AIM CENTER TARGETED TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Three types of technical assistance (TA) are available from the AIM Center: pro-active, responsive, and targeted. Pro-active TA provides products and services that are scalable and useful to a broad range of stakeholders. Responsive TA addresses direct requests for assistance from stakeholders. Targeted TA involves working closely with state education agencies (SEAs) to assist with developing, improving, and/or sustaining an effective, efficient system for the provision of specialized formats of print-based instructional materials to students with disabilities.
The ten states that currently participate in TTA from the AIM Center include Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, West Virginia.
During the summer of 2011, a meeting of each state’s AIM Coordinating Committee was conducted in-state by AIM Center staff. During those meetings, initial TTA activities for each state were collaboratively developed and agreed upon.
Although specific activities vary according to state needs, all states are working toward increasing alignment to the Quality Indicators for the Provision of AIM (http://aim.cast.org/learn/policy/stateresources/quality_indicators) with emphasis on the following:
- Implementation of a coordinated system for the timely provision of AIM that includes the means for LEAs and schools to acquire braille, large print, audio, and digital formats for students who require them regardless of disability category
- Development and dissemination of written guidelines that include responsibilities and actions needed for effective and efficient provision and use of AIM
- Provision of learning opportunities and technical assistance to educators, families, and other stakeholders
- Collection, analysis, and use of data to assist with determining the effectiveness of all aspects of the system, informing needed changes and providing some preliminary evidence of the impact of AIM on student independence, participation, and achievement
Details of TTA differ based on state needs; however, in addition to receiving priority communication and assistance from AIM Center staff on any AIM-related topic or issue, all participating TTA states have the opportunity to build capacity in their state by participating in—
- A 24/7 listserv that connects all TTA states to each other, to state leaders of the former AIM Consortium, and to the AIM Center
- Regularly scheduled TTA meetings via teleconference and/or webinar
- Web-supported meeting and training sessions, customized for each state upon request
- Other activities based on the emerging needs of states participating in TTA
The fifteen states that comprised the AIM Consortium (2007 to 2009) included Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Connection between the TTA states and leaders in the former AIM Consortium states results in a network of 25 states who are working with the AIM Center (as well as several other states) to improve the outcomes of students with disabilities through the timely provision of AIM.