Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To Learningdisabilities@nifl.gov July 28th, 2009

Welcome. Recently I received the below newsletter from Bookshare.org about States; which VT is one, who have become an Authorized NIMAC User, this will allow for Vermont to receive textbooks in up to 2 weeks verses months in its current status.

This is a program which I'm interested in Florida being a Authorized NIMAC User. So I thought I would pass this information on to you and if you have had experience with the Bookshare organization I would like to hear your experience. If not, then it should be a help to your Department and students. Bookshare has broken all barriers for dyslectics and others (I'm dyslexic myself), so they can have the tools they need to learn.

The article:
Source: www.bookshare.org/canvas/newsletter3

Bookshare Named Authorized NIMAC User in U.S. States and Territories

By Valerie Chernek

To expedite the process of providing accessible versions of textbooks to students with print disabilities, your state can name Bookshare as an Authorized User or AU of the NIMAC. Here is the current list of states that have named Bookshare as an Authorized User: CA, CO, KS, MA, MD, MO, MT, NH, NY, OR, TN, VT, and Guam. Is your state on the list?

What is the NIMAC? NIMAC stands for National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center. It is a federally-funded, central repository created by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to hold U.S. K-12 digital textbook source files. U.S. textbook publishers are required to submit files to the NIMAC when the request is made in writing at the point of print book purchase. The files can then be used to create a variety of specialized formats for students with print disabilities.

This process helps to make certain that all K-12 students with print disabilities receive timely access to required educational textbooks according to the IDEA 2004 Law. (Individual with Disabilities Education Act)

As an AU of the NIMAC, Bookshare supplements the work of other state AU’s and can provide timely access to digital accessible textbooks for students with qualified print disabilities and IEPs (Individual Education Plan). A teacher or sponsor can request and receive converted student-ready textbooks in accessible file formats from Bookshare in less than two weeks.

In states that have not named Bookshare as a state AU, teachers request textbooks through one of their state AU’s, who may still assign the book to Bookshare for conversion. This turnaround process will take longer, from one to two months depending on the complexity of the book.

“When we find a required digitized book in the NIMAC, we make a special notation to request it from Bookshare. Within a week, the books come back in a more reader-friendly format. This is one of the real benefits of working with Bookshare,” said Valerie Whitney, Special School District (SSD) Area Coordinator for St. Louis County, MO and the Missouri Assistive Technology Project.

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