The [AT] Connects Blog

AIM - Back to School

Posted By Anne Long | Aug 28, 2012
August 2012    
Greetings from the AIM Center Team!
As the school year begins, families of students who have difficulty using typical printed instructional materials effectively often have concerns and questions about "accessible instructional materials" and if those materials could be needed by their children.  

The AIM Center has put together a special back-to-school edition of the AIM Connector highlighting resources that address questions frequently asked by families members at the start of school.

  • If you are an educator or related professional, we ask you to forward this special edition to families and others who work directly with families.  
  • If you are a family member, we invite you to explore these resources and share them with others who have similar interests and responsibilities.
How can I get a quick introduction to AIM?  

I think my child might need AIM? How can I learn more?

  • AIM Basics for Families (2011). This booklet, available in English and Spanish, will help you and other members of your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team decide whether the student needs AIM, what type of specialized format the student needs, how to access the materials for the student, and what supports the student needs to use AIM.
  • AIM: A Technical Guide for Families and Advocates (2011).  This guide Includes background information on AIM provisions in IDEA, definitions of terms, a thorough description of the decision-making process for AIM, and where to find additional resources.
  • AIMing for Achievement Series: What Educators and Families Need to Know about Accessible Instructional Materials (2010-2011). This series of articles, originally published in Closing the Gap Solutions, addresses the complexities, challenges, and opportunities related to the provision of accessible instructional materials (AIM).     

Is there anything available to help IEP Teams and other teams make thoughtful decisions about AIM?

  • Check out the AIM Navigator, a free online decision-making tool.   
The AIM Navigator is an interactive tool that facilitates a 4-step process of decision-making around accessible instructional materials for an individual student. Guiding questions, resources and scaffolds of support are built in to provide access to information at the level needed to assist the team in making informed, accurate decisions.    

Where should I start and what additional AIM-related resources are available to families?

  • Start by contacting your child's IEP team coordinator. Your district's Director of Special Education can also be of assistance.   
  • Learn about your state's specific policies and resources by visiting AIM in Your State on the AIM Center web site. Contact your state's AIM Coordinator for additional information.   
  • Check with the Parent Center in your state for services for children's educational, developmental and transitional needs.   
  • Conduct a search of a wide range of disability resources in your state using the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities database.    

How can get accessible books for my child to read for pleasure?

If your child meets the criteria for membership, sign up for individual accounts at Bookshare and Learning Ally, the two major libraries of accessible media.

Learning Ally      

How can learn more and stay up to date about AIM?

© Copyright 2010, NATIONAL CENTER ON ACCESSIBLE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS at CAST, Inc. Tel: (781) 245 2212 | Email:

National Forum on Disability Issues

Posted By Anne Long | Aug 27, 2012

National Forum on Disability Issues - September 28, from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. in Columbus OH.   This Forum will feature the 2012 presidential candidates and candidates for the U.S. Senate seat from Ohio to give their positions on a variety of disability issues, including those affecting older adults. Questions are expected to focus on issues such as employment, health care, long-term services and supports, education, transportation, housing and research. The event will be streamed live on the Web.  To learn more, visit:

DOL Announcement

Posted By Anne Long | Aug 06, 2012

ODEP News Brief

August 3, 2012

Department of Labor Announces Two Grant Opportunities for Disability Employment Technical Assistance Centers

Two grant opportunities were announced by the Department of Labor on August 2 to establish and maintain technical resources for individuals with disabilities in the workplace. A $1.1 million grant will fund the establishment of the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Advancement of People with Disabilities, a technical assistance center that will focus on improving employment outcomes and promoting the economic advancement of people with disabilities. A second grant in the amount of $950,000 will fund a cooperative agreement to establish and operate the Accessible Technology Action Center, a new national resource that will facilitate and promote the use of accessible technology in the hiring, employment, retention and career advancement of individuals with disabilities.

Assistant Secretary Martinez Discusses Disability Employment in Solutions Business Journal

Assistant Secretary Martinez explains to employers how hiring people with disabilities is good for business.

ODEP Hosts Institute on HIV/AIDS and Employment

Following the conclusion of the International AIDS Conference held in Washington, D.C., the Office of Disability Employment Policy, in partnership with the National Working Positive Coalition, hosted a meeting on HIV/AIDS and employment.

Department of Labor to Hold Hiring Fair for People with Disabilities and Veterans on August 8th

The Department of Labor is sponsoring a Federal Hiring Event for Persons with Disabilities and Veterans on August 8th from 10:00-2:00. Representatives from DOL agencies will be reviewing resumes during the event, and inviting prospective candidates for interviews.

Business Sense: Going to Bat for Tomorrow's Youth

Through a creative collaboration with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the ODEP-funded Add Us In Kansas City, Missouri consortium facilitated a work experience opportunity for eight young people with disabilities during the week-long celebration surrounding the 2012 Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game on July 10th.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Youth Employment Rate Numbers for July 2012

Employment data for youth with and without disabilities is obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Read the statistics