings: need is equated to falling within specific disability categories, acquiring for one opens access to all, fair use

15 AEM is not just NIMAS AEM is not just specialized formats Lesson Learned…

16 Materials are Materials Instructional = Educational = Learning 15

17 Accessible Educational Materials “Accessible educational materials” means print- and technology-based educational materials, including printed and electronic textbooks and related core materials that are required by SEAs and LEAs for use by all students, produced or rendered in accessible media, written and published primarily for use in early learning programs, elementary, or secondary schools to support teaching and learning.” CFDA 84.327Z, Footnote #10

18 Accessible Educational Materials… Are designed or enhanced in a way that makes them usable by the widest possible range of student variability regardless of format (print, digital, graphical, audio, video) Content may be “designed to be used as print” and require retrofitting Content may be “designed to be used digitally” and difficult to retrofit if not accessible from the start

19 Language Changes Over Time AEM = Materials designed to be highly usable across full range of student variability Facilitator: expands beyond printed materials, includes digital materials, increases importance of the market, extends thinking to non-text material Barrier: lack of demand, limited availability in the market Common misunderstandings: all digital materials are accessible to everyone

20 When thinking about accessible digital materials, it is important to understand that the content and the delivery technology are two sides of the AEM coin and both require careful consideration and selection. Lesson Learned…

21 Two Sides of the AEM Coin… 20 The information is the content Technology is the delivery system that the student uses to perceive and interact with the content

22 How are decisions made about AEM?

23 A Four-Step Process for Decision-Making 1.Establish need for instructional materials in accessible format(s) 2.Select format(s) and features needed by a student for educational participation and achievement 3.Commence steps to acquire needed format(s) in a timely manner 4.Determine supports needed for effective use for educational participation and achievement. AEM Navigator at http://aem.cast.org

24 Who needs AEM?

25 Who “qualifies” for AEM? Need comes before qualification!

26 Reframing the Question “Who NEEDS accessible versions of educational materials for participation and achievement?

27 Who needs AEM? Many students with disabilities are unable to read or use educational materials, because of” – Blindness or visual impairments – Physical impairments – Learning disabilities – Other disabilities that impact the ability to read standard print or use standard materials

28 The need or preferences for educational materials in accessible formats goes well beyond print and well beyond students with identified disabilities. Lesson Learned…

29 Who Needs AEM? Students with disabilities that prevent them from using “typical” instructional materials, such as print or “locked” digital materials, effectively Students with sensory, physical, or learning-related disabilities Students without identified disabilities who cannot make effective use of “typical” instructional materials Struggling readers; students lacking English proficiency, etc. Students who simply prefer options for different tasks or for use in different environments.

30 Who needs AEM? If any student is unable to read or use grade level instructional materials at a sufficient rate and with adequate comprehension to complete academic tasks with success, relative to same-age peers, or cannot do this independently, or cannot do this across environments and tasks, then the student MAY need AEM.

31 What are the sources of AEM and who can use each source?

32 There are multiple sources for acquiring accessible versions of printed materials but most sources do not deal all types of AEM and some cannot be used to provide materials to for all students 31

33 Multiple Sources of Accessible Materials NIMAS source files from the NIMAC Accessible Media Producers Locally Produced Free Sources Commercial Sources

34 Multiple Sources of Accessible Materials The NIMAC Students using materials created from NIMAS-source files stored in the NIMAC must: meet copyright criteria (certified by a competent authority as unable to read printed materials because of blindness or other disability) AND be served under IDEA.

35 Multiple Sources of AEM There are varying Interpretations of “Qualifying Disability” under copyright The National Library Service - Library of Congress Blind, Visual Impairment, Physical Limitations, or a Reading Disability based on Organic Dysfunction

36 Multiple Sources of Accessible Materials NIMAS source files from the NIMAC: Printed materials. Use constrained by copyright AND IDEA Accessible Media Producers: Printed materials. Use constrained by copyright restrictions (Bookshare, Learning Ally, APH, etc.) Locally Produced: May have constraints and certainly require significant human resources Free Sources: No limitations, but may not be the same as used by others Commercial Sources: Purchase for anyone, use with anyone!

37 As the publishing industry “goes digital” the most promising sources of AEM for widespread use are: Accessible digital learning materials developed by publishers and made available for purchase Accessible open educational resources (OERs) Lesson Learned…

38 In a world going digital, accessibility does not seem to be a problem, right?

39 Many of the digital educational materials and their delivery systems are not currently accessible! Wrong!! 38

40 39 Center for Online Learning and Students with Disabilities

41 The PALM Initiative 40 Purchase Accessible Learning Materials Purchase Accessible Learning Materials

42 Lesson Learned… Purchasing materials designed from the start with rich options that increase their accessibility and make them more widely usable is beneficial in many ways. 41

43 Supports inclusion All students use same materials at the same time Benefits all students’ learning All have access to supportive features and scaffolds Benefits teachers Easier to plan and teach Reduces complexity Eliminates eligibility questions Reduces costly accommodations No need for different sets of materials or to provide accommodations for inaccessible materials Benefits of Purchasing Accessible Materials

44 Where can I get help when I need it?

45 National Center for Accessible Educational Materials for Learning October 2014 to October 2019

46 45

47 Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. Kofi Anan 46

48 What can you do? 47 Visit the AEM Center web site at: http://aem.cast.org Use the information and tools on the AEM Center site to help identify need and then explore options to meet the need Go to “AEM State Contacts ” to find out about state and local policies, procedures, and practices in your state sea-information.htm sea-information.htm Move beyond statutory obligations to excellent instructional practices Push for AEM in the marketplace

49 See you in the Cafe!! Joy Zabala

50 “Assistive and Instructional Technology Supporting Learners with Disabilities”

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