The Rhode Island Materials Access Center (RIMAC) is the support center for the RI AEM Initiative, a statewide system designed to provide appropriate accessible instructional materials to students who cannot access standard print materials. RIMAC serves RI to implement the requirements in Part B of IDEA.
RIMAC works with districts to help them address students’ needs for educational materials in accessible formats, determine how student needs will be identified, document needs in students’ IEPs, and certify the eligibility of students for NIMAC** materials. RIMAC works with RIDE to develop and manage data that tracks progress toward NIMAS* implementation and provision of educational materials in accessible formats.
RIMAC and the RI AIM Initiative, in cooperation with RIDE, work together to support RI students who need accessible instructional materials (AIM), who may or may not meet federal requirements for NIMAC or RIMAC services. All students who need different forms of information in order to learn SHOULD have appropriate access to learning materials.
RIMAC is located at TechACCESS of Rhode Island, 110 Jefferson Boulevard, Suite I, Warwick, RI 02888
For ALL students to be effectively included in the general curriculum and to productively participate and learn, they must have instructional materials that are accessible to their needs.
For ALL students to effectively participate in a comprehensive assessment process, they must have instructional and assessment materials that are accessible to their needs.
NIMAS*, or National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard guides the production and electronic distribution of digital versions of textbooks and other instructional materials so they can be more easily converted to accessible formats, (Braille, large print, audio or digital text), which is exclusively for use by blind or other persons with print disabilities.
NIMAC**, or National Instructional Materials Access Center, is a repository for the NIMAS files. It is located at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, Kentucky. The NIMAC receives the NIMAS files from publishers.
State NIMAC Coordinator/Authorized User
jayner AT techaccess-ri DOT org
110 Jefferson Boulevard, Suite I
Warwick, RI 02888
1. What is the RIMAC?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004 (IDEIA 2004) requires book publishers, upon request, to provide electronic files to a national clearinghouse, the National Instructional Material Access Center (NIMAC), for the purpose of providing instructional materials for students with print disabilities. The Rhode Island Materials Access Center (RIMAC) is the RIDE solution, administered by TechACCESS of Rhode Island, to work with districts to request texts from the national clearinghouse (NIMAC)
2. Why is RIMAC necessary?
To insure that eligible students with disabilities receive their instructional materials at the same time as their non-disabled peers, as required by the law.
3. How does an LEA request textbooks be included in the national clearinghouse (NIMAC)?
LEAs must include language in their contracts with publishers for textbooks and other printed core materials must include a provision that requires the publisher to produce NIMAS files and send them to the NIMAC (this will not add any cost to the contract). Model contract language is included below. This should be added to all book purchasing contracts.
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 file set 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 file sets of the purchased products to the NIMAC. The files will be used for the production of alternate formats as permitted under the law for students with print disabilities.
This is page __ of __ of this contract or purchase order.
4. Are districts required to participate in RIMAC? What if they choose not to participate?
Districts are NOT REQUIRED to participate; however, they remain responsible for acquiring the instructional materials necessary to meet the needs of students with print disabilities in a timely manner.
5. How are students determined eligible? What is the process?
Eligibility for accessing instructional materials through RIMAC is determined by the IEP team and documentation should be included in the Supplementary Aids and Services section of the IEP.
If a student with a print disability does need a specialized format, the IEP should specify the following:
• the specific format(s) to be provided (Braille, audio, e-text, large print, etc.)
• the services and/or assistive technology the student needs to use the specialized format
• the individual or individuals responsible for providing the specialized format, and
• whether or not the format is required to be used in the student’s home or in another setting in order for the student to receive a free appropriate public education.
The following students may be eligible:
• A child who is unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations as certified through a physician as having a physically-based disability.
• A visually impaired person or person whose visual acuity, as determined by current eye report by an ophthalmologists or optometrist, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or whose widest diameter if visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees is eligible.
• A child who has a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner as certified by a doctor of medicine.
6. Who requests books? How are books requested?
The District Liaison, see below. Books are requested through the TechACCESS website. All requests should be made before May 1 to take advantage of our large print discount. All necessary forms can be found on this website.
7. Who should be a DISTRICT LIAISON?
The District Liaison should be an employee of the district who has the authority to be able to commit district resources, much like an LEA Representative. Students who are eligible are unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations, visually impaired students or students who have a print disability resulting from organic dysfunction, because of this the District Liaison should not be a TVI.
8. What role does the Special Education Director have in this process? District Liaison? School Principal? Teacher of the Visually Impaired? Special Education Teacher/Case Manager?
The Special Education Director is responsible for ensuring that the timelines are met that students receives their instructional materials at the same time as their non-disabled peers. Additionally, they are responsible for establishing a district liaison for the RIMAC, completing and submitting the Textbook Usage Agreement and the Electronic Text Usage Agreement, and informing the School Principal and Case Manager of their roles and responsibilities in meeting the needs of the print disabled student.
The District Liaison is responsible for collecting information from the principal and/or case manager and submitting the necessary paperwork for RIMAC:
• Registration for RIMAC Accessibility (student eligibility),
• Request for RIMAC Accessible Materials (Instructional Materials to be utilized by the student in an accessible format);
• RIMAC Accessible Materials Producer Form (who the district will contact with to convert the electronic file to an accessible format for the student)
• Invoices for braille and large print books.
The School Principal is responsible for ensuring that the student is scheduled for classes in a timely manner so the list of instructional materials necessary for each class for eligible students is forwarded to the District Liaison, who will order the instructional materials.
The Teacher of the Visually Impaired is responsible for assisting the district in determining which students meet eligibility requirements, and for ensuring that the Special Education Teacher/Case Manager is knowledgeable about the student’s print accommodations and modifications so that the instructional materials will be accessible by the student.
The Special Education Teacher/Case Manager is responsible for assisting the principal in collecting the information necessary for determining the appropriate print accommodations and modifications as well as the instructional materials necessary to support the child in their classroom instruction.
9. Is there a cost to participate in RIMAC? Are there any financial benefits?
There is no cost to participate in RIMAC. The benefit to belonging to RIMAC is that we can offer discounts on large print books through Library Reproduction Service (LRS). Additionally, we are able to demonstrate a significant savings and professional quality production compared to the manner in which many districts currently provide large print access.