Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Towards a Systemization of Accessible Instructional Materials

I have the privilege of working with a great group of AT Coordinators in the local region.  This group is made of people who are truly passionate about using technology to meet the needs of students both with and without disabilities.  It is a bit of a unique group since they are comprised of several different entities, some of which are unified school districts and some of which include a number of districts linked together though a special education cooperative.  The goal of this group has always been to provide some guidance in the establishment of similar practices with regard to AT service delivery within the region.  Not a small feat!

Over the past year, discussions have been gearing up related to effectively providing Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) to students, both who do and do not receive special education services.  As awareness of AIM grew over the past year (and yes...we know that IL is behind the times on this), the need for a plan began to emerge.  Using the model of managing complex change in systems, a vision was set to work towards a system that would provide AIM to all students that needed it.  The group sat down and began developing a plan, realizing that development of knowledge and skills with regard to AIM would be critical to moving any change forward.  Several key groups were targeted for knowledge and skill development:

  • Curriculum Purchaser/Decision Maker
  • General Education Administrators
  • Technology Directors
  • Special Education Administrators
  • AIMS Implementation Leaders
  • Special Education Teachers
  • General Education Teachers
  • Families
Specific knowledge and skills indicators were then developed for each of these groups.  The only group that didn't currently exist was that of the AIMS Implementation Leaders.  This group was created to represent a group of individuals who would serve as a key contact for issues related to the provision of AIM.

While this is in the planning stage, I think the group may be onto something that may prove effective and, even, replicable in other systems. 

What are your thoughts?


GaylB said...

BRAVO! I'm so pleased to hear about your work on systems change. I really think that if we try to do this on classroom at a time, we'll be doing it forever.

We learned a lot about integration of AT and systems change related to technology in the last 20 years or so. It's exciting to think that we can apply some of that learning to the beginnings of the AIM integration initiatives.

Please do keep us informed through your blog. It's an exciting set of possibilities.

Brian Wojcik said...

Gayl -

Thank you for your positive words of encouragement. I agree - this needs to be thought about in terms of systematic change. With your experience, do you think the knowledge and skill that have been identified are on the right track?


Anonymous said...

Great work! This is critically needed for districts. I love how you have "legitimatized" a new role that needs to be create and have clarified the shifts in other roles. Thanks for your leadership here.

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Jim Gerl said...


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