WAIT! Read This Before Purchasing Your Instructional Materials

Context:  Instructional materials adoption, purchase and use is an important and ongoing process. However, far too frequently those who are charged with purchasing instructional materials and content delivery systems for schools mistakenly assume that a digital purchase is an accessible purchase- yielding products that are designed to be useable by all students.

Problem!:  Not all digital materials are accessible!  A widely understood example of this is the inability of iPads to use Flash formatted content.  If you’re a district with a 1:1 iPad initiative, then purchasing an online curriclum that uses Flash files is problematic.  If you’re a student that has a reading disability with an IEP (legal document) that requires “accessible instructional materials in a digital format” and in a district that has a BYOD policy, then curriculum should be formatted to work on any device…

Solution?: Before making purchasing decisions be sure to include special education and assistive technology coordinators.  They can help forward the conversation and ensure procurement language around accessbility.  Publishers/vendors are required, should, and indeed can deliver accessible materials from the start.

Benefits of purchasing digital materials that are accessible from the start

  • Supports inclusion: Purchasing accessible materials helps provide students with disabilities access to the general education curriculum using the same instructional materials, provided at the same time, to all students.
  • Benefits all students’ learning: Many of the supportive features and scaffolds available in accessible materials can be of benefit to a wide range of students.
  • Benefits teachers: It is easier to plan instruction when all students use the same accessible and flexible materials rather than when individual students use different materials.
  • Reduces complexity: When accessible materials are purchased, complex questions around copyright, timely delivery, and student eligibility are reduced.
  • Reduces costly accommodations: Schools don’t have to provide different sets of materials or provide accommodations for inaccessible materials, which can consume valuable fiscal, human, and infrastructure resources.

Local resources for further information include:

Knowbility and myself, Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net

STAAR A Overview Webinar

Did you miss our STAAR A training last Monday? Not to worry, we are offering a short 1 1/2 hour STAAR A Overview webinar this coming Monday, October 20th from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Participants of this webinar will learn about the new STAAR A state assessment. The training will cover the embedded accommodations, accessibility features, and the eligibility requirements for STAAR A. The training will also include instructional links to the testing accommodations.

This webinar will be hosted on Zoom Meeting platform. To connect to the webinar you do not need to register through Ecampus, just simple click the link below on the day of the meeting.

Topic: STAAR A Overview – Zoom Meeting
Host: JC Sanders, Education Specialist – Special Education
Time: Oct 20, 2014 3:00 PM (GMT-5:00) US Central Time
Where: https://esc13.zoom.us/j/674803783 or visit Zoom.us – click Join A Meeting in the top right corner and type in my phone number 512 919 5420 for the Meeting ID.

This meetings is sponsored  by ESC Region 13.  Contact distancelearning@esc13.txed.net or call  1-512-919-5444 for technical assistance.  Contact the meeting host with all other inquiries.

*This webinar will be recorded and posted to our website, http://www4.esc13.net/agc/webinars.

Accessibility of Learning Materials for ALL Students a Must: SETDA Policy Brief

This Thursday, June 5 at 1pm, SETDA will host a webinar for the public release of the policy brief, The Accessibility of Learning Content for All Students, Including Students with Disabilities, Must be Addressed in the Shift to Digital Instructional Materials. The webinar will explore important considerations and strategies regarding the accessibility of digital content for all students, including students with disabilities. Presenters will discuss open educational resources, the Universal Design for Learning Framework, and federal law requirements regarding accessibility of instructional materials. The session will provide recommendations for effectively managing the increased use of digital content to enhance the educational experiences of all students. There will an opportunity for state and district leaders to ask questions and share examples of their own approaches to ensuring accessibility in digital content. This webinar is free and open to all interested parties.
Audience:  IT, Textbook and Curriculum Coordinators, AT, etc.
• Geoff Fletcher, Deputy Executive Director, SETDA
 • Chuck Hitchcock, Chief Officer, Policy and Technology & Director, National AIM Center, CAST
 • Reg Leichty, Partner, EducationCounsel LLC
 • Kate Lipper, Policy and Legal Advisor, EducationCounsel LLC

IT – AT Shared Knowledge on Legal Issues

Here are four resources for consideration as you try to provide technology to meet the needs of ALL students!

  1. Legal Issues Impacting Student Device Programs
  2. Providing Assistive Technology: A Legal Perspective
  3. Top 10 Technology-Related Issues in Special Education
  4. Purchasing Accessible Instructional Materials- Quick Reference Guide

Take aways- Curriculum coordinators, instructional materials purchasers, IT, and assistive technology teams MUST collaborate.  It’s a matter of preventing legal/compliance issues;  being fiscally responsible; addressing civil rights (accessible materials) and working smarter!

May 2013 Changes to SPP 11 (Child Find) and SPP 12 (EC Transition)

Effective immediately there are 2 changes to the data you will collect for State Performance Plan (SPP) 11 (Child Find) and 12 (Early Childhood Transition).

In SPP 11 you will need to collect data on the number of children referred and completed between July1, 2012-June 30, 2013 as before. In this summer’s data entry you will need to know the “number of students with evaluation report written within 60 calendar days from receipt of signed, written parental consent or district maintained detailed records of reason for delay described in CFR §300.301 (d)”. You will need to know “number of students with eligibility determined by ARD committee within 30 calendar days from the date of the evaluation report”. Also collect the data for students not completed in those timelines. In other words we are collecting data on the 60 and 30 day timelines instead of last year’s 90 day timeline. This new 60/30 is more in line with what the law requires.

The other change is that students we count in SPP 12 (Transition) will no longer also be counted in SPP 11 (Child Find).

The TEASE application page has been reorganized to reduce confusion in placement of data.

These changes are in response to feedback from LEAs, ESCs, and OSEP.

The latest information is posted in our livebinder at www.bit.ly/spptexas I am working on collection data sheets for each of these 2 indicators to help your staff in collecting the data. They will look like the TEASE screens and have places for all the data TEASE requires. They will be available so you can take the data electronically or simply print them for hard copy. They will be available in Livebinder soon. Stay tuned!

TEASE opens for data entry on July 1, 2013.

For any questions regarding SPP 11 and 12 please contact

Brenda Bush at Region 13



ECI Transition Grant

TEA has created a flowchart for ECI Transition.  Please note the flow chart addresses children who started receiving services from ECI during the time period identified in the first colored row.  It does not address the timeline in which a child was referred to the LEA from ECI. 

The flow chart demonstrates that children who were receiving ECI services 90 days or more prior to their third birthday must have their evaluation complete and IEP implemented by their third birthday, REGARDLESS of when they were referred to the LEA.  The only exception to that is when a delay in parent consent causes a delay.  This is in red on the very bottom of the flow chart.  This information is consistent with the information LEAs have been submitting in TEASE SPP 12 for the past 2 years.

Click  ECI Transition Flowchart to download the chart.

SPP 12 Early Childhood Transition opens in TEASE July 1, 2013.

Register now for Early Child Outcomes (SPP 7) and Alignment Training!

On February 4th, Region 13 will be offering the Spring 2013 Early Childhood Outcomes, SPP 7, training. This state mandated  training is free! All Early Childhood teachers should be trained, as well as all other member of the ECO team.   Register now at

Early Childhood Outcomes SPP 7 (SP1324223)

On February 7th, join us to learn how to access the general education curriculum for your preschoolers receiving special education services. Class fee is $40 and includes an Alignment Book and a full set of Classroom Center posters in either English or Spanish.  Register now at

Early Childhood Outcomes and Prekindergarten Guidelines Alignment: Accessing the Curriculum (SP1324224)

New Scaffolding Accommodations Manual

The new Scaffolding Accommodations book transforms STAAR accommodations released by the Texas Education Agency into effective classroom instruction. Each accommodation includes a description, justification, recommendations for scaffolding, and additional accommodations to consider.

Available at the Region 13 Store: CLICK HERE

Room for All: Supporting Inclusive Classrooms


Join ESC Education Specialists, JC Sanders and Matt Holloway, for the third and final webinar in the Inclusion Webinar Series. This final webinar will discuss best practices in inclusion classrooms, with an emphasis on addressing IEP goals and objectives in daily instruction.

Register now to view the live webinar on Tuesday, December 18 at 11:45 AM (CST). Included in your registration will be links to the first two recorded webinars in this series.

Register today on ecampus! Workshop ID: FA1225360

Cost: $25 for all 3 webinars