Ohio Department of Education Topic News

What do you need to know about NIMAS and AIM?


What is NIMAS? The 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) addressed the timely delivery of print textbooks in specialized formats including braille, large print, audio, and digital text to school-age children with print disabilities, including students with reading disabilities, physical limitations, or blindness/visual impairments.  The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) is a technical standard used by publishers to produce source files in the four specialized formats for students with print disabilities.

Who needs AIM? Under IDEA, state and local education agencies must ensure that children with disabilities who need Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) in the four specialized formats receive those materials in a timely manner.

What is TIMELY MANNER? Under IDEA, each state must develop a definition of timely manner. In Ohio, timely manner is defined as the delivery of AIM in specialized formats for traditional and digital platforms to students with print disabilities who require them at the same time as their peers receive their materials.

Why provide AIM? For some students, printed instructional materials can be a barrier to participation and achievement in the general education curriculum. AIM remove that barrier. 

How can CISAM help students in your school district? The Center for Instructional Supports and Accessible Materials (CISAM) works with school districts to locate AIM for students with print disabilities through their onsite collection, the annual Federal Quota Registration of Blind Students, and other sources. CISAM assists Ohio school district personnel in accessing NIMAS electronic files, adapting the NIMAS files into the four specialized formats, assigning the NIMAS files to Accessible Media Producers, and/or producing the adapted materials for eligible students.

Where do you begin? Complete and return to CISAM a CISAM Materials Request Form to request AIM for your student(s) with print disabilities who can benefit from a specialized format.

For additional information, access the following links: 


CISAM AIM Training Series

Please share this information with the appropriate personnel in your district.  Questions may be directed to Nicole Morris, NIMAS Coordinator,, 614.644.8461