Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)
Accessible instructional materials (AIM) are printed textbooks and educational materials that are converted to alternate formats, such as Braille, large print, electronic text, and audio recordings, which are requested by a local school division for use by students with disabilities in the classroom. These materials include core instructional materials: textbooks, trade books, reading interventions, test preparation materials, worksheets, etc. in accessible formats. Under IDEA, all states are required to adopt and use the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) when producing accessible instructional materials for students who are blind or who have other print disabilities. NIMAS is a technical standard used by publishers to produce source files that may be used to develop multiple specialized formats for instructional use. While IDEA requires all state educational agencies (SEAs) to adopt NIMAS, SEAs and local education agencies (LEAs) may choose whether to coordinate with the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC), a national repository.
The Virginia Department of Education, through George Mason University, created the Accessible Instructional Materials Center of Virginia (AIM-VA) to produce and provide free AIM for eligible K-12 students with disabilities in Virginia. Students must have a current Individualized Education Program (IEP) that indicates the need for using accessible instructional materials for reading. A competent authority must confirm a student’s eligibility for using AIM-VA materials, due to a print disability.
Revisions to AIM-VA Resources for Students with Print Disabilitie – information for implementing procedures to obtain alternate formats of Accessible instructional Materials for students with print disabilities.
To create a single point of access and to facilitate required federal data collection and reporting, all accessible instructional materials requested from AIM-VA and their partners should be ordered through the AIM-VA Ordering Portal.
- AIM Terminology
- National Center on Accessible Educational Materials
- The DAISY Consortium
- IDEA: Appendix C
To implement an integrated statewide system for accessible instructional materials in the form of a lending library, AIM-VA has partnered with other accessible media producers (AMP). The partners and the materials they produce are as follows:
- Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) – Braille and BRF files materials
- Learning Ally – digital audio books
- Bookshare – most are DAISY, BRF and ePub