Implications of the Implementation of Accessible Instructional Materials for Students With Print-Related Disabilities in Virginia: A Delphi Study




Neuber, Kristine Sue

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This study explored the implementation of a statewide program to provide accessible instructional materials (AIM) to students with print-related disabilities in Virginia. The reauthorization of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act included provisions requiring local education agencies (LEAs) in each state to provide accessible instructional materials (AIM) to students with print-related disabilities in a timely manner. To meet this new requirement, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) funded a statewide library, AIM-VA. This study identified some of the advantages and challenges of providing AIM through a statewide program for the purpose of developing a framework for best practices. Using the Delphi technique a panel of 18 local and national experts in the field of AIM shared their expertise. The first round of this study consisted of interviews with local experts with direct experience with the AIM-VA project. Both local and national experts participated in the remaining three rounds through a series questionnaires aimed at building consensus regarding the advantages and challenges to providing AIM. In the last round panelists recommended solutions to confirmed challenges. The results identified 40 advantages and 32 challenges. A few key advantages confirmed included the use of shared resources to provide a one-stop shop and the availability of just-in-time technical support. Key challenges included inconsistent policies at the local, state, and national levels and insufficient training to implement technology needed to support the use of AIM. A number of recommendations are provided to address the key challenges.



Special education, Accessible instructional materials, Accessible text, Accessible textbooks, Assistive technology, Disability policy, Print disability