a small child using technology to learn.

Georgia Department of Education and CIDI Expand Partnership
to Produce Accessible Educational Materials for K-12

Georgia Department of Education and CIDI Expand Partnership
to Produce Accessible Educational Materials for K-12

Educational materials in alternative formats will increase access for students with disabilities.

ATLANTA, GA, April 12, 2022 – Georgia Tech’s Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI) in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), is excited to announce they are growing their successful Assistive Technology Partnership to continue building sustainable production services of high-quality accessible educational materials (AEM) in Braille and large print for Georgia K-12 students with disabilities.

“We are excited to have an opportunity to partner with GaDOE to assist in serving students with disabilities in our state at the K-12 level,” said Guy Toles, Braille Production Manager at CIDI. “This collaboration combined with our partnerships with the University System of Georgia and various government agencies around the state provides CIDI with a unique opportunity to positively impact individuals of all ages who are blind or visually impaired across Georgia through increasing access to high quality braille at all levels of education through transition into the work force.”

CIDI’s nationally known Braille Team, led by Guy Toles, produces high-quality Braille in a timely manner for students who are blind or have low vision throughout the US and territories. Specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), CIDI’s Braille Unit is excited to join forces with the Georgia Instructional Materials Center (GIMC) to expand capacity and streamline AEM services to assist students as they move through K-12 into postsecondary educational environments. Building upon GaDOE’s and CIDI’s Assistive Technology Partnership, school districts through Georgia have received over 487,987 assistive technology (AT) and Universal Design for Learning software licenses. CIDI is honored to work even closer with administrators, teachers, AT professionals, curriculum specialists, transition counselors, instructional technologists, and students who will all be a part of the process to ensure sustainable AT and AEM service delivery to students.

“The Division for Special Education Services and Supports of the Georgia Department of Education is excited to expand our partnership with CIDI to include the production of accessible educational materials. Having quality materials and resources available to our students is essential for their access to the curriculum," said Wina Low, State Special Education Director.

"Working with Georgia Tech’s CIDI will allow our services to increase and provide on-time delivery of materials to our visually impaired students across the state at no cost to local school districts.”

CIDI’s Tools for Life Program, which serves as Georgia’s AT Act program, will continue providing AT and accessibility solutions to support students with disabilities in Georgia’s 217 school districts through an extensive AT lending library. This innovative AT and AEM Partnership identifies and assists to close gaps through the soon-to-be released EdTrade program. EdTrade is a customized assistive technology equipment reuse program designed for Georgia’s schools. Assistive technology can often go unused if it does not fit the needs of a specific student or if a student has transitioned out of the educational system. EdTrade allows districts to swap, loan, donate, or sell assistive technology with one another, assisting students who may not have previously had access to the AT tools they need to learn and increase their independence.

“The research is clear. Braille literacy is undeniably linked to long-term positive academic and employment outcomes for students who are blind or have low vision,” said Carolyn Phillips, CIDI’s Director of Services. “CIDI is proud to partner with the Georgia Department of Education and embrace this incredible opportunity to further support students with disabilities in accomplishing and exceeding their goals.”

The World Health Organization estimates that over 253 million people have a form of visual impairment. Increasing access to Assistive Technology and Braille is vital to create even more accessible educational environments and open doors to employment opportunities for students who are blind or have low vision. 

About the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation

With its rich history of providing accessible solutions to an underserved community, CIDI has positioned itself as a leader in accessibility and inclusion. CIDI is committed to promoting technological innovation, developing user centered research, products, and services for individuals with disabilities, and addressing unmet needs in higher education, government, nonprofits, and corporations by providing accessible and inclusive environments for all. Visit www.cidi.gatech.edu for more information. Follow CIDI on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn at @CIDIAccess.


About the Georgia Department of Education

Led by State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is the state agency serving Georgia’s K-12 public school districts, schools, and students. GaDOE’s strategic plan emphasizes transforming the agency into one that provides meaningful support to schools and districts, with an emphasis on child-focused, classroom-centered education policy. GaDOE staff work to ensure that the 1.7 million students in Georgia’s public schools receive a holistic education that focuses on the whole child, and graduate ready to learn, ready to live, and ready to lead. Learn more at www.gadoe.org and www.gadoe.org/reimaginek12.



Media Inquiries

Ann Hoevel
Director of Communication
Georgia Tech College of Design
E-mail Ann