Education Panel I – Accessible Instructional Materials

What’s Happening in the World of
Accessible Instructional Materials?
5 Notions for State AT Leaders
Joy Zabala, Ed.D., ATP
Director of Technical Assistance
Notions to be Explored
1. New insights into AIM-related language
2. Critical Components of Quality Indicators
for the Provision of AIM
3. AIM in SPP and APR
4. AIM and High-stakes Assessments
5. AIM in a Wavering World
Changes in AIM-related language from
OSEP and the Changing Landscape
Keeping Language Current
 Changes at OSEP
 Language as a barrier
• Change over time
• Acting from common misunderstandings
 Language as a capacity-builder
• Keeping up with change
• Common vocabulary
New Language from OSEP
OSEP officially changed the name of the
Technology and Media Services for Individuals
with Disabilities Program to the Educational
Technology, Media, and Materials for
Individuals with Disabilities Program.
December 9, 2012
New Language from OSEP
The program purpose statement was amended
to include "...(4) provide accessible
educational materials to children with
disabilities in a timely manner."
These changes do not modify the legal
authority or coverage of the program.
December 9, 2012
Keeping Language Current
 Language as a barrier
• Change over time
• Acting from common misunderstandings
 Language as a capacity-builder
• Keeping up with change
• Common vocabulary
XML files that are developed to the National Instructional
Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) can be readily
transformed into student-ready specialized formats.
Language Change Over Time
• Facilitator: purchasers, publishers and
media producers
• Barrier: decision-makers for individual
students, educators, families
• Common misunderstandings: eligibility,
student-ready, is all that’s needed
AIM as Specialized Formats
• braille, large print,
audio, and digital text
• Exactly the same
information as the
printed materials
• Only the presentation
of the material is
Language Change Over Time
AIM = Specialized Formats
• Facilitator: broadens understanding beyond
NIMAS as sole means of providing accessible
• Barrier: applies only to print-based materials,
limited to students meeting copyright criteria,
equates need to specific disability categories
• Common misunderstandings: need is equated to
falling within specific disability categories, acquiring for
one opens access to all, fair use
Lesson Learned…
• AIM is not just NIMAS!
• AIM is not just Specialized Formats
Accessible Instructional Materials
• Accessible instructional materials are designed or
enhanced in a way that makes them usable by the
widest possible range of student variability regardless
of format (print, digital, graphical, audio, video)
• Content may be “designed to be used as print” and
require retrofitting
• Content may be “designed to be used digitally” and
difficult to retrofit if not accessible from the start
• Technology that delivers the content must be
“accessible” to the person who is using it
Language Change Over Time
AIM = Materials designed to be highly usable
across full range of student variability
• Facilitator: expands beyond printed materials,
includes digital materials, increases importance of
the market, extends thinking to non-text material
• Barrier: lack of demand, limited availability in the
• Common misunderstandings: all digital materials
are accessible
Lesson Learned…
It is important to understand that
content and delivery technology are two
sides of the AIM coin and both require
careful consideration and selection.
• The information is
the content
• Technology is the
delivery system upon
which the content is
presented to the
Critical Components of
Quality Indicators for the Provision of AIM
Critical Elements of
Quality Indicators for the Provision of AIM
• 2008 - Quality Indicators developed by the AIM
• 2011/2012 – Critical Components of each Quality
Indicator developed by AIM Center staff and advisors
• 2012 - Critical Components vetted by OSEP and made
available via the AIM Center web site
Purpose and Expected Use of Critical Components
• To assist state and local education agencies (SEAs
and LEAs) with planning, implementing, and
evaluating dynamic, coordinated systems for the
timely provision of AIM
• To provide states with consistent goals that can be
implemented in a variety of ways
• To promote in-state discussion around multiple statefocused and locally-focused ways to achieve those
AIM Center Technical Assistance is aligned to the
Critical Components of Quality Indicators for the
Provision of AIM
• Implementation of a coordinated system for the timely
provision of AIM (QI-1 & QI-2)
• Development and dissemination of written guidelines
• Provision of learning opportunities and TA (QI-4)
• Collection, analysis, and use of data related to
systemic effectiveness and impact on student
outcomes(QI-5 and QI-6)
AIM in State Performance Plans and
Annual Performance Reviews
Connecting AIM to SPP/APR Indicators
and Improvement Activities
• State Performance Plan (SPP) – evaluates state’s
implementation of Part B of IDEA and describes how
the state will improve such implementation.
• Annual Performance Report (APR) – reports on
state’s annual performance in meeting targets in its
SPP/APR Indicators and Improvement Activities
• Recent shift in emphasis of the U.S. Department of
Education from compliance to results
• Indicators currently under revision
• Reflection of AIM under Improvement Activities
• Relationship between AIM and performance on
specific indicators (e.g., LRE)
AIM Center Document at OSEP for Vetting
Indicator 1: Graduation Rate
Indicator 2: Dropout Rate
Indicator 3: Assessment
Indicator 4: Suspension/Expulsion
Indicator 5: LRE
Indicator 8: Parent Involvement
Indicator 13: Secondary Transition
AIM and High-Stakes Assessments
Focus on Proposed Testing Accommodations
 PARCC Draft Accommodations Manual currently out
for public comment
 Earlier PARCC Draft Accommodations
• Reading – Read Aloud
• Math - Calculator
• Writing – Scribe and word prediction
 Thoughts and concerns
• Definitions. Eligibility, Conditions, Potential unintended
 Smarter Balance drafts anticipated soon
AIM in a Wavering World!
“Timely access to appropriate and accessible
instructional materials is an inherent component of [an
LEA’s/SEA’s] obligation under [IDEA] to ensure:
• that FAPE is available for children with disabilities
• that children with disabilities participate in the
general education curriculum as specified in their
Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), 71 Fed Reg. 46618
and one last thing…
Resources from the AIM Center
The National
AIM Center
Where help is
just a fingertip
The AIM Center Web Site Highlights
AIM Simply Said
Stakeholder Pages
AIM in Your State
PALM Initiative
AIM Navigator
AIM Guide to AMPS
AIM Connector
Learning Journeys
EVERY child can reach success.
What will you ensure they get there?
YOU make a difference!
• Visit the AIM Center web site at:
• Share the AIM video with everyone you know!
• Download and distribute the PALM Toolkit documents
to everyone you know!
• Use the AIM Navigator to help identify need and then
explore options to meet the need
• Go to “AIM in Your State” and to find out about state
and local policies, procedures, and practices related to
the selection and acquisition of instructional materials!
Joy Zabala
[email protected]
ATLA | Assistive Technology of Alaska
Alaska Center
for Accessible Media
Alaska Center for Accessible Media (akCAM)
2008 – 2011
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
(DEED) called together stakeholders for a two-day
roundtable meeting
Special Education Service Agency (SESA) received 3 year
grant to create the Alaska Center for Accessible Media
- SESA & ATLA created the iPad Pilot Project in 3 classrooms
- SESA suggested that ATLA would be a better fit for akCAM
Alaska Center for Accessible Media (akCAM)
- Fall 2012 ATLA was contracted to do akCAM
- Traveled to 16 sites around the state doing both
inservice training and direct support on AIM
- Expanded iPad Pilot Project to 5 classrooms around
the state
- Broadened outreach efforts to post-secondary
- FY13 ATLA was awarded the akCAM
- 1 of 2 NIMAC authorized users
- Incorporated AIM into ALL of our activities
Alaska Center for Accessible Media (akCAM)
For example…
- Assessments for DVR, VA, employers
- Demonstrations, loan of equipment, I&A, etc
- Focused this year on outreach, not on expansion
- Creative partnerships - Independent Living
Centers, Therapy groups, Physician Assistants,
Interim Nurse Aids, Local Phone and Internet
providers, etc..
Alaska Center for Accessible Media (akCAM)
Coming soon..
- Video PSA project of each iPad Pilot Project
- Identified 5 districts with highest drop out rate and
highest # of students that would qualify as print
disabled to provide the most onsite support to
- Creating an Accessible Instructional Materials guide to
be distributed to all educators and service providers
- Outreach to schools that have received a high volume
of iPads to offer training on iOS accessibility and AIM
Alaska Center for Accessible Media (akCAM)
Alaska is an open territory state
No centralized or uniform method
for textbook acquisition
Lack of Internet
High turnover rate for rural educators
AIM is not always solved with an iPad
Outreach in Alaska
Find the hook!
accessible instructional materials:
what it really means in Alaska
accessible instructional materials:
what it really means in Alaska
window time in Alaska
window time in Alaska
window time in Alaska
Features of Our Model
Centralized service
Additional “special factor” on IEP
Two types of eligibility
Statewide network of Digital Rights Managers
and TA
An Additional “Special Factor”
Other Factors to Consider:
IEP Team must consider each of the factors. If there is a need identified, check
“yes” and address in the IEP.
 Communication needs of the student
 Braille instruction for students who are blind or visually impaired
 Communication and language needs for students who are
deaf/hard of hearing
 Language needs for students with limited English proficiency
 Positive behavior interventions, supports, and strategies for
students whose behavior impedes learning
 Need for assistive technology devices or services
 Interventions, supports, and strategies for students who have
difficulty accessing and/or using grade-level textbooks and
other core materials in standard print formats
Clarification of Print Access Need (check all that apply and provide elaboration)
 Reading instruction/intervention (Approach? Intensity?)
Specify: ______________________________________
 Low-tech print access supports (e.g., colored overlays, print isolators/
Specify: ______________________________________
 Alteration of manner in which print content is presented (multiple options
for accessible instructional materials may be needed – check all that
 Large print (Size? Font? Spacing? Other considerations?)
Specify: ________________________________
 Audio (e.g., RFB&D, talking books, text-to-speech conversion of
digital files, other recording mechanisms)
Specify: ________________________________
 Supported reading software (e.g., Kurzweil, gH Player, TextHelp)
Specify: ________________________________
 Digital content (e.g., Bookshare, Project Gutenberg, on-line
repositories, digital versions of books procured directly from
Specify: ________________________________
 Not yet determined
Warning, Will Robinson…
The lack of facility with print
doesn’t automatically qualify a
student as having a “print
You need to demonstrate a
learning/performance advantage
when grade-level content is made
available in another form.
The provision of AIM is permitted ONLY to
students who meet legal qualifications. In
Delaware, we have two “flavors” of
qualification. IEP teams determine each
student’s qualification status.
Access Determination
Group A Qualification
Blindness, defined as visual acuity (determined by a competent
authority) of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or
whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no
greater than 20 degrees.
Visual disability (determined by a competent authority), with correction
and regardless of optical measurement, that prevents that reading of
standard print material.
Inability to read or to use standard printed materials as a result of
physical limitations.
Reading disability (determined by a competent authority) resulting from
organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent reading printed
material in a normal manner.
Group B Qualification
A student qualifies for Group B when ALL of the following criteria
are met:
The student has a print disability as determined by a neurologist,
psychiatrist, learning disability specialist, special education teacher, or
school or clinical psychologist with a background in learning disabilities.
The certifying staff member (or the student’s IEP team) determines that
the student requires core instructional materials in accessible formats.
The need for AIM is documented in the IEP.
Why does the Group A/Group B
From an educational standpoint, it doesn’t
matter. Student meeting either A or B criteria
qualify for AIM in whichever formats are
appropriate to their needs.
It matters to the AIM Center, though, because
it dictates the sources from which accessible
content can be drawn.
The AIM Center relies on Digital Rights
Managers (DRMs) to verify student
eligibility and ensure that the provision of
AIM to qualifying students complies with
all legal and ethical guidelines.
The DRM acts as a “broker”
between the IEP team
and the Delaware AIM Center.
The DRM’s Role is…
• To ensure compliance with law
– Only eligible students served
– Documentation managed responsibly
• As point person for securing AIM
– Makes request via AIM website
– Receives AIM
– Transfers AIM to teacher
– Facilitates return of AIM from teacher
The DRM’s role is not…
• To figure out whether a student needs AIM
• To figure out what type of AIM the student
• To determine or provide the “delivery
mechanism” for the AIM
Provision of Accessible Instructional Materials for Students with Print Disabilities
Discuss suspected print
disability and note
Assess to verify print
Secure eligibility
Submit request to
DRM with IEP &
eligibility assurances
Assess to determine
appropriate AIM format(s) for
each curricular area
Identify text materials needed
in AIM format(s)
Enter request
through AIM
AIM sourced &
Secure teacher
assurance re:
adherence to
terms of use
AIM transferred to
IEP Team
Determine nature of
student eligibility for AIM
(Group A/B)
Deliver AIM to
Deliver AIM to
Retrieve AIM from
student at end of
Return AIM to DRM
Return AIM to
AIM Center
Return AIM to
The Delaware AIM Center
• Centralized service for information & ordering
• MOU between the Division for the Visually
Impaired, Department of Education & DATI
• Repository of materials
Idaho AIM/UDL Collaboration
Two Roads
Shared Vision
• Idaho AT Project-Janice
Carson & Dan Dyer
• SDE Digital Learning
Scholz (UDL)
• Curricular Materials
Specialist- Elizabeth
Flasnick (PALM)
• Targeted Technical Assistance State- National
AIM Center
• 2011- Joy Zabala came to assess where we
(AIM Coordinating Committee) were at within
our planning and implementation based on
the AIM Quality Indicators. She also provided
Monthly Calls with All TTA States
Monthly Calls just for Idaho
Joy visited to provide TA again in April 2013
AIM Quality Indicators to Guide our Activities
• Reworking our AIM
website and updating
documents (3/4 done—
finished in June)
• Developing online
– Overview webinar and
additional trainings (Just
In Time Format)
– Online and Face-to-Face
In-depth Training
4-Pilot Districts-This Year
• Finish In-depth training this fall
• Each Pilot District: Follow 1 Student All the
way through the process to look for
implementation flaws
– Design a drill-down document to assist in
analyzing implementation problems
– Assist in designing Data Gathering Methods
• Finalize Data Gathering & Monitoring
Methods with the SDE
Higher Education
• Providing Training and Supports for our IHE
Teacher Education Program
• Goal is to Provide the Training to both Preservice and In-service Teachers
• Trying to Move Away from a “Catch Up”
Model of Training
• Supporting State Level Training Across Idaho
Shared Vision
Road Convergence
Assistive Technology
Collaborations with the
Wyoming Department of Education
Accessible Instructional Materials
Wyoming AIM
Timeline of activities
• 2007 Initial contract from WDE
• 2007 CAST-AIM Consortium
• 2009 Training/Technical Assistance
• 2009 Production of Accessible Materials
Wyoming AIM
Total AIM Funding: $1,013,776
• WDE @ $730,602
• Cast-AIM Consortium @ $166,666
• Training/TA/Fee for Service @ $116,508
Wyoming AIM
Member AIM Consortium
• Develop data management tracking system
• Modify state/LEA systems
• Support students transitioning to community
• 2012 Professional development to LEAs – online
training modules
• TA to LEAs for identifying students
• Increase awareness about AT Act Program, WATR
• Increase use of WY Clearinghouse for AIM
Wyoming AIM
Products and Trainings
• Memorandum Series: Principals, Special
Education Directors, Curriculum Directors
• Training Series/Regional Workshops
• WY Procedures for Providing AIM
• A Guide for Decision-Making Teams
Wyoming AIM
Data Collection and Reporting
• Identified students
• Contacts by district
• Type of assistance provided by district
NIMAS-eligible Students in Wyoming
AIM Requests
• Since 2007, we have received 415 AIM
requests from Wyoming school districts
– Of those:
• 46% textbook requests
• 9% workbook requests
• 45% other core instructional material requests
AIM Delivery
• We have provided 415 AIM files, since 2007
– Of those:
digital text
large print
• Braille AIM requests are fulfilled by contracted
certified braille transcribers
• Large print AIM requests are outsourced to
accessible media producers (AMPs)
Wyoming Accessible Center (WAC)
• We also provide alternate format production
services to educational agencies in the state:
– K12
– Community colleges
• This is an option for educators when the
requested AIM is not available in the NIMAC nor
at other AMPs
– Ex: recently converted the Osborne’s Book of World
Religions, 1995, to braille for a Wyoming elementary
Six AIM Trainings for
Educators and Parents
Created by Kathy McWhorter and
based on the AIM Center trainings
developed Joy Zabala
Also added was the Accessible MS
Word Document Design module to
the series
AIM Training Videos
New AIM Trainings
We will add six new trainings in 2013:
1. Apple iPad tablet accessibility features to support
AIM (with a focus on 8–12 Apps)
2. Android tablet accessibility features to support AIM
3. Apple iMac accessibility features to support AIM
4. Windows 7/8 accessibility features to support AIM
5. Literacy software: an option for AIM e-text playback
6. DAISY DTB playback options
AIM Collaboration
• We collaborate with:
1. State AT Act Program – Wyoming AT Resources
2. Professional Learning Community in AT (PLC-AT)
• We provide free AIM/AT device loans to k12
educators through WATR
• WATR staff are trained in NIMAS and AIM
• AIM and WATR staff collaborate to develop statewide presentations and events to increase
outreach to Wyoming educators

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