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Accessible Educational Materials (AEM), are materials that are designed or converted in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of student variability regardless of format (print, digital, graphical, audio, video). AEM refers to print educational materials that have been transformed into the specialized formats of braille, large print, audio, or digital text.
Acquiring Specialized Formats
Assistive Technology is sometimes needed to read digital text, or to make standard print more accessible when digital is unavailable.
Frequently asked questions:
Have more questions? Submit our online AT Consultation form or call ABLE Tech.
How Specialized Formats Are Determined
A team will select the format(s) needed for this student based on matching the student's needs and the instructional context needs with the features that can be manipulated in the specialized format(s). More than one may be needed and selected for the student.
Acquiring Assistive Technology for AEM
ABLE Tech can also provide technical assistance and training in how to correctly provide AEM.
How do we ensure educational materials are produced in accessible formats?
The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) is a standard file format established by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) when it was reauthorized in 2004. NIMAS was created to make it easier for students with disabilities to access learning materials in the formats they need as quickly as possible. Electronic files of books created using the NIMAS are designed to be easily converted into specialized formats including braille, large print, audio, and digital text.
IDEA also mandated the establishment of the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC), http://nimac.us/, a national repository for publisher source files of textbooks and related core printed materials that are created according to the NIMAS technical specification. Oklahoma coordinates with the NIMAC as a means to provide specialized formats to qualifying students in a timely manner.
Who is Qualified to Receive NIMAS Textbooks?
Access to materials created from NIMAS files is limited to individuals who are 1) certified as having a print disability and 2) on an Individualized Education Program (IEP), meaning the student has undergone an evaluation and is, or will be, receiving special education services under IDEA.
How do you get NIMAS files?
The files that publishers submit to the NIMAC are not ready for student use, but must be converted to student ready formats by Accessible Media Producers (AMPs). AMPs are authorized to convert instructional materials into specialized formats of braille, large print, audio and digital. In addition to NIMAS source files, AMPs may produce materials submitted by a variety of other sources, such as individuals, schools, and publishers.
Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) are responsible for obtaining textbooks and other educational materials from AMPs. Bookshare, Learning Ally, and Liberty Braille are examples of AMPs that regularly convert NIMAS files into accessible formats for use by Oklahoma public school students who have print disability. Additional entities designated by the state of Oklahoma as Authorized Users of the NIMAC include ABLE Tech okabletech.okstate.edu, the AIM Center at the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped http://www.library.state.ok.us/aim/, and the Oklahoma School for the Blind http://osb.k12.ok.us/.
How can we ensure that Print Instructional Materials are available through the NIMAC?
By agreeing to deliver the materials marked with "NIMAS" on this contract or purchase order, the publisher agrees to prepare and submit, on or before ___/___/_____ a NIMAS fileset to the NIMAC that complies with the terms and procedures set forth by the NIMAC. The publisher also agrees to mark up materials eligible for NIMAS submission that contain mathematical and scientific instructional content by using the MathML3 (refer to latest applicable version) module of the DAISY/NIMAS Structure Guidelines as posted and maintained at the DAISY Consortium web site (http://www.daisy.org/z3986/structure/SG-DAISY3/index.html).
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 filesets of the purchased materials to the NIMAC. The files will be used for the production of specialized formats as permitted under the law for students with print disabilities.
Vendor represents that the digital instructional materials delivered under this contract or purchase order conform to, at a minimum, the standards for accessibility as set forth in—
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. § 794d), and its implementing regulations (36 C.F.R. § 1194), or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (minimum of Level AA conformance).
Should any portion of the materials not conform to the aforementioned standards of accessibility, vendor agrees to provide a written explanation of the reason for non-conformance. Submission of a complete Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) will satisfy the requirement to provide a written explanation. Vendor further agrees to provide alternative means for access to the instructional materials during the period of non-conformance to students who may qualify in accordance with the Act entitled "An Act to provide books for the adult blind" approved March 3, 1931 (2 U.S.C. 135a).