The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004 requires states to address the critical difficulty of obtaining accessible textbooks for students with disabilities by adopting a new file format, the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS). This same legislation offers a means to assist states in this responsibility by establishing a national repository to collect and store these files and to make them available to states. This repository is the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC), and it is established at the American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. (APH) with support from the U.S. Department of Education.
The NIMAC is a central repository that contains NIMAS filesets. It will have an automated system for allowing publishers to deposit NIMAS files within the repository. The NIMAS files will be checked to confirm that they are valid NIMAS format, and the files will be cataloged into a web-accessible database. Those who have been authorized for access will have user identifications and passwords. These authorized users will be able to search the NIMAC database and download directly the files they need to convert to accessible instructional materials for students in elementary and secondary schools who have qualifying disabilities.
The NIMAC will receive and catalog publishers' electronic files of print instructional materials in the NIMAS format. The NIMAC will serve as a national repository for NIMAS files and as a conduit through which the files will be made available to authorized users to convert the files into fully accessible textbooks for students.
NIMAS files of elementary and secondary core instructional and related materials will be deposited in the NIMAC.
The NIMAC will not serve the higher education disability services community, as the legislation specifies this is for elementary and secondary school level students.
Files do not come automatically to the NIMAC. The legislation does not seem to require that publishers send NIMAS files directly to the NIMAC. Publishers must provide the files to the NIMAC IF REQUIRED TO DO SO BY EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES. The key here is that the way files will get into the NIMAC is primarily by educational agencies writing contracts that direct the publishers to send NIMAS files to the NIMAC. In cases where an educational agency has produced its own NIMAS files, those educational agencies may contribute files to the NIMAC.
NIMAS Files are available through your state's Authorized User(s).