National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards (NIMAS) – a technical standard used by publishers to produce source files to develop multiple specialized formats for students with print disabilities.
Using extensible markup language (XML), source files are prepared by separating the content from presentation structure of the original content and providing a means of presenting the content in a variety of ways and styles. For example, once a NIMAS file set has been produced for printed materials, the XML and image source files may be used to create Braille, large print, HTML versions, Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) talking books using human voice or text-to-speech, audio files derived from text-to-speech transformations, and more.
Most elementary and secondary educational publishers do not own all of the electronic rights to their textbooks and related core print materials. A copyright exemption allows them to deliver the electronic content of a textbook and the related core print materials to the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC), a national repository which began operations on 12/3/06, as long as the publishers possess the print rights.
National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) – a central repository for NIMAS files.
Using an automated system, publishers can deposit NIMAS files within the repository where they will be checked for validity and cataloged into a web-based database. Authorized users can search the NIMAC database and directly download files necessary to convert instructional materials for students who have qualifying disabilities.
Virginia participates in the NIMAC and partners with organizations selected by VDOE to assist in converting educational materials into alternate formats. These partners include AIM-VA at George Mason University, Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, Bookshare.com and Virginia Correctional Enterprises.