Introducing the PALM Initiative to State AIM/NIMAS/NIMAC Coordinators and State Directors of Special Education in an effort to change the behavior of publishers and developers of digital educational content before it’s too late. Publishers tell us that they seldom are asked about accessibility and we simply need more districts helping to create demand. As you know, digital does not mean accessible.
The PALM (Purchase Accessible Learning Materials) Initiative is focused on encouraging educators to buy, and publishers/developers to create instructional materials that are accessible to ALL students from the start. Of course, we cannot do this alone, so we need your help!
As schools make plans to purchase digital textbooks, reading materials, eLearning delivery systems, software, hardware, and more, we want your help creating demand for accessible materials. Otherwise, we will spend the next ten years developing parallel acquisition systems that are inefficient and expensive.
One way we would like you to help is to let the people who purchase materials and related software/hardware/eLearning systems at the local, district, and state level know that they should be considering accessibility/usability in ALL their purchasing decisions.
To help you get started, we have prepared four documents providing some basic background along with more specific guidance for you to share with purchasers:
These documents have been posted to http://aim.cast.org/learn/practice/palm. Your feedback on the message and the starter list of accessibility features is most welcome. A good example of the problem is highlighted in our AIM e-book Market brief posted to http://aim.cast.org/learn/practice/market_brief.
Please note that this is not in conflict with the NIMAS work since that is designed to ensure the timely delivery of accessible versions of print textbooks and related core print instructional materials. PALM is intended to address the problem of products that are born digital yet inaccessible.
For more information, questions or comments please contact:
Chief Officer, Policy and Technology & Director, National AIM Center
CAST, Inc., 40 Harvard Mills Square, Suite 3, Wakefield MA 01880-3233
TEL 1-781-245-2212 x233, FAX 1-781-245-5212, TTY 1-781-245-9320
http://aim.cast.org http://nimas.cast.org ; http://www.cast.org http://www.udlcenter.org