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AIM Guidance for the Purchase of Printed Instructional Materials

The SEAs and LEAs play an essential role in increasing the availability of printed instructional materials in accessible formats by obligating publishers to submit essential source materials to the NIMAC. They do this by routinely including language in purchasing contacts and purchase orders that requires publishers to submit NIMAS-conformant files to the NIMAC, or provide assurances that they have already done so, for a specific title and version that is to be purchased.

The IDEA Regulations require SEAs and LEAs to: 1) provide accessible materials in a timely manner to students with disabilities who need them: and, 2) require the creation of a NIMAS-conformant source file and deposit it in the NIMAC.  There is no statutory or regulatory requirement placed on publishers.  Although some publishers have been proactive about creating and depositing these sources files, publishers are only obligated to submit them when SEA or LEA purchasers specifically include the requirement to do so in contract language or purchase orders. It should be noted that this applies only to textbooks and related core materials (e.g. workbooks, supplementary readers) published and made available for purchase from the publisher after July 19, 2006.  

Math & Science: On June 22, 2012, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services distributed a Dear Colleague letter to all state directors of Special Education referencing the availability of the MathML3 Structure Guidelines. (MathML3 is the current version of the XML-based math mark-up language ratified by the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C], the DAISY Consortium, and the NIMAS Standards Board.)  Given the availability of a technical standard for the inclusion of mathematical content in K–12 Math and Science instructional materials, which will allow these files to be transformed into student-ready versions—such as digital text and braille—that are far more accessible to print-disabled students than the current image-based math files included in NIMAS filesets, OSERS specifically encourages SEAs and LEAs to request that publishers use MathML3 Structure Guidelines.  For more information on MathML, please visit:

•    For additional information about NIMAS, please refer to
•    For additional information about the NIMAC, please refer to


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AIM Guidance for the Purchase of Printed Instructional Materials by PATINS/ICAM is licensed under a
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