Nicaragua pilot experience

Accessible Digital Textbooks that transform education

Heisell Tellez, 27, (left) and Hosten Alemán, 26, (right) watch videos of the therapies with their daughter Rouss Alemán (center), who -- after the therapies -- has managed to walk and perform daily activities, in their home in Jinotepe, Nicaragua on September 6th, 2020.
16 June 2022

We have understood that technology opens up countless new possibilities for education, to:

  • respond to the diversity of learning styles,
  • encourage students to actively participate and be motivated towards learning and, in particular,
  • remove barriers to access to a quality inclusive education, particularly for children with disabilities and those with learning difficulties.

That is why, together with the Ministry of Education, we are promoting the Accessible Digital Books for all initiative, which seeks to produce educational materials based on the Universal Design of Learning (UDL) approach to achieve better learning opportunities for all students, especially children with disabilities.

UNICEF and the Ministry of Education want to transform 15 regular schools with preschool, primary and secondary levels, into inclusive schools for 15 of the 17 departments of the country.

In Nicaragua, UNICEF is part of the newly created Technical Commission for Accessible Digital Books, which, together with our main partner, the Ministry of Education, besides the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (a national reference centre for higher education) and the Zamora Teran Foundation (with experience in the development of educational software).

In the next four years, we have set out to develop the country's capacities in the production and/or adaptation of digital textbooks in accessible formats. In this process we have advanced in the following:




Carry out training processes to deepen the application of UDL and improve understanding of the digital and accessible textbook production process.

Preparing and implementing the work plan for the production and validation of an accessible digital textbook prototype.

Adapting the selected units of Mathematics books (1st grade) and some units of  Knowing my world subject (2nd grade).


Managua, Nicaragua, June 2021. Children play during a routine check-up. Doctor Nerys Galeano counsels the family on Care for Child Development (CCD), a program implemented by UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In Nicaragua's experience, it has been very valuable that the main partners have provided the necessary human talent and adequate technological resources to produce and validate the prototype and the adaptations.

We have also made progress in forming the first technical teams:

First technical team

Second technical team

In the first team, we have pedagogical advisors, special education teachers, graphic designers, and hearing and visual disabilities teachers. This team developed a mirror book with adaptations based on the UDL in 2021, which will be the graphic script for the prototype.


The second team is made up of computer scientists, designers, programmers and distance education professionals. Currently, this team produces the adaptations of videos in sign language, audio and images, which will be used to start programming the master file of the prototype based on the graphic script.

All of the above has led us to advance intersectoral training and coordination processes aimed at developing capacities so that Nicaragua moves towards a sustainable inclusive education, which has accessible digital textbooks and materials for the national education system.