Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

Children using Accessible Educational Materials


Missouri was selected as one of seven AEM Cohort States (2020-2024) by the National Accessible Educational Materials Center for intensive technical assistance to improve access and usage of accessible educational materials and technologies for learners.


The purpose of Missouri’s AEM Project is to create a robust provisioning system to increase the availability and use of accessible educational materials (AEM) and accessible technologies by all learners to improve their overall success.


Missouri's students, teachers, and parents will be able to access, acquire, create, and implement AEM.

What Are AEM and Accessible Technologies?

Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) are print and technology-based educational materials, including print and electronic textbooks and related core materials and technologies that are designed or enhanced in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of learner variability, regardless of format (e.g. print, digital, graphic, audio, video) or features. People with disabilities may experience barriers to the use of printed materials, digital materials, and technologies. Examples where barriers might occur include textbooks, digital documents, websites, apps, learning delivery systems, and electronic devices.

AEM Video Resources
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) - Introduction to Accessibility
National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)
Start a Conversation About Accessible Learning Across the Lifespan
Accessible Learning Across the Lifespan
Discover accessible learning across the lifespan in these short and informative videos designed to start conversations about the importance of accessibility and accessible materials in your context.
Title Description
Introduction to Accessibility [10:38 min] People who need accessible materials and technologies describe how access creates inclusion where they live, learn, and work.
Features We Can Start Using Today
[9:26 min]
Introduces a variety of accessibility features that are built into the devices you use everyday.
Designing for Accessibility from the Beginning
[10:23 min]
Building accessibility into your design workflow is essential to creating inclusive experiences for everyone.
People with Disabilities in the Workforce
[9:53 min]
Provides ideas for making your workplace more inclusive for people with disabilities.
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) National Network - Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Video Series (19 videos)
The U.S. Department of Education’s (Office for Civil Rights) is proud to announce a video series covering a variety of topics on digital access in education, including how people with disabilities use technology, applicable Federal regulations, and identifying and remediating barriers to access. Click here to access the video series.
AEM Quality Indicators

Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) Quality Indicators

  • Indicator 1 - A Coordinated System for Provision of Accessible Materials and Technologies
    The agency has a coordinated system for the provision of appropriate, high-quality accessible materials and technologies for all learners with disabilities who require them.   
  • Indicator 2 - Acquisition and Provision in a Timely Manner                                                           
    The agency supports the acquisition and provision of appropriate accessible materials and technologies in a timely manner.
  • Indicator 3 - Written Guidelines           
    The agency develops and implements written guidelines related to effective and efficient acquisition, provision, and use of accessible materials and technologies.
  • Indicator 4 - Comprehensive Learning Opportunities and Technical Assistance                       
    The agency provides or arranges for comprehensive learning opportunities and technical assistance that address all aspects of the need, selection, acquisition and use of accessible materials.
  • Indicator 5 - A Systematic Data Collection Process                                                       
    The agency develops and implements a systematic data collection process to monitor and evaluate the equitable, timely provision of appropriate, high-quality accessible materials and technologies.
  • Indicator 6 - Use of Data to Guide Changes                                                                       
    The agency uses the data collected to guide changes that support continuous improvement in all aspects of the systemic provision and use of accessible materials and technologies.
  • Indicator 7 - Allocation of Resources 
    The agency allocates resources sufficient to ensure the delivery and sustainability of quality services to learners with disabilities who need accessible materials and technologies.
Intensive Technical Assistance Plan for Missouri

ITA Plan (07-22)

    AEM State Leadership Team
    Name Title Organization
    Mark Wheatley Assistant Commissioner DESE, Office of Special Education
    James Bouslaugh Director DESE, Office of Special Education, Effective Practices
    Gwen Deimeke Coordinator DESE, Office of Special Education
    Kristin Funk Assistant Director, Achievement DESE, Office of Special Education, Effective Practices 
    David Baker Director Missouri Assistive Technology (MO-AT)
    Cathy Fortney Therapeutic Services Coordinator Francis Howell School District
    Dawn McNeeley Director, Special Education Smithton R-VI, AEM District 
    Dana Abercrombie Director, Special Education El Dorado Springs R-II, AEM District Representative
    Heather Dill Instructional Technology Coach Belton School District #124
    Debby Loveall-Stewart Director Missouri’s Parent Training Information
    Missouri Parents Act (MPACT) Center
    Diane Gemp Instructional Technology Resource Educator Regional Professional Development Center
    Ashley Krause President MOCASE


    Missouri School District Partners


    El Dorado Springs R-II School District Logo
    Committed to Learning: Preparing for Life
    El Dorado Springs R-II School District
    Dana Abercrombie, Director, Special Education



    Smithton R-VI School District Logo

    Smithton R-VI School District
    Dawn McNeeley, Director, Special Education




    Francis Howell School District Logo - Learning Together

    Francis Howell School District
    Cathy Fortney, Therapeutic Services Coordinator






    Belton School District #124 Logo
    Inspiring • Empowering • Engaging
    Belton School District #124
    Heather Dill, Instructional Technology Coach
    AEM Cohort States 
    2020-2024 AEM Cohort States - Missouri, Oregon, Oklahoma, Georgia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and New Hampshire
    Organizational Resources

    Bookshare: Bookshare is an ebook library that makes reading easier. People with reading barriers like dyslexia, blindness, and physical disabilities can read in ways that work for them with a huge collection of titles in audio, audio + highlighted text, braille, and other formats. Bookshare is FREE for all qualified U.S. students who qualify. Learn more by watching this quick video.

    Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library: Wolfner Library is a free public library serving schools and their students who cannot read standard print due to having a visual, physical, or reading disability such as dyslexia. Wolfner Library provides free access to audio, braille, and large print materials that circulate through the mail free of charge. Their collection includes audio books read by live professional narrators as well as a free audio and web braille download services. Learn more by calling 1-800-392-2614 or at

    Staff Contact

    Kristin Funk

    Assistant Director, Achievement
    Phone: 573-751-7661