National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) and Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) addresses the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) at 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. Compliance with NIMAS is mandatory. 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 for students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with other print disabilities.

Responsibilities of the State Educational Agency

Each state is required to adopt NIMAS, in order to ensure that students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with other print disabilities, receive instructional materials in a timely manner. NIMAS establishes a standard for publishers to follow that is consistent and valid when producing instructional materials in accessible format. Instructional materials supported by NIMAS include textbooks and core materials that are written and published for elementary and secondary school instruction. Wisconsin has provided an assurance to OSEP of our adoption of NIMAS and our full cooperation with NIMAC.

Responsibilities of the Local Educational Agency

  • All districts must send to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) an assurance form stating that their students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with other print disabilities, will receive their materials in the appropriate format and in a timely manner. This assurance is submitted annually as part of a district's application for federal IDEA grant funds.
  • The DPI strongly recommends districts coordinate with NIMAC to ensure delivery of print materials in a timely manner. If a district chooses not to coordinate with NIMAC, the district must submit with its assurance form a plan of actions to comply with NIMAS.

NIMAS information can be found at:

For questions about this information, contact Stacy Grandt 608-758-6145.