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Subject: Accessible Instructional Materials/Print Disabilities/Accessing NIMAS File Sets
Source: Heike Imler, Interim Assistant Director, Effective Practices

Intended Audience: Educators and Administrators

Date: December 4, 2007

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the timely delivery of accessible instructional materials to students who are IDEA eligible. To assist in implementation of this requirement, IDEA established the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) that serves as a repository for electronic files prepared in the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) format.  In developing local district compliance plans, most LEAs decided to coordinate with the NIMAC. Those districts should now be requiring publishers to deliver a NIMAS file set to the NIMAC for purchases of instructional materials.

Information is now available at http://www.at.mo.gov/idea.html about how to access NIMAS file sets for those districts who decided to coordinate with the NIMAC. In brief, those steps are -

1. Download and sign the Limitation of Use Agreement (LUA) and submit to Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT) as the authorized user for NIMAC.  LEAs must provide with the LUA a copy of the agreement language the LEA is using for purchase of instructional materials that obligates publishers to provide NIMAS file sets to NIMAC.

2. After the LUA and attachments have been provided, submit a request form for each student who needs a specific NIMAS file set (usually textbook title). Districts are encouraged to check the NIMAC repository to ascertain if the title needed is available at the current time. For students who are visually impaired, districts should also contact Missouri School for the Blind to check student's eligibility for APH services and the availability of existing alternative format materials.

3. If the requested NIMAS files set is available in the NIMAC repository, MoAT will download the file set and provide it to the LEA for conversion into the appropriate specialized format(s). If the file set is not available, MoAT will work with the district to identify alternatives for delivery of accessible materials. Districts are also encouraged to check other sources for electronic text such as Bookshare http://www.bookshare.org/web/Welcome.html.

Please review the information at http://www.at.mo.gov/idea.html and if you have any questions feel free to contact Elaine Houtman, Missouri Assistive Technology at ehoutman@swbell.net or 816-350-5287.

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Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Division of Special Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Email:  webreplyspe@dese.mo.gov
Phone: 573-751-5739   Fax:  573-526-4404


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