For ALL students to be effectively participate in the general curriculum and a comprehensive assessment process, they must have instructional and assessment materials that are accessible to their needs.
The goal of RIMAC is 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.
What is RIMAC?
The Rhode Island Materials Access Center (RIMAC) is the support center for the RI AEM (Accessible Educational Materials) 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 AEM Initiative, in cooperation with RIDE, work together to support RI students who need accessible educational materials (AEM), 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.
What Formats Does RIMAC Provide Access To?
Accessible formats include Braille, large print, audio or digital text. RIMAC materials are available exclusively for use by blind or other persons with print disabilities who are eligible to receive materials in an alternate format.
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 person with a learning disability such as dyslexia qualifies for Bookshare as long as a competent authority confirms that the learning disability significantly interferes with reading.
- A person who is blind or has low vision and who is unable to read standard print qualifies for Bookshare as long as a competent authority confirms that the person is legally blind or has a significant problem accessing text.
- A person with a physical disability who is unable to read standard print qualifies for Bookshare as long as a competent authority confirms that the physical disability significantly interferes with reading.
Is there a cost to participate in RIMAC?
There is no cost to participate in RIMAC.
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.