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Legislation Mandates Accessible Learning Technology

February 201 3— U.S. Representative George Miller (CA), the ranking Democrat in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced a new education bill: The Transforming Education through Technology Act [H.R. 521]. The bill proposes that Congress fund educational grants to be distributed to states and districts totaling $500 million. The funds would support technology to improve the college-and-career readiness, achievement and engagement of all students, including those with disabilities. Specific to individuals with disabilities, the bill would require that when a State educational agency applies for an educational grant, they describe the tools and mechanisms that will be utilized to “improve instruction consistent with the principles of universal design for learning.” If funded, local educational agencies would be required to use learning technology consistent with the principles of universal design, as well as assistive technology, to ensure that all students have “equitable access to high-quality curriculum, instruction, assessments, technology and digital learning.” In addition, State agencies that receive funds must ensure that teachers, paraprofessionals, library and media personnel, specialized instructional support personnel and administrators are trained and capable of utilizing such technology.   

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