This is the location of information and files, speakers’ notes and handouts associated with the Annual Fall Conference of ACTEM.

October 2019

Trends and Innovations in Special Education

New technologies appear every day and innovative Assistive Technologies (AT) for people with disabilities are also being developed all the time. In this session we discuss some new trends and new types of AT (including “everyday” technologies) that may be used by special education students and teacher. Resources for how to review new technology will also be shared.

Participants will learn

  • Learn about Maine’s Assistive Technology (AT) Program
  • Trends in Special Education
  • Trends in Assistive Technology
  • New changes, innovations and trends & “Everyday” tech.
  • Lots of resources


  • John E. Brandt, MS.Ed. is the Training and Operations Coordinator for Maine CITE.
  • Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles, Ph.D. ATP is the Assistive Technology Specialist for RSU 21 in Kennebunk, Maine.


Handout – MS-Word

October 2018

Making Podcasts and Videos into Accessible Educational Materials

Closed Captioning logoTeachers at all levels increasingly use audio and video content as part of their instruction practice. Unfortunately, many of these materials are inaccessible to learners with disabilities.

In this session, we discuss the importance of making all education materials accessible, how to make your audio and video accessible and various free tools and resources.

Participants will learn about:

  • Legal requirements.
  • How to create audio transcripts.
  • How to create captioning files.
  • Methods for creating video descriptions.
  • Where to find free tools and resources.


John E. Brandt, Training Coordinator, Maine CITE and Maine AEM Program –


Recording of this presentation in webinar format – April 2018


The YouTube video – “Leave the gun – take the cannoli” from The Godfather (1972)

Audio Description of the scene from The Godfather:

Audio DescriptionA black car in a secluded, swampy area with a view of the Statue of Liberty in the background. Two men appear in to be in the car.

[Sound effect: 3 gunshots]

The man in the back seat (Rocco) shoots the man (Paulie) in the front seat of the car in the back of the head.

Clemenza turns his head and reacts to the sound of the gun shots. He walks back to the car.

Paulie is slumped over the steering wheel, blood on his face. Bullet holes are in the windshield

[Dialog: Leave the gun take the cannolis]

Rocco reaches into the front seat of the car and retrieves a white box (the canolis). Rocco walks away quickly, Clemenza looking at the dead body, closed the car door.

[Sound effect: car door slams]


October 2017

Making PDFs Into Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

Digital Documents

Teachers at all levels make frequent use of digital materials including documents saved in Portable Document Format (PDF). Unfortunately, many of these materials are not Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) and are inaccessible to learners with disabilities.

In this session, we will discuss the importance of making all education materials accessible, how to ensure your PDFs “make the grade,” and various tools and techniques that can be used to help fix and rescue some documents.


  • John E. Brandt, Training Coordinator, Maine CITE
  • Cynthia Curry, Co-Director, National Center on AEM
  • Hillary Goldthwaith-Fowles, Ph.D., ATP, RSU21 Assistive Technology Specialist


In preparing the “handouts” we discovered that there was no easy way to convert a PowerPoint file into an accessible PDF. Therefore the presentation from Cynthia Curry is shared in an accessible PowerPoint format. If you need it in an alternative version, please contact John Brandt.

Materials and Handouts

PDF Apps and ExtenSions

The following resources (with links) are from the presentation that Hillary Goldthwaith-Fowles shared:

Apple iOS Scanning Apps

Apple iOS Annotation Apps that Promote Accessibility

Chrome Apps and Extensions for Accessibility

Online OCR and Software OCR tools

Other Resources


revised: 2/13/2018