|TO:||District Administrators, CESA Administrators, CCDEB Administrators, Directors of Special Education and Pupil Services, and Other Interested Parties|
|FROM:||Carolyn Stanford Taylor, Assistant Superintendent|
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy
|SUBJECT:||Guidance for the Implementation of National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)|
A provision in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) establishes the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) [34 CFR 300.172(a)(1).] The goal of NIMAS is to promote the development of high quality and consistent source files to be used to create specialized formats for students with print disabilities. Students with print disabilities will receive their textbooks and core materials in the alternate format at the same time as students without print disabilities.
The U. S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has established a National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) at the American Printing House for the Blind, which will create a national repository of NIMAS source files that can be converted into accessible formats (audio, Braille, large print, digital text or text to speech) for students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with other print disabilities. The responsibility of NIMAC is to retrieve files from the textbook publishers and maintain a catalog of these electronic files. Once the contractual or purchase order language is agreed upon by the district and publisher, the textbook publisher must provide the files to NIMAC.
To ensure timely delivery of materials and access to the general curriculum, the district must contact an Authorized User (AU) when a student is in need of materials in an alternate format. It is the responsibility of the district to contact an AU identified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) who will explore the national repository database for the textbook and required core materials. The AU will have access to NIMAC to download electronic files solely for the use of preparing student-ready copy in the requested format. In such cases of capacity issues, the AU may download the file and submit it to an Accessible Media Producer (AMP) to convert the file to the appropriate format. Upon successful completion of the retrieval and conversion of the file to student-ready format, the AU will send the completed request back to the district. The district will provide the student the appropriate medium in the requested format.
In addition, it is the responsibility of the district to ensure children with disabilities who need instructional materials in accessible formats, but are not included under the definition of blind or other persons with print disabilities or who need materials that cannot be produced from NIMAS files, receive those instructional materials in a timely manner [300.172(e)(1)(i).]
Student Eligible under NIMAS Regulations:
IEP (Individualized Education Program) Team
IEP teams make the decision concerning the need and the type of alternate format based on the evaluations of certified professionals and the individual needs of the student.
Others with Print Disabilities
Print disabled refers to a student’s inability to access ‘standard print format.’ Any specific diagnosis or disorder alone would not constitute an automatic consideration for ‘other print disabilities.’ The IEP team should consider if the student needs ‘specialized materials’ (alternate format) to meet their IEP goals and access the general curriculum.
Visual impairment means even after correction a child’s visual functioning significantly adversely affects his or her educational performance. A certified teacher of the visually impaired conducts a functional vision evaluation which includes a review of medical information, formal and informal tests of visual functioning and the determination of the implications of the visual impairment on the educational and curricular needs of the child.
Statutory blindness is defined as visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a corrective lens, or a visual field limitation such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees as determined by competent authority.
All students eligible for materials in an alternative format will receive them at the same time as their non-print disabled peers. In such cases of highly technical and/or a high number of tactile graphics, portions of the book will be produced in accordance with the ‘timely manner’ definition. ‘Timely manner’ production coincides with timely submission of requests.
Once an LEA has “opted in” with NIMAC . . .
What are the LEA responsibilities?
I. Suggested language for contracts and purchase orders
“By agreeing to deliver the materials marked with “NIMAS” on this contract or purchase order, on or before ___/___/___, the publisher agrees to prepare and submit files meeting NIMAS requirements to the NIMAC at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) located in Louisville, Kentucky. Should the vendor be a distributor of the materials and not the publisher, the distributor agrees to immediately notify the publisher of its obligation to submit NIMAS file sets of the purchased products to the NIMAC. The files will be used for the production of accessible formats as permitted under the law for students who are blind or have other print disabilities.”
II. Textbook Adoption
Textbooks published on or after July19, 2006, must meet NIMAS. The district must require the publishers to submit electronic files containing print materials to the NIMAC. If a district has adopted new textbooks on or after July 19, 2006, the district should contact the publisher and request that the textbook files be sent to NIMAC to meet the mandate of NIMAS. It is important for districts to make selection of new textbooks before April 1 of each year to ensure timely delivery of textbooks in the appropriate format for the upcoming academic school year. Please visit the Wisconsin Accessible Media Production website www.wamp.k12.wi.us/index.htm for additional information.
III. State of Wisconsin Authorized Users (AU)
- David Cederstrom – firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: 608-758-6146
- Julie Stroh – email@example.com, Telephone: 608-758-4930
- Vickie Warner – firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: 608-758-6162
IV. State of Wisconsin NIMAS Coordinator
Stacy Grandt – email@example.com
V. Procedure for ordering alternate materials in a timely manner
- Alternate format includes audio, Braille, large print, digital text or text to speech in specialized format.
- The Wisconsin DPI has appointed three (3) individuals from Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (WCBVI) as AUs to search the NIMAC database to download and convert files in the appropriate format as requested by the districts. Ordering process and forms are available on the new website at www.wamp.k12.wi.us/index.htm. Please contact the Wisconsin Accessible Materials and Production (WAMP) Center at (608) 758-6146 or (866) 284-1107 for additional questions.
- Districts requesting materials in alternate format must provide documentation of the student’s print disability to the AU. Please utilize the form on the WAMP website.
- If your district is registered with Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D), please continue your membership.
- AUs will register your district with Bookshare at www.bookshare.org. Membership also is available to individuals who provide proof of a print disability, such as blindness, low vision, a reading disability or a mobility impairment that makes it difficult or impossible to read standard print. No fees will be charged for membership.
- If your district needs audio or electronic books, please contact an AU from WAMP. The AU will work with Bookshare, American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) to obtain the materials in the requested format. Upon receipt, the AU will return the requested format in student-ready version.
- If your district needs Braille or large print, please contact an AU from WAMP to obtain materials in the requested format. Upon receipt, the AU will return the requested format in student-ready version.
- Complete a Student Information Sheet for each student who will be receiving materials in alternate format. This must be completed once per student per school year. Please make requests as soon as you are aware of books needed! We can do the best job of serving your needs if we receive materials in a timely manner. Orders received after May 1 cannot be guaranteed to arrive prior to the start of the school year.
- When requesting books, complete a Book Request Form indicating needed textbooks and workbook materials as well as alternate format. Submission of an original print copy of each book is required.
- For any textbooks produced or secured by WAMP which involve a cost, the district will be sent a cost estimate. WAMP will not proceed with the processing of these items until we receive a purchase order to produce the materials. If you wish to eliminate this step in the procedure, send a letter of intent signed by the Special Education Director. Books cannot be shipped, however, until a purchase order has been received.
- The cost of the large print materials is based on the amount of enlargement and the number of volumes necessary to produce the book. Braille costs are based on a cost-of-production basis or the cost involved in securing the text from an outside agency.
- Materials will be sent “Free Matter for the Blind” only if they are being loaned to you. Due to the class of this mail service, we cannot accept responsibility for replacement of materials shipped Free Matter. All purchased materials will be sent via United Parcel Service (UPS). UPS charges will be added to your invoice.
- Textbook coordinators should ensure the timely selection of books in order for WAMP to have student-ready copies available.
For questions about this information, contact Stacy Grandt 608-758-6145.