Accessible educational materials

Published on: Author: Greg Alchin
Mainstream technology is transforming the creation and consumption of accessible educational media. Consider for example, how Apple products are not only simple, intuitive and easy to use and also include a variety of award-winning assistive technologies as standard. Other companies such as Google and Microsoft are making great inroads in building in accessible features within their products. Similarly the growing use of mainstream technologies such as 3d printers are enabling students and teachers to create our own tactual graphics.
Person running hand over a photo of a beach scene that has been enhanced with 3D printing

There are a range of research and development organisations around the world that are focusing on the Accessible Electronic Media / materials.


The DIAGRAM Center is a U.S. based research and development center whose goal is to dramatically change the way image and graphic content for Accessible Electronic Media (AEM) is produced and accessed, so that students with print disabilities are provided equal access to the general education curriculum. DIAGRAM’s full report  on 3D Printing for Accessible Materials in Schools (final version) makes compelling reading as does the closed-caption recording of Ting’s DIAGRAM webinar on this topic, along with handouts and a written summary of the Q & A for the webinar.

National Centre for Accessible Educational Materials

The National Centre for Accessible Educational Materials is a U.S. based 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). IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) specifically focuses on accessible formats of print educational materials. Learn about a four-step decision making process for teams to determine the needs of students with print disabilities and make appropriate suggestions regarding selectionacquisition, and use of AEM.

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