Assisting you to find the information you need
If you do not find the information you need on this page, please contact the Maine AEM Program for assistance.
(TTY Users may call Maine Relay 711)
There are a number of laws and policies that influence how schools and institutions of higher education support students with print disabilities who need Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) and Assistive Technology (AT). Use this link for more information about Laws and Policies…
In addition to the Maine AEM Program, there are several organizations in Maine and nationally that may be able to assist you with information and guidance. Use this link for Technical Assistance Services to Maine Schools…
Assistance for Parents and Families
Advocacy and Technical Assistance for Parents and Families
- Maine Parent Federation – Maine Parent Federation (MPF), in existence since 1984, is a private non-profit organization. MPF provides information, referral, one on one telephone support, and training to parents of children with disabilities or special health care needs and the professionals who work with these families through numerous grant-funded projects. Services are offered at no cost to parents and are available statewide. The recently-revised publication, Guide for Maine Families on AT and AEM – (MS-Word) will help students families and guardians learn more about maine Special Education services and assist students in getting the assistive technology devices and AEM they need.
- Disability Rights Maine (DRM) – DRM provides information and referral, individual advocacy, legal representation, education/training, and assistance with self-advocacy. DRM welcomes calls from people with disabilities inquiring about their legal rights. However, DRM does not advise landlords, schools, businesses, or providers of accommodations or services.
Other Parent/Family Resources
The PACER Center and the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (NC-AEM) have also published the following series of resources for parents on the needs of students with print disabilities. All of these links bring you to resources on the NC-AIM website:
- AEM Basics for Families (2011). This booklet, available in English and Spanish, will help you and other members of your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team decide whether the student needs AIM, what type of specialized format the student needs, how to access the materials for the student, and what supports the student needs to use AIM.
- AIM: A Technical Guide for Families and Advocates (2011). This guide Includes background information on AIM provisions in IDEA, definitions of terms, a thorough description of the decision-making process for AIM, and where to find additional resources.
- The Right of Students with Disabilities Who Need Accessible Instructional Materials to Receive These Materials in a Timely Manner: A Brief for Families and Educators (2012). This article introduces what accessible instructional materials are and why they are important. Next, the provisions in IDEA 2004 pertaining to accessible instructional materials are discussed. The relationship between accessible instructional materials and FAPE under IDEA are discussed as well as the additional IDEA requirements, which reinforce the right to appropriate accessible materials.
Parents who want to learn more and keep abreast of information in this area may:
- Visit the National Center on AEM web site homepage.
- Sign up for the Maine AEM Program Mailing List.
- Sign-up for the NC-AEM Connector e-newsletter.
- Check out upcoming and archived AEM Center webinars and presentations.
Assistance for Educators and others
In addition to the Maine AEM Program, there are several non-profits and state agencies that can assist Maine schools and educational institutions with technical assistance. Please visit our Technical Assistance page for more information…
The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials – provides resources and technical assistance for educators, parents, students, publishers, conversion houses, accessible media producers, and others interested in learning more about Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) and implementing AEM and the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS).
Copyright & Fair Use
- Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education – from the University of Rhode Island.
- The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) – Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries.
- The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 – copyright.gov – PDF
- Chafee amendment to chapter 1 of title 17 United States Code – NLS Facts
Document Conversion Services
Below we have pulled together list of some “tools and services” that can assist in this process of converting PDFs to accessible digital documents. Thanks to Jiatyan Chen of Stanford University, Damian Sian of Princeton University and Tristan Price of Mt. Hood Community College who generated the initial list. No endorsement of any of these products implied.
SensusAccess – SensusAccess is a self-service, alternate media solution for educational institutions. SensusAccess allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille. The service can also be used to convert inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files, JPG pictures and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into more accessible and less tricky formats.
CommonLook – NetCentric Technologies, a global leader in document accessibility, provides software products and professional services enabling faster, more cost-efficient, and more reliable processes for achieving compliance with the leading PDF and document accessibility standards, including WCAG, PDF/UA, and Section 508. CommonLook software makes the creation, remediation, and management of accessible PDF and Microsoft Office documents easier than ever before.
247 Accessible Documents – On-demand Accessible Documents – Upload a Document and receive an Accessible PDF, Accessible Word Document or an Accessible PowerPoint that meets Accessibility Standards & Guidelines 2.0 in 5 days.
inclüd – Accessible content conversion, creation, and consulting services, inclüdprovides institutions with a path to accessible information, ensuring that those with exceptional needs can access content tailor made for them.
Equidox – Equidox is an automated solution that simplifies the process of discovering, converting, and publishing PDF documents to WCAG 2.0 compliant HTML.
BrailleWorks – Braille Works is a solution for repair or remediation of your documents so organizations can meet WCAG and 508 compliance standards. WCAG and Section 508 document compliance can be difficult and navigating these waters is not a job for the inexperienced. Elements of a document such as paragraph structure, tables, charts, lists etc, need to be properly organized and tagged to provide true accessibility.
T-Base Communications – T-Base Communications takes one digital file and converts it into every accessible format you need: braille, large print, audio or accessible PDF. Guided automation and QA by our subject matter experts ensures a high-quality end product, consistently.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC – The defacto PDF conversion tool. Includes an Accessibilty Checker to assess your PDF files.
axaio MadeToTag – axaio MadeToTag is an Adobe InDesign CS6 to CC plug-in to properly prepare InDesign documents for export as accessible, tagged PDF file – much more easier, faster and more reliable. The tagged PDF complies with the terms of the PDF/UA-Standard, the international standard for universally accessible PDF. PDF/UA is important to all organizations and companies delivering documents which have to be conform to regulations requiring accessible electronic content including WCAG 2.0, Section 508 in the US.
PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC 2) – PAC 2 quickly tests PDF files for accessibility. PAC 2 is used to support expert and affected tests during assessment. NOTE: The company offering this software, Access for All, is based in Switzerland, you may need to use translation to understand the content.
Grackle Docs – Grackle is a cloud-based service that can convert Google Doc, Sheet, PDF and Slide into an accessible PDF. Used with Grackle’s Accessibility Checkers, Grackle Docs brings compliance, remediation and version control under one roof.