Accessible Digital Documents – inDesign

Adobe iDesign logoWe generally recommend that you not try to convert a document formatted for use on paper for use as an accessible digital document. Many documents created with desktop publishing software like Adobe’s inDesign use layout schemes that are pleasant to look at visually, but can be very challenging for people who use assistive technology. The efforts needed to make these documents accessible are significant.

That said, if for whatever reason you need to use inDesign and you need to make sure you have an accessible version, this webinar may be just what you need:

The Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network invites you to attend the November Accessible Technology Webinar session titled Creating Accessible Documents with Adobe InDesign featuring Jessica Cavazos, Health Educator, Minnesota Department of Health.

Session Description:

Adobe InDesign is a wonderful tool for producing creative documents; however, InDesign can be challenging when it comes to creating a document that is attractive and accessible. This webinar will take you step by step when it comes to making an accessible document in InDesign. Helpful tips and tools will also be shared along the way to help you create an accessible PDF beginning in InDesign.

Date:   November 15, 2018
Time:  2-3:30 pm Eastern Time
Cost:   Free

This session is offered via the telephone and/or via a web based webinar platform. The session will be captioned via the web based webinar platform.

Registration is available at  (you will need to set up an account on our website if you do not have one already).

Questions regarding the session should be directed to or at 877-232-1990 (V/TTY) or 312-767-0377 (video phone).

How to Check A Website for Accessibility – webinar resources posted

Website - construction sceneThe video and resources for the October 29th webinar, “How to Check A Website for Accessibility” have been posted. Here is the link to the recording and resources…

The webinar utilized the newly acquired Zoom Webinar platform and captioning services of Kaltura streaming. We are continuing to refine and enhance the quality of this service.

If you have difficulties with the content, please feel free to contact us for support.

Maine AEM at ACTEM

ACTEM logoMaine CITE and the Maine AEM Program will be attending and exhibiting at the ACTEM’s 31st Annual Maine Education Technology Conference at the Augusta Civic Center, October 11th and 12th.

In addition to our exhibit, John Brandt will be presenting the workshop, “Making Podcasts and Videos into Accessible Educational Materials” at 12:40 pm on Thursday, Oct 11.

Upcoming webinars to help struggling readers

Learning Ally logoIn a partnership between edWeb and Learning Ally, the following three free webinars will provide information for teachers who work with students struggling with reading.

Motivation Matters: 10 Research-Based Strategies to Motivate Struggling Readers
Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Presented by Terrie Noland, Vice President, Educator Initiatives, Learning Ally

Research shows that an alarming number of students report they are learning to hate reading. This can be a painful realization and the reason why so many educators understand the importance and value of being motivated to read. As educators, we want to flip that paradigm and create motivated and engaged readers. What does that mean exactly? It means reading with increased stamina, understanding the value associated with reading and engaging in the classroom culture and discourse.

Through an extensive review of current literature and research, this edWebinar will reveal what educators can do to counteract this decline in motivation through strategies that will not only boost motivation but will have a positive, powerful impact on reading achievement.

Whether you are an administrator, specialist, or classroom teacher you will walk away motivated to integrate a number of the ten different strategies that will be discussed. There will be time to get your questions answered after the presentation. Use this link for more information and to register for the August 29th event…

What Dyslexia Red Flags Look Like for Different Students in Different Grades
Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Presented by Kelli Sandman-Hurley, Ed.D., Co-Founder, Dyslexia Training Institute; and Tracy Block-Zaretsky, Co-Founder, Dyslexia Training Institute

This edWebinar will use case studies to uncover the red flags across different grade levels to illustrate the many ways dyslexia can manifest in different students. By understanding the warning signs, teachers can begin to provide interventions and accommodations that help to close the gap between a student’s decoding capability and their ability to comprehend grade-level content. Use this link for more information and to register for the September 12th event…

Why Reading Is Like Driving a Car: Automaticity is Critical
Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Presented by Terrie Noland, Vice President, Educator Initiatives, Learning Ally

Automaticity is necessary in everything we do to move to higher order thinking skills and perform tasks flawlessly. If we cannot easily perform lower-level reading processes such as phonemic awareness, phonics, and decoding with “automaticity,” we will find it more difficult to free up our mental capacity to concentrate on the task. When our cognitive load becomes too intense to comprehend, there is enhanced likelihood that gaps in our learning process will exist thus affecting reading achievement and feelings of failure. This edWebinar will share information to help understand when gaps in automaticity occur. Use this link for more information and to register for the September 18th event…


NC-AEM offering accessibility training to k-12 educators

Making Everyday Curriculum Materials Accessible for All Learners

National Center on Accessible Educational Materials logoThe National AEM Center invites new K-12 educators to participate in a free professional development opportunity to improve the accessibility of the materials students use for learning. Many students with disabilities experience barriers to using curriculum materials due to physical, sensory, or learning disabilities. The outcome of the offered professional development is that you will improve students’ access to the same curriculum materials as their classmates. 

For this learning opportunity, educators in their first, second, or third year of teaching are being targeted, however, all interested participants are welcome. Small groups from the same school or district are encouraged.

Open Registration is 5/8/18 – 2/5/19: Participant need only register once during the open registration period and are welcome to do so at any time.


Five topics have been selected for online modules related to providing accessible classroom materials. The five topics are directly relevant to the curricular materials you use with students on a daily basis:

One topic will be introduced every seven weeks, with varied options for independent practice between them. Participants will select activities according to the time and effort you choose to commit; based on your choices, the time commitment will range from approximately one to three hours per seven-week topic. AEM Center staff will hold virtual office hours to support practice between topics, and participants will have the option to learn from one another over social media. 

Please use this link for more information and register for this free training…

Engaging Adolescent Striving Readers

The following announcement and free webinar is from…

From Frustration to Freedom: Engaging Adolescent Striving Readers

Frustrated studentThursday, March 15, 2018 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT

Presented by Dr. Jennifer McCarty Plucker, Literacy and Professional Learning Lead Consultant, Mackin.

In this edWebinar, Dr. Jennifer McCarty Plucker, Literacy and Professional Learning Lead Consultant for Mackin, will bring educators into the shoes of an adolescent striving reader. Attendees will explore the challenges students face when struggling to comprehend and consider how students can use their strengths to grow areas of need. Through the stories of the implementation of a literacy intervention program aligned to the most recent research on adolescent literacy, attendees can see how they might (re)design their approach to engage learners, accelerate growth, and foster identity change for so many struggling learners.

This session is designed for all school librarians, literacy leaders, ELA and reading teachers, and administrators working with middle school and high school students. There will be time for questions after Dr. McCarty Plucker’s presentation. Join us to gain strategies for fostering more growth in striving readers.

About the Presenter

Dr. Jennifer McCarty Plucker, Literacy and Professional Learning Lead Consultant, will help you transform your teaching and learning methodology with the inclusion of her accomplished brand of professional insight and the resourcefulness, expertise, and support of Mackin. Dr. McCarty Plucker received her doctoral degree in educational leadership with research focused on adolescent engagement/motivation and accelerated literacy growth. Her research has been recognized in ASCD’s Educational Leadership, by the International Literacy Association, and the Southern Regional Education Board’s High Schools That Work.

She has over 20 years of education experience as a teaching and learning coordinator, ESL coordinator, K-12 intervention specialist, English/speech teacher, reading specialist, speech coach, past president of the Minnesota Reading Association, adjunct instructor, and literacy consultant. Dr. McCarty Plucker and the Mackin team partner with districts to provide coaching, guidance, professional learning, world class tools, and leadership customized for the students they serve.

Use this link for more information and to register for this free event…

Accessible PDF Webinar available in archive

icons of commonly used softwareOn February 14th we recorded Making PDFs into Accessible Educational Materials,  a 60-minute webinar with John Brandt and Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles, Ph.D., ATP

In this session, we discussed the importance of making all education materials accessible, how to ensure your PDF files “make the grade,” and various tools and techniques that can be used to help fix and rescue some documents.

View the webinar – “Making PDF’s into Accessible Educational Materials…


Learn about Audio Description

Audio Description logoAudio description, also referred to as a video description, described video, or more precisely called a visual description, is an additional narration track intended primarily for blind and visually impaired consumers of visual media (including television and film, dance, opera, and visual art). It consists of a narrator talking through the presentation, describing what is happening on the screen or stage during the natural pauses in the audio, and sometimes during dialogue if deemed necessary.” – Wikipedia

The addition of this requirement to the Section 508 Refresh will make many folks scramble to meet this accessibility guideline. To help with the conversation, 3 Play Media offered this webinar, Introduction to Audio Description on May 4th and it is now available in archive format – Here is the link to the archive of the webinar, Introduction to Audio Description…


Image Credit: By Mikael Persson, [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons