On this Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the continuing COVID-19 crisis highlights the importance of accessible educational materials and technologies for ensuring equitable educational opportunities for all learners. To help educators, parents, and families navigate this difficult time, the AEM Center at CAST created several new resources we invite you to check out:
- Personalizing the Reading Experience: Learners and their families may not always know the many accessibility features already available on their devices. This resource was recently updated with several video tutorials that demonstrate the use of the built-in reading supports available on devices from Apple, Google, and Microsoft, as well as a number of free and low-cost reading apps and extensions.
- Teaching with Accessible Math: This page focuses on tools for making math notation and the language of math more accessible to learners through the use of text-to-speech, handwriting and speech recognition, and other accessibility supports.
- Creating Accessible Documents and Slide Decks: This page will ease you into the creation of accessible content with familiar tools such as Microsoft Office and Google Suite. You will learn about five practices that can have a significant impact on the learner experience for all students, especially those who rely on assistive technology for their access to the curriculum.
- Top Ten Tips for Creating Quality Videos: The tips in this resource apply to any kind of video presentation, whether it is a video chat with students or a prerecorded instructional video. The tips will help you create videos that are not only more accessible, but also support improved understanding.
- Creating Accessible Video: On this page, you can choose from three workflows for creating your own captioned videos with free tools. Closed-captioned video tutorials will take you step-by-step through each workflow to ensure you are successful in producing your own accessible videos.
Each of these pages includes the archived recording from a recent AEM Center webinar on the same topic along with supporting resources such as handouts and slide decks. Please share these resources widely.
We are so grateful for every educator and family member who, in the face of this unprecedented crisis, has put forth substantial effort to ensure learning keeps going for every learner. You, along with our health care professionals, are our super heroes!
Follow CAST on Twitter (@CAST_UDL, #AEM4all) for the latest information and resources to help you create and maintain a more accessible and inclusive learning experience that benefits all.
The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST is a federally-funded technical assistance center working to increase both the availability and use of high-quality accessible materials and technologies, with the goal of supporting improved learning opportunities and outcomes for students with disabilities. Funding for the AEM Center is provided by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education.
In addition to supporting educators and individuals with disabilities, the AEM Center at CAST works on systemic improvements resulting in the timely provision of accessible materials and accessible technologies at the school district and state levels. We are currently looking for five states to partner with us on coordinating and scaling these efforts. The application deadline for the cohort has been extended to July 1, and we welcome you to apply (or encourage those at the state level to do so).