What is the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials?
The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) serves as a resource for stakeholders, including educators, parents, students, publishers, conversion houses, accessible media producers, and others interested in learning more about accessible educational materials. Their services and activities include:
- Developing and sustaining a readily available base of information and tools to build the capacity of stakeholders to enhance both the effective provision and use of high quality AEM.
- Providing stakeholders with expert technical assistance and customized "just-in-time" consultation on major issues relevant to the timely provision and use of AEM.
- Hosting a Community of Practice (COP) that offers a functional connection between State Education Agency Coordinators and AEM Center staff to ensure state and local level implementation and to improve the outcomes of students with disabilities through the timely provision and use of AEM.
- Collaborating with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), AEM-related OSEP-funded projects work with technical assistance and dissemination center networks, family centers, and post-secondary AEM providers to build capacity for and raise awareness about the timely provision and use of AEM to improve outcomes for learners with print-related disabilities.
- Providing additional services and products related to Early Learning, Higher Education, and Workforce Development to be announced in the near future.
The AEM Center, with the support of national experts, also maintains and advances the NIMAS Technical Specification used by educational publishers to prepare filesets that are deposited in the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center (NIMAC) at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). The Center also promotes the commercial and OER development of accessible EPUB3 so that the markets may play a more significant role in the timely provision of accessible educational materials to learners.
For more information on the NIMAS standards consult the DO-IT Knowledge Base articles What is NIMAS?