Winter
2015


AEM Connector
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AEM Center Advisory Committee Formed to Help Guide the Center's Work
AEM Center Advisory Committee Announces First Meeting 
The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials has formed an Advisory Committee comprised of experts in the field to help guide the Center's work related to increasing the availability and use of accessible print and digital materials and accessible technologies within early learning, K-12, higher education and workforce preparation environments. The date for the Committee's first face-to-face meeting, which coincides with ATIA 2016, is slated for Tuesday, February 2, 2016, from 8:30 to 4:00 p.m. EST, at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida. This meeting is open to the public.

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AEM Center Co-Director, Chuck Hitchcock, Retires from CAST; Technical Assistance Director Joy Zabala is Promoted

Chuck Hitchcock is stepping down as Co-Director of the National AEM Center and will retire as of the end of 2015. Chuck will provide limited consultation services regarding web resources for at least the first six months of the new year as a contract employee. Chuck served as Director of the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum for five years and then Director of the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials for 10 years. He was Co-Director of the AEM Center for a little over a year, long enough to help launch new services and resources for early learning, K-12, workforce prep and higher education. Chuck's contributions over his 22 years at CAST have been significant and impactful in the lives of many. We will truly miss him and wish him the very best in his retirement.
 
Skip Stahl, current Co-Director of the AEM Center, and Joy Zabala, current Director of Technical Assistance, will co-direct the AEM Center as of January 1, 2016. Joy has served as the Director of Technical Assistance for the AEM Center and CAST, as well as the AIM Consortium and the AIM Center. Her leadership, expertise and dedication to ensuring that accessible materials are available to all when needed will enable the work of the AEM Center to continue uninterrupted.  Joy's biographical cameo highlights her rich background and some of her major contributions in the field of assistive technology and UDL. The position of Director of Technical Assistance was recently advertised and a new highly qualified professional will be named shortly.

New Updates to the AEM Center Website
Explore What's New
Have you visited the AEM Center website recently? Check out what's new! Whether you want to build your knowledge or plan professional development activities, you will find a variety of up-to-date resources to meet your needs.
  • AEM & Learning: Read a new publication highlighting the connections between accessible materials and technologies and learning.
  • Early Learning Resources: Discover resources specific to early learning and accessible materials and technologies.
  • Digital Content & Media Sources: Find links to free, open source, and commercial digital content and curricular materials, including digital books, audio, video, and image resources.
  • Digital Reading Technologies: Explore considerations for choosing a platform and device for reading digital books along with resources for finding digital reading technologies.
  • Accessibility Organizations & Resources: Browse a listing of organizations and resources that specialize in accessibility and accessible materials and technologies.
The Center on Online Learning Publishes 2015 Annual Report
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Equity Matters: Digital and Online Learning for Students with Disabilities
The 2015 Annual Publication from the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities presents some preliminary results from a number of research projects to inform the various stakeholder groups of the emerging trends, outcomes, challenges, and promising practices related to the involvement of students with disabilities engaged in online learning.

This major publication explores the involvement of these students in full-time virtual, blended and supplemental online settings, with the goal of sparking discussion, reflection, and debate leading to the design of more responsive systems, practices, and policy to support enhanced outcomes for all learners.  
 
AEM Center Events
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Upcoming Presentations and Webinars

Mark your calendar now for upcoming webinars and presentations! 
   
January 7, 2016 (8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EST): UDL-IRN Network & Series. "All Means All: Including Students with Intensive Support Needs Using the UDL Framework"

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 (10:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. CST): Digital Learning Conference 2016.     "Engaging ALL Students to Improve Achievement the Digital Way"  
 
Thursday, February 4, 2016 (9:20 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. EST): ATIA Conference 2016. "Town Hall Meeting: Accessible Materials and Technologies"

Friday, February 5, 2016 (2:20 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. EST): ATIA Conference 2016. "AIM=AEM=ALM: 2016 Update from the National AEM Center"

Happy Holidays!

Joy Zabala head shot Wishing everyone safe, refreshing and happy holidays!  May your celebrations be filled with peace, love and joy!

We look forward to seeing you often in 2016, both online and in person.
 
Joy Zabala 
Co-Director, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials; Director of Technical Assistance, CAST
jzabala@cast.org