Determining Eligibility for the Use of Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)
The Multi-Disciplinary Decision Making Process 

The most effective way to consider issues related to the provision of Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) are through the use of four major decision points.

These decision points include:

  • Establish need for instructional materials in specialized formats
    • The multi-disciplinary team determines if the student
      • can gain information from standard print-based instructional materials used across the curriculum by all students,
      • requires accessible, specialized-format versions of printed textbooks and printed core materials (AEM), or
      • needs modified content or alternative materials
  • Select specialized format(s) needed by the student for access to the curriculum
    • List the print materials that are used across the curriculum,
    • Consider the instructional context in which they are used,
    • Select which formats the student needs, and
    • Determine which materials are needed in the selected formats.
    • Document the need for AEM in the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan. 
  • Initiate SEA and/or LEA-defined steps to acquire needed formats in a timely manner
    • Use the Acquisition Flow Charts to determine sources for acquiring AEM.
    • Review criteria to access materials from the different sources.
    • Determine if a need exists for the acquisition of more than one specialized format.
  • Determine supports needed for effective use for educational participation and achievement
    • What technology may be needed for the student to use the materials effectively?
    • What training for the student, educators, and family may be needed to effectively use the format?
    • What instructional strategies may be needed to augment the use of the specialized format?
    • What support services may be needed to augment the use of the specialized format?
    • What accommodations and/or modifications may be needed in addition to use of a specialized format? 


Assessment Tools to Assist in the Decision Making Process for the use of Accessible Educational Materials (AEM).

The Student, Environment, Task and Tools (SETT) framework
The SETT Framework is a four part model intended to promote collaborative decision-making.
The SETT framework considers access to Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) within the context of an assessment framework that identifies student's needs and capabilities, educational environments, specific tasks the student is engaged with in the classroom, and the tools the student needs to access textbooks and related core materials. The SETT framework offers a flexible assessment tool to assist teams with identifying concerns, and seeking solutions in the decision making process as well as implementation of service delivery. http://www.joyzabala.com/Handouts_for_Download.html

The AEM Navigator facilitates the process of decision-making about accessible instructional materials for an individual student by IEP or other decision-making teams. The four major decision points in the process include:  1) determination of need, 2) selection of format(s), 3) acquisition of formats, and 4) selection of supports for use. The AEM Navigator provides extensive support for decision-making at each point by providing guiding questions, resources, and links to other tools. The AEM Navigator collects all decisions and all supporting information entered by a team and creates a summary that can be printed or saved to a local computer.
http://aem.cast.org/navigating/decision-tools.html#.VrJq89IrI1k

The AEM Explorer is a free downloadable simulation tool that combines grade-leveled digital text with access features common to most text readers and supported reading software. Settings for magnification, colors of text and background, text-to-speech (synthetic and human), text highlighting, and layout options can be manipulated to help educators, families, and struggling readers decide ways in which these supports can be configured to help with access to and understanding of text. The AEM Explorer collects information and prepares a summary that can be printed or saved to a local computer. http://aem.cast.org/navigating/decision-tools.html#.VrJq89IrI1k