Who needs AEM and Accessible Technologies?
When thinking about a student’s possible need for specialized formats, the IEP team might consider, along with other factors, the student’s: sensory, physical, and cognitive capability; reading level (decoding, word recognition, comprehension and fluency skills); grades; classroom performance; and levels of academic proficiency in all subject areas.
Some specific questions the team might ask include:
Can the student see the material well enough to read the information on a level comparable to other classmates?
Can the student physically manipulate the material without strenuous effort?
Does the student have the necessary stamina to read standard materials for extended periods of time?
Does the student have the decoding, fluency, and processing skills needed to gain information from grade-level printed materials?
Answering “no” to any of these questions may indicate that a student needs the instructional materials in specialized formats. If there are cognitive concerns as well, the student may need modified or alternative materials.
Specialized Formats vs. Alternative Materials
Specialized formats include the same content as a printed textbook or other instructional material but change the way the content is presented to the student. No information is added or removed.
Alternative materials address the same educational goals as the standard print document, but the content is modified (usually made less complex) so that the student can better understand it. Some students may need alternative materials in specialized formats in order to access them.