Education Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities
OSEP to Host National Summit on Attract, Prepare, Retain on October 27-29, 2020
The 2020 OSEP Summit is an opportunity to bring together various stakeholders to explore potential strategies and innovative approaches to address this critical need. The virtual event will be held over three days and participants may register for each event individually or attend all three. Additional information and registration can be found on the 2020 OSEP Summit Webpage.
The OSEP Educational Technology, Media, and Materials (ETechM2) program is the primary source of support for accessible technology and media-related activities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The purposes of the ETEchM2 are to (1) improve results for students with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) support educational activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom for students with disabilities; (3) provide support for captioning and description that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) provide accessible educational materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner.
Under Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004, Congressional findings note “…support is needed to improve technological resources and integrate technology, including universally designed technologies, into the lives of children with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, school personnel, and others through curricula, services, and assistive technologies” (20 U.S.C. §1451(12)).
As such, the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials (ETechM2) program fulfills its charge to support SEAs, LEAs, and other stakeholders in leveraging the potential benefits of existing, emerging, and innovative technologies used in early learning environments, classrooms, and other settings. The ETechM2 program also supports research on the implementation and integration of technology to improve outcomes for students with disabilities, and technical assistance activities to enhance the use and delivery of high-quality accessible educational materials and media to students, parents, and teachers. Accessibility features of educational media and materials focus on captioning and description, timely provision of books and other educational materials in accessible formats, and other activities to improve access to education materials for students with disabilities. The ETechM2 program also supports the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) mission, “to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.”