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for the Blind

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National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)

In this section of www.afb.org you may access presentations and handout materials about the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) and the central repository for publishers' source files or National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC). These materials will benefit your state, school district, or publishing organization when dealing with the development of source files for textbooks or when developing the best system for the production and delivery of textbooks and instructional materials to students who are blind or print disabled. As more information is available, AFB will be adding NIMAS assistance documents to this web section (www.afb.org/nimas.asp).

Supporting Implementation Strategies for the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)

NEW! The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is pleased to be able to provide a new online training feature to support your school district's plans to implement the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS). As a partner and subcontractor with the Center for Applied Special Technology's (CAST) NIMAS Centers, AFB is developing a series of online seminars called "webinars" to support your ongoing goals to implement NIMAS.

These sessions have been archived and are now available in audio and slideshow format.

  1. Implement NIMAS in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Build New State Strategies with Vicki Hershman, PATINS State Project Director (Indiana); Joy Zabala, Project Manager, AIM Consortium at CAST; and Mary Ann Siller, AFB.

  2. Leverage Your Resources and Expertise to Implement NIMAS Mandates in Your School District with Vicki Hershman, PATINS State Project Director (Indiana); Suzanne Dalton, Director, Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired (FIMC); and Mary Ann Siller, AFB.

Braille Translation Software Training for NIMAS

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is pleased to partner with the National Braille Association (NBA) to develop training sessions for people transcribing braille for K-12 materials. The next session will be in April 2009 in the Boston, MA area. Please go to http://www.nationalbraille.org to register.

History of NIMAS

President Bush signed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA), P.L. 108-446 on December 3, 2004. The IDEA is the main federal program authorizing state and local aid for special education and related services for children with disabilities. One significant area of improvement in the 2004 legislation was the addition of sections defining the provision of textbooks and instructional materials in accessible formats for students who are blind or print disabled.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the Center for Applied Special Technologies (CAST) have co-hosted a series of national meetings to define, discuss, and demonstrate the impact of the landmark provisions in IDEA 2004 surrounding access to textbooks and instructional materials for students who are blind, have low vision, or are print disabled.

AFB is part of the five-year national work to build new state capacity and programming about NIMAS and the use of the NIMAC. The NIMAS Technical Assistance and Development centers at CAST provide periodic updates to the NIMAS web site with the intention of providing current and useful information to NIMAS state coordinators, state education agency and local education agency personnel, publishers, conversion houses, and others who have an interest in the implementation of NIMAS and NIMAC.

New Grant to CAST for NIMAS State Capacity Building

There is exciting news from CAST and OSEP. CAST was recently notified that they received an important grant with major funding to develop a consortium of states to build a model plan to increase access to instructional materials.

The Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) Consortium represents 15 states serving over 1.3 million students under IDEA, of whom over one-half million are estimated to have print disabilities. States need effective systems to implement the NIMAS/NIMAC requirements of IDEA and the materials-provision needs of those students who require specialized formats but do not qualify for NIMAS/NIMAC resources. The AIM Consortium combines CAST's experience leading system change initiatives to increase the timely availability of accessible instructional materials with states that are committed to organizational change and to solutions scalable to other states, outlying areas (OAs), and freely associated states (FASs). AIM Consortium state members are Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The long-term goal of the AIM Consortium is to improve academic outcomes for elementary and secondary school students with disabilities. The goals of the Consortium are relevant to improving academic outcomes for elementary and secondary school students with disabilities.

To learn more, visit the CAST web site.

New Resources from CAST

NIMAS Presentations

NIMAS WorkFlow Graphic (PDF file)

NIMAS Resources

Technical Assistance for State Directors of Special Education

Review of Final IDEA 2004 Regulations

NIMAS/NIMAC Technical Assistance Meeting October 11, 2006

Sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind and NIMAS Development and Technical Assistance Centers

The following documents were used during the meeting:

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