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Accessible educational materials, or AEM, are print- and technology-based educational materials, including printed and electronic textbooks and related core materials that are designed or converted in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of student variability regardless of format (print, digital, graphical, audio, video) (National Center on Accessible Educational Materials).
Qualifying students should have access to AEM in a timely manner. Timely manner is defined in Oregon as “at the same time materials are available for students who do not need materials in alternate formats” (OAR 581-22-1640).
Specialized Formats identified in IDEA include Braille and Tactile Graphics, Audio, Digital Text and Large Print.
An Authorized User (AU) or Authorized Media Producer (AMP) are the coordinating, authorized entities which are the sole “people” who can download the NIMAS source files from the NIMAC. These entities alter the NIMAS source files to make them “student-ready” in accessible formats such as braille, audio, large print, and digital text.
On-line library of accessible digital books available to individuals with visual impairments, physical disabilities, and learning disabilities.
Learning Ally's materials are for all people who cannot effectively read standard print because of a visual, perceptual, or other physical disability for Oregon.
Provides specialized materials, products, and services needed for education and life.
Several laws govern the use of AEM, including:
Amendment allowing “authorized entities to reproduce or distribute copies or phonorecords of previously published nondramatic literary works in specialized format exclusively for use by blind or others persons with disabilities.”
Students are eligible to receive accessible PRINT materials from the NIMAC (definition below) free of charge if they meet the criteria (the following is taken from Oregon’s Authorized User: Bookshare.org):
School districts must provide instructional materials in accessible formats to children who need it, including those who are not blind or print disabled.
The AEM Pilot is an interactive web-based tool that guides states and K-12 school districts to create more inclusive learning environments for students with disabilities. Building background knowledge about accessible educational materials (AEM), conducting self-assessments, and monitoring continuous progress are all facilitated by the AEM Pilot.
The PAR manual helps you determine the most suitable reading accommodations for specific students by assessing their individual needs. Anyone on the IEP team can administer PAR to systematize how reading accommodations are recommended on a student level or across the school district.
The National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) is a federally-funded, national electronic file repository that makes National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) files available for the production of core print instructional materials in specialized formats. Created under IDEA 2004, the NIMAC receives source files in NIMAS format from textbook publishers, and makes these files available for download to Authorized Users in the United States and its territories through an online database. Once downloaded, files can be used to create a variety of specialized formats, such as braille, audio, or digital text, on behalf of qualifying blind, visually-impaired or print-disabled students in elementary or secondary school.
There have been many changes as to how materials are presented to all students at the classroom level. Traditional print materials are used less and less, while online resources for instruction are increasingly used in the classroom.
HB 2426 addresses this topic by requiring specific training for school staff on how to support students with print disabilities (This bill amends ORS 343.22):
School districts shall ensure that school administrators and school personnel whose duties may require them to assist a student with a print disability, as defined in ORS 337.511, receive annual professional development related to using online resources that enable students with print disabilities to receive instruction materials free of charge.
A school district shall ensure that school administrators and school personnel who are required to receive training as provided by ORS 343.223, as amended by section 3 of this 2013 Act, first receive training by October 1, 2014.
For questions regarding accessible instructional materials, email
Aujalee Moore.For questions regarding Regional Inclusive Services and Low Instance Disability, email
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