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All About AIM

Learn all about AIM from the basics to classroom practice from these resources explaining the ‘who, what, why’ of AIM.

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What are AIM?

Definitions of various forms of AIM and information on which students would most benefit from one or more particular format(s) of AIM.

Why provide AIM?

Learn about key federal statutes and funded national centers with resources supporting the provision of accessible instructional materials.

AIM Center Quick Starts

The AIM Center serves many audiences, each with unique questions and a need to quickly find answers to their specific questions. AIM Center Quick Starts are suggested as a “first stop” to find brief answers to the most often requested information as well as links to additional resources on the AIM web site.

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AIM for Families

Find answers to a range of questions families may have about how accessible instructional materials (AIM) can help their children as well as links to additional AIM Center resources.

AIM for State and Local Education Agencies

Discover answers to questions about the provision of services related to accessible instructional materials (AIM) as well as links to additional AIM Center resources.

Assistive Technology (AT)

Other than embossed braille and large print, specialized formats require technology to deliver accessible content to students. For students served under IDEA, delivery technology falls under the definition of assistive technology (AT). Find out more about how AT and AIM work together.

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State AT Resources

Determine how to locate state organizations that provide AT services and information.

National AT Resources

Learn more about AT and gather information from national organizations that provide extensive resources and services.

AIM and Student Learning

AIM provide access to content that may otherwise be unusable by students who have difficulty accessing print instructional materials. Access to materials is a critical first step. Learn about approaches that move beyond access to content and explore strategies for improved student learning.

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Audio-Supported Reading (ASR)

Audio-Supported Reading (ASR) is a technology-based approach for accessing and working with text presented in either braille or enlarged (magnified) print. Improvements in reading proficiency using this approach may translate into greater gains in academic achievement.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and AIM

UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone—not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.


Accessible Media

Learn more about alternate-format materials to support access and enable participation in the general curriculum by students with print disabilities.  Find out about accessible media that can be used to support diverse learners in the classroom, categorized by format.

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Learn about accessible images—what they are, how to create them, and how to use them.  Information and resources on various aspects and features of accessible images are provided for a variety of types of images, such as photographs, illustrations, graphics, icons, etc.


What is accessible text?  How is it made and used?  What features make text-based learning materials accessible to students with print impairments?  Choose from resources provided for parents, educators, administrators, and related service personnel.


These e-Resources provide information about hardware, software, and web-based applications for digitally rendered content including readers, players, hybrid products, and more.

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Hardware-Based Resources

See below for information and a compilation of sources of hardware-based resources for digital content. Sources gathered include freeware, open source, and commercial products; including handheld readers and players, hybrid devices, and more.

Software-Based Resources

Screenreader applications read aloud a variety of content formats via TTS, while others are designed for use with digital talking books. Other programs facillitate the use and management of digital libraries, convert files from one format to another, transfer files between devices and accounts, etc.


Learn more about AIM in action: how to produce, acquire, distribute, and use AIM across a wide variety of implementation models, including AIM in the classroom; AIM information, tools, and tips for parents; NIMAS-specific best practices; formats and technologies; and NIMAC processes.

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Information on content development and production for the creation of AIM, including digital talking books and other alternate formats, NIMAS source files, authorized entities as AIM producers, the role of NIMAC in relation to production, and more.

Acquisition & Distribution

Find out about the process of acquiring AIM, including information on sources of AIM, accessible media producers (AMPs), the role of NIMAC in relation to AIM acquisition and distribution, and where to start whether one is a teacher, or district, or LEA employee.



Obtain information about AIM policies at the federal, state, and local level including up-to-date information on statutes and regulations, IEPs, textbook adoptions, the NIMAS, eligibility and qualification, and more.

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Federal law and regulations pertinent to AIM, including IDEA and NIMAS regulations, copyright law and the Chafee Amendment, Section 508, information on the NIMAS Standards Board, digital rights management, and more.

State Information

Information on state statutes and policies pertinent to AIM, including textbook adoption/purchasing, SEA special education responsibilities, assistive technology, state-specific information and resources, and more.


Discover the latest available research on AIM, UDL, print disabilities, and how these interact, the foundational research base leading up to AIM and UDL connections as they are understood today, and how current research impacts AIM in a practical sense.

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AIM Research

Read about available AIM research findings, including materials formats (DTB, audio, CD, HTML/web-based, Braille, large print), assistive technology, instructional support, supported reading (text-to-speech, strategy development, navigation help), and UDL in relation to AIM.

UDL Research

Read about available UDL research findings, including digital textbooks, strategy instruction, scaffolding of skills development, testing and assessment, and more.

Post-Secondary Education and AIM

This section includes information and resources regarding AIM related to transition and post-secondary education.

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Higher Education

AIM-related information and resources pertaining to higher education. Information related to the Higher Education Commission on Accessible Materials is included.


AIM-related information and resources pertaining to the transition from high school to higher education, work, and life.


Disability-Specific Resources

Acquire information about the functional impact of disabilities on education: specifically, as related to accessible instructional materials. Learn about available resources for extended study.

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Sensory: Blind and Low Vision

Acquire information specific to the functional impact of visual impairments as related to accessible instructional materials and learn about available resources for extended study.

Sensory: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Acquire information specific to the functional impact of hearing impairments as related to accessible instructional materials and learn about available resources for extended study.

History and Archives

Delve into the background and history of accessible instructional materials and the NIMAS, including the history of core technologies surrounding AIM, past activities and processes surrounding the NIMAS, the original NIMAS technical specification 1.0, etc.

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NIMAS-Related Archives

Learn more about the history and background of the NIMAS, past activities of the NIMAS centers, technical document archives, and more.

Background Papers

Past publications by CAST, articles and documents regarding DAISY, the NCAM Project, the NCSeT Center, and more.




What is your state doing?

Decision-Making Tools and Resources

AIM Navigator iconAIM Navigator

AIM Explorer iconAIM Explorer

AIM Guide to AMPs iconAIM Guide to AMPs

Teaching and Training Resources

AIM Implementation Guide iconAIM Implementation Guide

AIMing for Achievement iconAIMing for Achievement DVD

Upcoming Events

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Last Updated: 08/07/2014

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