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…
More than 14 million digital books will soon be made available to blind and print-disabled users, thanks to a new collaboration involving the National Federation of the Blind and the HathiTrust Digital Library, a digital repository hosted at the University of Michigan.
When launched, the program will dramatically increase the availability of books for users who are blind or print-disabled. According to the NFB, currently less than 5 percent of all published works are estimated to be available to the blind, most of which are popular titles.
Over the coming year, NFB and HathiTrust will collaborate to plan and implement these services. User eligibility will be determined by criteria used by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and similar services authorized under U.S. law.
According to Furlough, HathiTrust currently provides a similar service to qualified print-disabled students at its member schools. The new program will expand this service to allow similarly qualified users not affiliated with HathiTrust schools access to full-text works in the HathiTrust collection.
NFB and HathiTrust, like the federally operated National Library Service, will lawfully and securely make books available to qualified people in the U.S. who have print disabilities.
Read the entire press release to learn more about this announcement…