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Assisting Oklahoma's elementary and secondary schools in providing accessible educational materials for students with print disabilities.
What are Accessible Educational Materials?
AEM is a specialized format of curricular content that can be used by and with learners with a print disability. They include formats such as:
AEM is for students with sensory, physical, cognitive, and learning differences that have difficulty accessing printed materials. Students with print disabilities can include students who have:
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) requires that states and school districts provide accessible versions of educational materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner, typically at the same time as their peers. For those students who need them, receiving accessible instructional materials in a timely manner is essential for them to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) is a provision listed in the IDEA 2004. NIMAS is a uniform electronic format for textbooks and related materials from which accessible formats can easily be made.
The National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) receives source files in NIMAS format from textbook publishers and makes these files available for download to Authorized Users in the United States through an online database. The public can freely search the NIMAC to find the textbooks they need.
In addition to ensuring that all students with print disabilities receive appropriate accessible versions of core curriculum materials in a timely manner, state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) will play an important role in obligating publishers to submit essential source materials to the NIMAC. This will be accomplished by contract or by including appropriate language in purchase orders that require publishers to submit NIMAS-conformant files to the NIMAC, or provide assurances that they have already done so, for a specific title and version that is to be purchased. Sample contract language
Contact one of the following Authorized Users (AU's) to request the NIMAS file you need:
Students may need the additional support of an assistive technology (AT) device in order to access their educational materials. Examples include, refreshable Braille display devices, a computer with screen reading software or literacy software to read text aloud, a book holder, an MP3 player with audio files, a portable reading device, or screen magnification software.
Try ABLE Tech's short-term loan program. AT devices and software are available to loan for free for up to a 6-week period. We pay shipping to and from.
When schools order textbooks in April, they also should order materials in the appropriate accessible format for students whom they know will attend the following year. To expedite the acquisition of alternate formats, the school may directly contact one of Oklahoma’s AU's to specify what is needed (see list above for AU's). The Oklahoma State Department of Education also maintains a list of AUs who can provide these services.
Oklahoma State Department of Education
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4599
Phone: (405) 521-3301
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
Oklahoma State University, Department of Wellness
1514 W. Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK 74078
(800) 257-1705 or (405) 744-9748 (V/TTY)
National Center on AEM at CAST
40 Harvard Mills Square, Suite 3
Wakefield, MA 01880-3233
Phone: (781) 245-2212 or (781) 245-9320 (TTY)