Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

Textbooks and core instructional materials in specialized formats for K-12 students with print disabilities. Examples of special formats are Braille, audio, large print and electronic text. Currently the acceptable term is
Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

Accessible Media Producer (AMP)

Producers of specialized formats of instructional materials such as Braille, audio, digital text, or large print for use by blind or other persons with print disabilities. Accessible media producers are eligible to download files directly from the NIMAC as agents of authorized users. Major AMPs supported by the U.S. Department of Education and involved in NIMAS work include the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), Bookshare, and Learning Ally (formerly RFB&D).


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

A federal law which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, providing equal opportunity in the areas of employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities,  transportation, and telecommunications. For more information, please read the Americans with Disabilities Act

American Printing House for the Blind (APH)

The world's largest non-profit organization for creating educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are visually impaired. Click here to visit the APH website

Article 7

Part of the Indiana Administrative Code (IAC) that contains Indiana’s special education rules. These rules have been adopted by the State Board of Education in order to implement the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act as amended in 2004 (IDEA’04). For a detailed guide to Article 7, please go to: Navigating the Course: Finding Your Way through Indiana's Special Education Rules

Certified Competent Authority

If a student is Chafee Qualified, the school has on file, documentation by a Certified Competent Authority that the student has a measurable print disability, and needs and will benefit from the use of accessible instructional materials in specialized formats. For the full amendment go to: The Chafee Amendment.

Coordinating Agencies

State and local agencies which have chosen to coordinate with the NIMAC by directing publishers to provide NIMAS-conformant files to the NIMAC. There are two crucial agencies which coordinate with the ICAM under the direction of the Indiana Center for Esceptional Learners:

  • PATINS- Promoting Achievement through Technology and Instruction for all Students
  • IERC- Indiana Educational Resource Center.

DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System)

A multimedia standard which enables content creators to use advanced technology to support traditional presentation of images and text. DAISY standards are applications of XHTML, XML, and Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL). For full definition and description of the DAISY Consortium, mission and goals, go to:The DAISY Consortium.See also Digital Talking Book.

Digital Rights Manager (DRM)

A school staff member, designated by the superintendent or the superintendent's designee, who is responsible for requesting, receiving, disseminating and tracking the usage of copyrighted accessible instructional materials (AIM) for students qualified with print disabilities. The DRM will register electronically with ICAM and sign a Limited Use Agreement Form (indemnity contract) assuring the district will adhere to the terms of IDEIA and current copyright laws with regards to materials received through the ICAM.

Digital Talking Book

A group of digitally encoded files containing an audio portion recorded in human speech, the full text of the work in electronic form, marked with the tags of descriptive markup language; and a linking file that synchronizes text and audio portions and provides navigational features. See also DAISY.

Digital Text

A book, article, or other published material that can be retrieved by and read via a computer. Also referred to as Electronic Text, or e-Text.


A neurological disorder in the area of the brain which interprets language and symbols, abilities critical to the development of the reading process. Students with normal vision and intelligence who have dyslexia experience difficulty developing reading skills, and usually need special intervention to succeed in school.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

A plan, mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which is designed to meet the educational needs of an individual student with a learning disability. The members of the IEP team are determined by law, and the goal of the team is to provide specially designed instruction and related services which will help the student achieve educational goals. Click here for more information

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The law which governs how SEAs and LEAs provide special education and related services, including early intervention to children with disabilities. The law specifies every detail of provision of and denial of services, due process guidelines and penalties for failure to comply. For full descriptions of amendments to this federal law, which began in 1975 as PL 94-142, please see the following:

Information Rights Management (IRM)

Authorizing technologies implemented by rights holders and/or publishers to limit the distribution and use of proprietary content. Examples of IRM systems are---encryption (securing content as a locked file requiring a hardware or software-based "key" for unlocking), watermarking (the imprinting of identifying information on digital files), fingerprinting (the association of specific user data with a particular file or collection of files). IRM systems can employ one or all these approaches.

Language-Based Learning Disability (LLD)

A disorder which affects age-appropriate reading, spelling and/or writing skills. Dyslexia is an example of an LLD. Click here for more information.

Local Education Agency (LEA)

A public school district, or in rural areas, a body that oversees multiple schools. The LEA operates the public school system, distributes grant money to school projects and contracts for educations services.

Organic Dysfunction

Certain impairments of skills involved in the acquisition, processing and utilization of knowledge or information, which is physically based.

Package File

A file which provides identification, description, and access information for all other files in a publication. A NIMAS-conformant file set must include a package file using the file extension OPF.

Portable Document Format (PDF)

A universal computer file type used to exchange and view documents on any computer that has the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed.
Click here to install a free version of Adobe Reader

Print Disability

A disability which renders one unable to read standard print material due to visual impairment, blindness, physical limitation, organic dysfunction, or dyslexia.

Print Instructional Materials

Printed textbooks and related printed core materials that are written and published primarily for use in elementary and secondary school instruction and are required by a SEA or LEA for use by students in a classroom.

Reading Fluency

The ability to read  text accurately, quickly, and with appropriate expression, without conscious attention to the mechanics of reading. Students with language-based learning disabilities often demonstrate problems with reading fluency.

Reading Disability

A neurologically based difficulty in developing reading skills. See Dyslexia.


The process of using personal knowledge, skills, and abilities to educate others in order to improve perceptions of learning disabilities, and in order to obtain the accommodations and modifications necessary for success.

Specialized Formats

Formats which include the same content as a printed textbook or other instructional material but changes the way the content is presented to the student. No information is added or removed.

Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

  • A legal, Federal definition for a learning disablilty: General. Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
  • Disorders not included. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.Click here to access the U.S. Department of Education site

State Education Agency (SEA)

State-level government agencies responsible for providing information, resources and technical assistance on educational matters to schools and residents.

Timely Manner

A legal term in Article 7 requiring public agencies to take all reasonable steps to ensure that students who need specialized formats of instructional materials receive those materials in the same timeframe as students who receive non-specialized formats.


A period of major change - for instance, the move from early childhood to school, from a specialized setting to a mainstreamed setting, or from secondary school to a postsecondary program, work, and/or independent living.