As expectations for student learning continue to rise, teachers draw on an increasing range of educational materials to convey information and develop skills for their students.
Traditional print textbooks continue to play an important role in many classrooms, along with digital materials, multimedia presentations, software, websites, teacher-made print and electronic resources, and many other tools. Designed and used well, these materials can open doors to learning for a wide range of students. Without appropriate planning, however, they can create barriers to learning. Ensuring that all students have appropriate Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) is essential to creating an equitable learning environment in which all students can progress towards high standards.
Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) are learning resources that accommodate the needs of students who have sensory, physical, or learning disabilities that prevent them from interacting with content the way most students do. Accessible print materials are available in alternate formats, such as Braille, digital text that can be read aloud, and large print. Accessible digital and multimedia materials interact flexibly with different technology and have captions, audio descriptions, and other features that allow everyone to receive and comprehend the content.
Whether they are using commercially available materials, selecting Open Educational Resources, or designing their own content, teachers, administrators, and curriculum specialists need to keep the accessibility of materials in mind. AEM makes learning possible for all.