The Maine Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) Program is now the Maine Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) Program.
Although the Program’s mission is essentially the same, we have broadened our work to include a wider view. In the initial stages of the program, we focused on AIM, specifically the “specialized formats (Braille, large print, digital audio and electronic text)” identified in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA04). Over the years, the Program has expanded to provide training and technical assistance on materials and communications used in schools including accessible digital documents and web sites. We have also expanded to provide assistance to colleges and universities and those offering services to people with disabilities in the workplace.
In summer of 2017, the Maine Department of Education revised section 3D (Considerations – Including Special Factors) of the official Individualized Education Program (IEP) form replacing AIM with AEM. While not changing IEP Teams’ obligations to consider Assistive Technology and AEM when developing the IEP, the terminology on the form is now consistent with this broadened view.
As we move forward, the Maine AEM Program will continue to provide training and technical assistance on issues related to the selection, acquisition and use of specialized formatted educational materials.
From the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials…
Pre-service Teachers: Are You Ready for Accessible Educational Materials?
Friday, September 29, 2017
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
Whether you’re preparing to be a general or special educator, the students of your future will need accessible educational materials (AEM), a provision of IDEA 2004. In this webinar, you’ll learn what accessibility means, who needs AEM, and how AEM is provided to learners. Most importantly, we’ll share strategies for how you can start preparing now to be AEM ready for your first class of learners. Tweet us your burning questions ahead of the webinar by tagging us @AEM_Center and using the hashtag #PreService
Use this link for more information and to register…
The following announcement comes from the National Braille Press...
ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters, is a FREE braille literacy program for families sponsored by National Braille Press. The purpose of this program is to encourage families to think about braille literacy at the earliest possible age. It costs nothing, and may start a child on the path to literacy.
National Braille Press is distributing attractive braille book bags to families with blind and visually impaired children, ages birth to seven, across the U.S. and Canada. The distribution process is a collaborative effort with educators and early intervention professionals. ReadBooks! has already distributed 16,000 of these bags to blind children in the United States and Canada.
There are three different levels of bags: red (birth-3); blue (4-5 year olds); green (6-7 year olds), and there are both English and Spanish versions of these bags. The bag contents differ slightly, containing age-appropriate books, tactiles, and toys. They also include two vouchers: one for an additional free print/braille book, and another for a free copy of Just Enough to Know Better – a primer on braille for sighted parents.
Use this link for more information and find out how to participate in the program…