IDEA specifically requires that each state education agency (SEA)
- Adopt NIMAS as the technical standard for electronic file sets for accessible instructional materials. (§300.172(a)(1)), and
- Establish a State definition of "timely manner" for purposes of providing accessible instructional materials to IDEA eligible students in a timely manner. (§300.172(a)(2)
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) adopted NIMAS as the technical standard for Missouri through regulation (the Missouri State Plan for Special Education). Missouri has not yet revised state statute (RSMo 170.132) to align with the NIMAS file set adoption.
DESE also adopted a definition of “timely manner” through regulation (State Plan). That definition reads:
“In a timely manner means that the responsible public agency has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that students with print disabilities have accessible materials at the same time their fellow students without disabilities have their materials.”
To deliver accessible print materials in a timely manner, each SEA and local education agency (LEA) must either assure they will coordinate with NIMAC or assure they will provide accessible, alternative format instructional materials to students who are blind or have other print disabilities in a timely manner through their own resources (absent access to the NIMAC repository). DESE provided this assurance in the State Plan and LEAs provided such assurance in their local compliance plans for special education. DESE and most Missouri LEAs agreed to coordinate with NIMAC to support more timely availability of accessible instructional materials.
- Prepare and, on or before the delivery of the print instructional materials, provide to the NIMAC, electronic files containing the contents of the print instructional materials using the NIMAS, and/or
- Produce and provide the print instructional materials in specialized formats. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(23)(C) and §300.172(c)).
The print instructional materials covered by such contract or purchase agreement language include print textbooks and related print core materials that are written and published primarily for use in elementary and secondary school instruction and are required by a state or local education agency for use by students in the classroom.
Self Assurance – For those who did not assure coordination with NIMAC, the agency must provide accessible, alternative format instructional materials to students who are blind or have other print disabilities in a timely manner through their own resources and will not have access to the NIMAC repository of files.