The Fred's Head Companion.
Monday, March 27, 2006.
President George W. Bush signed into law the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) at the end of 2004. Several changes will be implemented through this reauthorized legislation that will have a positive impact on how and when blind students throughout the country receive their textbooks in the accessible formats they need, including braille and large print.
Of particular significance, a National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) will be established in Louisville, Kentucky, at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). The NIMAC will receive and catalog publishers' electronic files of print instructional materials in a standard format: the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS). The NIMAS was recently developed by experts across the country for this specific purpose. The center will provide these standardized files to authorized textbook providers, who will then produce textbooks for blind and visually impaired students across the country. The combination of a standard format and a central repository should significantly expedite the time frame in which textbooks are delivered to students who need them in the classroom.
APH is working with the U.S. Department of Education, the Association of American Publishers, and many other organizations that produce textbooks and advocate on behalf of the blind and visually impaired to develop the National Instructional Materials Access Center, and to ensure that appropriate federal funding is secured.
For more information on NIMAC, click this link to visit the APH NIMAC FAQ page:
Click this link to visit the National Instructional Materials Access Center
(NIMAC) website: http://www.nimac.us
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