March
2017


AEM Connector
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AEM Center Highlights
Student and CAST researcher using iSolveIt
Updated and Expanded Quality Indicators for the Provision of AEM
As many of our followers know, the work of the AEM Center builds on the work begun, lessons learned, and products developed by previous   NIMAS / AIM  projects at   CASTCurrently, the work of the AEM Center has expanded beyond printed materials to include accessible digital materials and   accessible technologies, as well as to include postsecondary education and workforce development. At the same time, many resources and products developed under the previous NIMAS/AIM projects remain relevant to the AEM Center's mission. The 2012 Quality Indicators for the Provision of AIM is one of them. The updated and expanded Quality Indicators for the Provision of AEM, approved by the Office of Special Education Programs  (OSEP), are now available on our website! Critical Components of the Quality Indicators for each of our stakeholder groups will be available soon.  

AEM Center and SETDA Collaborate to Include Accessibility in DMAPS Database
The AEM Center and SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association) are collaborating to increase the awareness of the availability and use of accessible educational materials and technologies that benefit all learners. A recent result of this partnership can be found in SETDA's newly updated Digital Instructional Materials Acquisition Policies for States (DMAPS), an online database providing state and territory policies and practices related to the acquisition of digital instructional materials in K-12 education. State and district leaders, as well as others, can now obtain information regarding the inclusion of accessibility in states' policies. ln a recent edWEb.net webinar, leaders of SETDA, the AEM Center, and the Maryland Department of Education demonstrated best practices to leverage state level expertise for acquiring accessible materials for teaching and learning.
In the  News
U.S. Access Board refreshes Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
The US Access Board jointly refreshed Section 508 of the Rehab Act and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act. The Final Rule synchronizes with other standards for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and web content such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Read about the Section 508 Refresh.

Department of Labor updates Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
The Department of Labor published a final rule revising the regulations implementing the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

U.S. Department of Education releases 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update
T he National Education Technology Plan (NETP) is the flagship educational technology policy document for the United States. The 2017 Update includes accessibility for all learners and uses Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a concept. Read the 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update . The Higher Education Supplement to the (NETP) also includes accessibility and UDL as foundational components of the role of technology in education. Read the Higher Education Supplement to the 2017 National Education Technology Plan

Accessibility and UDL in Higher Learning
EDUCAUSE has ranked Accessibility and UDL #4 on its 2017 Key Issues in Teaching and Learning  list of 16 teaching and learning issues in higher education.
AEM in Education
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Accessibility in EPUB: What Leaders Need to Know About EPUB3  
The three resources listed below were shared by Greg Alchin and Luis Perez during their presentation at ATIA 2017. The resources provide excellent guidance on leveraging advanced digital design standards, tools and techniques to promote inclusivity and accessibility.  Check them out!
AEM Center Website Updates
Check out the updated AEM Basics section, which reflects the expansion of the Center's focus on accessible digital materials and accessible technologies.
Have you been wondering about the difference between AEM & AIM? Visit this page for a quick explanation.
This section has been reorganized for easier navigation among the policies and systems of the AEM Center's stakeholders.
Find an updated list and description of digital reading technologies (hardware, software and apps) to inform those who may be in search of a useful reading and study support tool using digital content.
In this updated resource, you'll find answers to questions that often arise for K-12 educators about AEM as well as links to additional AEM Center resources.
Upcoming AEM  Center Webinars
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Save the Date!
AEM in the IEP: Where Do Accessible Materials and Technologies Fit?
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 2 - 3 PM EST  
 

Coming This Spring!
Be on the lookout for announcements from us regarding registration for additional webinars taking place this spring! Topics will include:
  • AEM in High School to Postsecondary Transition Plans
  • Getting AEM to Higher Ed Students with Accommodations
  • Learning through Audio-Supported Reading: Myth or Reality?
  • UDL & AEM: "Provide options for physical action"
Did you miss a recent webinar? Be sure to check out our   Events page for archives of recordings and supplemental materials. 
TA Tips
Who's the new face under TA Tips? I'm Cynthia Curry and it's my pleasure to be entrusted by Joy to author this section of the AEM Connector. As the new Director of Technical Assistance at CAST, I look forward to supporting all our AEM Center stakeholders as you improve learning and advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities across all educational settings. This edition of the AEM Connector highlights resources and learning opportunities for our broad range of stakeholders. Whether you teach elementary or secondary learners, higher ed students, or job seekers, our goal is to serve you. We welcome your feedback and requests for assistance. 

We're always here to help and only a click (or, as Joy says, a fingertip) away!
 
Cynthia Curry 
Director of Technical Assistance, CAST