From the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials…
Recent federal statutory developments have impacted the provision of accessible educational materials, specifically those sourced from NIMAS files. The following changes mean that certain aspects of the AEM Navigator are now outdated:
- Definitions of key NIMAS-related terms have been updated.
- The NIMAC is now permitted to accept NIMAS files sourced from digital instructional materials.
First, as a result of changes to Copyright Law in response to the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act, key NIMAS-related terms have been updated. See our recent announcement NIMAS Terms Clarified Post Marrakesh to learn about the new terms “eligible person” and “accessible format.” The definition of “eligible person” has implications for the guidance that the AEM Navigator provides for who can use materials created from NIMAS source files from the NIMAC. We are currently waiting on the Library of Congress for regulations that will update the process currently outlined in the AEM Navigator.
Second, the U.S. Department of Education recently published a Notice of Interpretation in the Federal Register permitting the NIMAC to accept NIMAS files sourced from digital instructional materials. Previously, as reflected throughout the AEM Navigator, the NIMAC was permitted to accept NIMAS files from print instructional materials only. We are currently working with our stakeholders to develop new guidance and technical assistance to support educators with navigating a student’s need for accessible materials, whether those materials start as print or as digital.
We look forward to providing you with a new version of the AEM Navigator. The timeline primarily depends on when the Library of Congress publishes procedures related to the new term “eligible person.” While we don’t expect to be able to replace the AEM Navigator Online Tool due to the technology now being outdated, we will certainly build the best experience possible for you and your team.
If you have questions or comments regarding upcoming changes to the AEM Navigator, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Described and Captioned Media Program is the nation’s leading source for accessible educational content, providing services for students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.
Families and school personnel with early learners through Grade 12 students can register for free access to over 6,000 Educational Media titles on-demand and on DVD. The DCMP Learning Center contains a wealth of information related to education, accessibility, deafness, blindness, and other related topics. DCMP provides Media Accessibility Guidelines through their Captioning Key and Description Key, used by media professionals as well as amateurs around the world.
Read: How to Set Up, Use, and DCMP Share Student Accounts
DCMP membership provides unlimited access to thousands of accessible educational videos. We’re fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education, so there are no costs associated with any of our services. Family members, school personnel, and other professionals who work with early learners through Grade 12 students with a hearing or vision loss do qualify for membership.
Photo credit: Image licensed through Creative Commons by Hero Images
The Maine Parent Federation and Disability Rights Maine announce the following webinar:
Monday, August 17, 2020
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Special Education lawyers Ben Jones and Atlee Reilly will provide best practices and answer your questions on understanding and implementing the Maine Department of Education’s (MDOE) re-entry guidance at your local district level for your special needs child/children.
Please use this link to register for this webinar…
OSEP Webinar: Highlighting Strategies and Practices in Providing Related Services to Enhance the Continuity of Learning During COVID-19
June 29, 2020
2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is hosting the second in a series of webinars focused on ready-to-use resources, tools, and practices from OSEP partners to support the educational, developmental, behavioral, and social/emotional needs of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities through remote and distance learning.
This second webinar will focus on the provision of related services. In addition to highlighting OSEP resources, we will be joined by representatives from several of our related service national organizations. Additional information will be posted on OSEP’s COVID-19 Resource Page.
Use this link to register for this OSEP webinar…
If you have any questions about the OSEP webinar, please contact the Webinar Series planning team at email@example.com.
The Maine CITE Assistive Technology Program is pleased to release the revised Guide for Maine Families on Assistive Technology and Accessible Educational Materials. The 2020 Guide provides Maine families who have children with disabilities an easy to use resource describing how to get the assistive technology (AT) devices and services they need. Information about accessible education materials (AEM) and families’ important role in the planning process are also provided.
The 2020 Guide updates general information about AT and AEM. It includes new resources about assistive technology used during “learning at home” activities, as well as AT device demonstration and loan services – AT4Maine.org.
Use this link to download the The 2020 Guide – PDF
Each year, our colleagues at Bookshare encourage students to continue to read during the summer months after school is out. This year’s campaign called #AllInTogether is seeking to get students who are Bookshare members to read 200,000 books by July 31st.
Here are some of the details from Bookshare’s website:
Let’s Read 200K Together
This summer, while staying physically distant from others, why not come together virtually to share in the joy of reading? Bookshare’s #AllInTogether Summer Read-a-thon is a national campaign to share in the common bond of reading. Join Bookshare readers from around the world to escape, enjoy, and explore books for readers of every age and level. By July 31, we aim to have read 200,000 ebooks as a community.
Completed details and entry directions are on the Bookshare website…
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Department of Education has announced a “Final notice of interpretation” regarding the definition of “print instructional materials’’ in the Individuals with Disability Education Act – IDEA regarding digital instructional materials. In this final interpretation, effective May 26, 2020, OSERS noted the “trend” toward digital materials in classrooms, a far different landscape from 2004 when IDEA was last amended and the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) was created. At that time, the vast majority of instructional materials were printed on paper and NIMAC was implemented to allow for the schools to convert printed instructional materials into specialized formats for a student with a print disability in a timely manner.
According to the announcement in the Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 101 of May 26, 2020:
“…the Department interprets the phrase ‘printed textbooks and related printed core materials’ referred to in the definition of ‘print instructional materials’ in section 674(e)(3)(C) of IDEA (20 U.S.C. 1474(e)(3)(C)) to include digital instructional materials that comply with NIMAS, because that is the primary medium through which many textbooks and core materials are now produced.”
The full announcement in the May 26th Federal Register may be downloaded in PDF on the govinfo.gov website.
Read more about Laws and Policies related to AEM…
The following request/announcement comes from colleague and fellow Maine educator, Jim Moulton:
COVID-19 has dramatically altered school and learning around the world. In an effort to capture, reflect, and share the unique perspectives of students and parents as they experience learning from home in Spring 2020, two brief surveys have been created. Again – our intention is to capture, reflect, and share the unique perspectives of students and parents as they experience learning from home in Spring 2020.
The stories and experiences, collected anonymously through the surveys, will help to inform and improve current and future learning-from-home strategies. Furthermore, it is our hope that students and parents may appreciate having a place and opportunity to anonymously reflect and share their experiences during this unprecedented time.
Please share broadly with learners and families involved in learning from home due to COVID-19.
Schools and districts are encouraged to use these reflective surveys system-wide, but should contact us for best options for capturing and using the data with their local community.
If you have questions about the surveys or would like to reach out to discuss, please use the following contact information:
Jim Moulton – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Moulton is a former elementary educator who has been working in the field of educational technology since the mid-1990s. He has worked with educators around the world, contributed to Edutopia’s Spiral Notebook blog, and spent a decade as part of Apple’s Education Team.
Dr. Damian Bebell – email@example.com
Dr. Bebell is an educational researcher at Boston Colleges’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. An example of his research can be seen at Drawing On Math and a current article Beyond Academics: Success and the Purpose of School.
In response to the rapidly changing educational landscape, Google has created a new resource for teachers Teach from Home. The new web resource is available in eleven languages and provides teachers with answers to many questions and links to make additional resources found on their Google in Education service. There is a complete section on accessibility that describes how to turn on and use access features in Chrome and on Chromebooks.
The Teach From Home resource is also available to download (in PDF) for teachers who have limited access to the internet.
Google has also created a complementary resources, Learn @ Home a guide for parents and guardians. Google partnered with learning creators to bring parents and families meaningful resources and activities. These resources are not meant to replace homework assigned by teachers, but meant to complement that work.
Use this link to visit Teach From Home…