Accessible Educational Material (AEM) and technology are powerful implementation drivers within MTSS because they help to provide equitable access to the core curriculum across all tiers of intervention. AEM paired with technology enables the removal of learning barriers by assuring accessible instructional content and personalization of tools to access that content. This promotes engagement and academic and behavioral success by fostering an environment where all learners can thrive. Providing AEM and Universal Technology aligns with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which emphasizes giving students different ways to learn, show what they know, and stay engaged in their learning.
Accessible Educational Material (AEM) are print and technology-based educational materials, (including printed and electronic textbooks and supplemental materials) that are designed or enhanced in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of learners, regardless of the format. (e.g. print, digital, graphic, audio, video.)
Assistive Technology (AT) is defined within special education law as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” AT allows a student to complete tasks that they could not otherwise do and removes barriers by improving access to core curriculum. IEP teams consider AT by asking: Does the student need AT to make progress and/or to access general education curriculum.
Universal Technology: Technology that is available to all students at any time and is used based upon a student’s need/preference. (ie., Built in Chrome, Microsoft or IOS accessibility features.