Accessible Content for All: Building Equity & Engagement with Tech Tools

Checklist for Acquiring Accessible Curriculum Content

At this point in the course, you are familiar with how to choose and/or create Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) for your students.  However, the real challenge is to make sure every school district's core curriculum materials are born accessible, to begin with!  Sometimes teachers and curriculum specialists create their own online curricula and other times textbooks or online resources are purchased. How can you help assure that ALL core and supplemental curricula meet digital accessibility requirements?  

Session Objective:

  • Review your school district or organization's curriculum content and analyze how it could be more accessible for all students.

The Special Education Technology Center (SETC) has created an Accessible Educational Material (AEM) Checklist to help you, your school team, and administrators assess the accessibility of the core curriculum you are currently using!  This will help you to identify the areas of need and create an action plan to advocate for positive change to benefit your students.  What team members can you gather to consider, discuss and fill out this checklist for your district?

Screenshot of the AEM Checklist form

Screenshot of the AEM Checklist page 2

Screenshot of AEM Checklist page 3

What does this look like in a district?

Mount Vernon talks about how they consider accessibility in the curricula adoption process. 

Considering Accessibility in Curriculum Adoption - Mount Vernon (1:54 min.)

Reflection Question:

1. How could removing barriers to accessible curriculum increase participation in general education classrooms for students with disabilities?

2. Reflect on the Self Assessment Rubric below as you think about applying your learning to your instructional practice. Where are you on the continuum?

level 1

level 2

level 3

I have a general understanding of requirements for accessibility of curriculum content.I studied the AEM checklist and can describe at least one way I can make my curriculum more accessible.I have connected with the curriculum team in my district to share this AEM checklist and advocate for improvement. 


  • Accessible Educational Material:  Content and materials designed to be accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities, ensuring equitable access and engagement with educational resources.
  • Alternative Text:  A concise description added to an image or graphic in digital content, providing a textual alternative for those with low vision or blindness or others who prefer textual descriptions. 
  • Assistive Technology:  Tools, devices, software, or equipment that assist individuals with disabilities in enhancing their functional capabilities and promoting independence in various aspects of life.
  • Captioning:  The process of displaying text on a screen that corresponds to the audio of a video or broadcast, providing accessibility for individuals with hearing impairments, or learning disabilities.
  • Descriptive Text:  Descriptive text or audio description, is a text or voice narration that provides concise and objective descriptions of visual elements within a video to make it accessible for individuals who are blind or have low vision or others who have difficulty processing visual info.
  • Keyboard Strokes:  Using specific combinations of keys on a keyboard to navigate,, interact, and access digital content and applications without relying on a mouse or other pointing devices, ensuring accessibility for individuals with mobility or dexterity impairments.
  • Transcripts:  Transcripts provide a textual record of the dialogue, narration, or audio elements in a video or audio file, enabling accessibility for those who are deaf or hard of hearing or those who prefer reading over listening.
  • Universal Technology:  A range of technology tools, devices, and software that are accessible and available to all students, facilitating learning and accommodating diverse needs and abilities.