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.
People with print disabilities may find the following references helpful as they attempt to locate sources of digital content. This page highlights accessible options for obtaining both digital electronic text and digital audio. Some resources focus specifically on serving individuals with print reading disabilities while others offer content more widely.
AMPs (Accessible Media Producers)
Accessible media producers (AMPs) produce alternate formats of print instructional materials, such as braille, audio, digital text, or large print, exclusively for use by blind or other persons with print disabilities. Authorized users (AUs) are eligible to download files directly from the NIMAC and sometimes also serve as accessible media producers (AMPs). AMPs may be national, serving the entire U.S.; or they may be regional or local, serving a single region such as New England or a single state. Some AMPs may serve a single publisher, state education agency (SEA), or state resource center.
AIM Guide to AMPs Updated March, 2013
AIM Guide to Accessible Media Producers (AMPs)
Information on services of three of the largest and most widely used AMPs is updated annually by the AIM Center and summarized in table format for comparison purposes. The AIM Guide to AMPs Summary Table offers information on specific student populations served, conversion services available, and formats provided. Information included in the Summary Table is gathered through a survey of each organization. The survey responses from each individual organization are provided as an FAQ document listed below.
State-level resources may be helpful in identifying local organizations and companies that can support content development.
- State Assistive Technology Act Programs
This listing of state assistive technology programs is hosted by the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) and includes a complete listing in Excel format available for download as well as a state-by-state (and territory) list in HTML.
- Instructional Resource Centers for the Blind and Visually Impaired
This listing is from APH. "The Association of Instructional Resource Centers for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a collaborative group of people who work in or with media centers. Members of the group have worked with the American Foundation for the Blind in the successful passage of parts of IDEA 2004 related to the needs of students who are blind or print-handicapped to have their adapted instructional materials available at the same time as their sighted peers" (from the web site).
Commercial in this context means fee-based access (subscription or per-item) to alternate versions of print materials. Organizations/companies may require registration and/or membership as well. See also Mainstream below.
Organizations on this list operate as authorized entities as described in Section 121 of the Copyright Act (the Chafee Amendment) and may only provide specialized format versions of print instructional materials to qualified students.
Sources in this category provide access to digital versions of copyright-free or out-of-copyright (public domain) materials.
Sources on this list may offer content for free or for sale, or both. Digital electronic text and digital audio content may also be provided to patrons through public libraries. Check with your local library about resources listed here, as well as other services to which your library may subscribe.
Sources on this list provide texts available in alternate formats, including digital electronic text, digital audio narration, Braille, large print, or sometimes even combinations of these. Consumers are urged to consult the web sites provided here to determine which formats may be available and if they must qualify in order to access content or become members.
NIMAC (National Instructional Materials Access Center)
The National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) is a central national repository established at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to store and to maintain NIMAS filesets. It features an automated system for allowing publishers to deposit NIMAS-conformant files within the repository. Files are checked to confirm that they are valid NIMAS-conformant files and then cataloged in a web-based database. Those who have been authorized for access have user identifications and passwords. These authorized users may search the NIMAC database and directly download the file(s) they need to convert into accessible instructional materials for those students who are in elementary and secondary schools and have qualifying disabilities.
AU (Authorized User)
An authorized user is an agent of a coordinating agency with access to the NIMAC database who may download NIMAS-conformant files in accordance with established agreements.