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Accessible Educational Materials

Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) are print and technology-based educational materials, including printed and electronic textbooks and related core materials that are designed or enhanced in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of learner variability, regardless of format, including print, digital, graphic, audio, and video. Learn More

School districts can contact the WY AEM Clearinghouse directly to request assistance in obtaining alternative formats of core education materials. Eligibility and request forms, as well as additional support information can be found on Wyoming’s AEM website on our Educator Forms and Contracts page. Eligibility for some services is coordinated through the Special Programs Division of the Department of Education and requires documentation that supports a print disability. For information regarding eligibility, contact Leslie Bechtel Van Orman in Riverton, Wyoming (307) 857-9267 or send E-mail to leslie.vanorman@wyo.gov.

If we cannot provide the requested materials, then we will help locate other resources for the provision of accessible education materials, obtain quotes, and set up a purchase plan for school districts. Call us today if you think you have a student that needs AEM.

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  • Student Eligibility


    A student with a print disability may have a visual impairment, physical impairment, or a reading disability, such as dyslexia, that impairs a student’s ability to read and learn from standard education materials.  These students have the ability to learn the content, but they need an alternative and accessible educational format.  Accessible education materials include audio, large print, digital, and braille formats.

    According to the Chafee Amendment (17 U.S.C. 121), an “eligible person” is someone who “is blind,” “has a visual impairment or perceptual or reading disability that cannot be improved to give visual function substantially equivalent to that of a person who has no such impairment or disability and so is unable to read printed works to substantially the same degree as a person without an impairment or disability,” or “is otherwise unable, through physical disability, to hold or manipulate a book or to focus or move the eyes to the extent that would be normally acceptable for reading.”

  • WY AEM Clearinghouse


    Once a child becomes eligible for services, the WY AEM Clearinghouse can provide school districts and educators with accessible education materials to be delivered to the student.   We work with school districts to ensure delivery of AEM to the student at the same time as other students receive their educational materials.

    The Wyoming AEM Clearinghouse is located at Wyoming Institute for Disabilities in the College of Health Sciences Building on the University of Wyoming Campus. The building is located on the intersection of 9th and Clark Street.

    If you are stopping in for a short visit, consultation, or to pick up a device, you may park in the small lot in front of the building.  View Larger Map

  • AEM Requirements


    Both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require educators to provide AEM. IDEA requires that Assistive Technology, and by extension, AEM, be considered in every student’s IEP meeting. Section 504 mandates that students who need appropriate accommodations to participate in class are entitled to such.

    Legal requirement to provide accessible materials falls on state and local education agencies, not publishers. Since IDEA cannot place requirements on publishers, educators must drive the demand for educational materials to be produced in accessible formats. When purchasing textbooks, state and local education agencies should request that the publisher sends the electronic files of any purchased instructional materials to either the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) or to any accessible media producer (AMP) by including an accessibility statement in your contract.

     

  • Specialized Formats


    Specialized formats include:

    Large print: Typically 18-point font or larger

    Braille: System of raised dots used to represent letters

    Audio: Talking books or materials, typically with a human reader

    Digital: Materials presented on a screen, may or may not be paired audio component with synthetic voice

  • National Instructional Materials Access Center


    The NIMAC: The National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) is the national repository for NIMAS source files provided by publishers. Only students who are dually qualified under IDEA and copyright law are eligible to receive specialized formats created from NIMAS-conformant files from the NIMAC.

  • National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard


    The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) is a technical standard used by publishers to produce source files (in XML) that may be used to develop multiple specialized formats (such as Braille or audio books) for students with print disabilities.

    The source files are prepared using eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML) to mark up the structure of the original content and provide a means for presenting the content in a variety of ways and styles. For example, once a NIMAS file set has been produced, the XML and image source files may be used not only for printed materials, but also to create Braille, large print, HTML, DAISY talking books using human voice or text-to-speech, audio files derived from text-to-speech transformations, and more.

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