Teachers Parents and Students FAQ

How can I locate the accessible materials my student needs?

We encourage you to search Louis. This search brings together information on accessible materials available from over 140 organizations across the U.S., including APH, Bookshare, and Learning Ally. If the format you need is not available, the search results will also show if a source file is available in the NIMAC.

What is the NIMAC?

IDEA 2004 established the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) to serve as a national repository of digital source files in National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) format. These files are used to produce accessible formats (such as braille, digital audio, DAISY text, large print, etc.) for K-12 textbooks and related printed core materials. The NIMAC is located at the American Printing House for the Blind and began operations on December 3, 2006.

How does the NIMAC work?

The NIMAC receives NIMAS source files from K-12 publishers, catalogs these files, and makes them available to authorized users who can download the files and use them to produce accessible formats.

What is the relationship between NIMAC and organizations like APH, Bookshare, and Learning Ally?

Organizations like APH, Bookshare, and Learning Ally access files in the NIMAC to produce accessible formats. States work with these and other accessible media producers that produce and distribute student-ready formats produced from NIMAS. These organizations are completely separate organizations from the NIMAC and should be contacted directly to request materials:

Learning Ally
American Printing House for the Blind

How can I sign up so that my student can download files from NIMAC?

NIMAS files are source files and are not distributed directly to students. For this reason, students and teachers do not register with NIMAC or download files. In most all cases, teachers, parents and students will obtain the formats they need from other agencies. If your school or local district has the resources to convert NIMAS files locally, contact us for information on how you can obtain an Accessible Media Producer account.

As a teacher, how can I learn more about how to accommodate students with print disabilities?

For additional information and guidance, many resources are available at the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials website: Navigating AEM

Who is eligible to receive formats produced from NIMAS file sets?

Under IDEA 2004, in order to receive materials produced from NIMAS files, students must have a qualifying print disability and they must have an IEP. For information on how your state determines eligibility, please contact your NIMAC State Coordinator.

How can I search the NIMAC?

Anyone is welcome to search the NIMAC repository for source files. Just visit Search NIMAC. Please remember, however, that NIMAS is a source file format. It is not distributed directly to students for use in the classroom. If you are searching for a specific format for a student and are unsure what steps to take, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help!

How do I find out how my state is working with NIMAS?

If you have questions about how your state is working with NIMAS to provide accessible formats to students with print disabilities, you may wish to contact your NIMAC State Coordinator.

How can I find additional help for a blind or visually-impaired student?

Parents and Teachers who need assistance for students who are blind may find the list of American Printing House for the Blind Ex Officio trustees helpful: Ex Officio Trustees of APH

How can I contact the NIMAC?

Still have questions? Feel free to get in touch! We will do our best to help or to direct you to other resources. Our number is 877-526-4622, and our email address is nimac[at]aph.org.