AAP has had a long-standing commitment to serving the blind community. AAP works to ensure that children who are blind or visually impaired receive instructional materials in appropriate media. Because of its work in this area, AAP received a 2002 Access Award from the American Foundation of the Blind.

In 2002 AAP secured Congressional support for the Instructional Materials Accessibility Act and in 2004 AAP led the national effort to develop the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS).

The purpose of the NIMAS is to provide blind and print disabled students with instructional materials in a timely manner. The single, national standard was also designed to create greater efficiences for publishing companies which have had to respond to state laws requiring various formats for instructional materials for blind students.

NIMAS is established under sections 612(a)(23)(A) and 674(e)(4) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The NIMAS standard is a file set that includes all data information used for publishing. This information includes metadata, images and text, and is used to produce accessible instructional materials for K-12 students who are blind or who have other print disabilities.

The law requires all state educational agencies (SEAs) to adopt NIMAS; however, SEAs and local education agencies (LEAs) may choose whether to coordinate with the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC), a national repository authorized under section 674(e) of IDEA for NIMAS files received from publishers, SEAs, and LEAs.

AAP Resources

AAP has extensive policy and implementation resources available on NIMAS and NIMAC. These resources are available to school publishers by contacting Jay Diskey,

Additional Resources:

  • The U.S. Department of Education’s IDEA website has a “major topic” section on NIMAS. Visit
  • The National Instructional Materials Access Center’s website has many resources available on NIMAS and NIMAC. Visit
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