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After the team determines that a student needs Accessible Educational Materials (AEM), they select which specific formats are needed. The selection process includes a series of checkpoints:

  1. List the print instructional materials used across the curriculum.
    The team gathers information about the print instructional materials used across the curriculum in which their student will participate and makes a list.
  2. Consider the instructional context.
    Next the team considers their student’s skills, needs, and preferences; the environments in which the student will be working; and the tasks for which specialized formats will be needed. Thinking about the student, environments, and tasks helps the team understand how materials are used so that they can make informed decisions about which specialized formats or combination of formats—braille, large print, audio, or digital text—will work for their student.
  3. Select formats needed.
    Subsequently, the team determines which specialized format(s) will be most useful to their student. They select the format(s) needed by this student based on matching the student’s needs and the instructional context needs with the features that can be manipulated in the specialized format(s). More than one may be needed and selected.

In order to assist school-based teams in selecting the appropriate formats for their students, The National Center on AEM has developed The AEM Explorer. This free software simulation tool combines grade-leveled digital text with access features common to most text readers and other supported reading software. Magnification, custom text and background colors, text-to-speech (synthetic and human), text highlighting, and layout options are presented in a logical sequence to help struggling readers, educators, and families decide which of these supports might enable the student to access and understand text. View The AEM Explorer

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