For information about AEM Center resources to support educators in responding to school closures due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, please see Resources for Access and Distance Education.
National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning (AEM Center)
Students with disabilities are increasingly spending most or all of their school day in general education classes (NCES, 2019). Accessible educational materials and technologies are essential to the independence, participation, and progress of these general education students who function in highly varied ways — physical, sensory, and learning.
To the AEM Center, accessibility means that individuals with disabilities — from early childhood through the workforce — have equal access to materials and technologies for reaching educational outcomes and advancing in employment. We work with states and districts to build capacity for developing and sustaining robust systems for providing accessible materials and technologies for all learners who need them.
The AEM Center provides three levels of technical assistance:
- Universal technical assistance is available to everyone. You’ll find products and services on the AEM Center website. Webinars and conference presentations are listed on the AEM Center events page.
- Targeted technical assistance describes the AEM Center's strategic collaborations to address problems of practice in early childhood programs, higher education, and workforce development. Supports for families are also a part of our targeted technical assistance.
- Intensive technical assistance describes the AEM Center's capacity-building activities with a small cohort of states. This partnership is designed to produce practices that can be scaled nationally.
- AEM State Contacts and SEA Information directs you to the people and resources in your state or territory providing accessible materials and technologies for individuals who need them.
- Designing for Accessibility with POUR explains four core principles of accessibility in plain language. Make sure the materials and technologies you create and use are Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.
- Five Things Educators Can Do to Buy Accessible advances a market model for procuring accessible materials and technologies so that buying accessible requires nothing more than just buying.
- The AEM Pilot is an interactive web-based tool that guides K–12 districts in becoming more inclusive learning spaces for students with disabilities by helping build background knowledge about AEM, conducting self-assessments, and monitoring continuous progress.
- The AEM Navigator is a decision-making tool that facilitates the selection and use of accessible materials that originate in print.
Jose Blackorby, Ph.D.
Cynthia Curry, M.S.Ed. (project director)