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NIMAS is not the AIM: Improving Teacher Access to Core Instructional Materials The Louisiana Department of Education in collaboration with Louisiana Instructional.

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Presentation on theme: "NIMAS is not the AIM: Improving Teacher Access to Core Instructional Materials The Louisiana Department of Education in collaboration with Louisiana Instructional."— Presentation transcript:

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2 NIMAS is not the AIM: Improving Teacher Access to Core Instructional Materials The Louisiana Department of Education in collaboration with Louisiana Instructional Materials Center, Louisiana Assistive Technology Initiative, Louisiana Center for Educational Technology (LCET), and School Book Supply Company of Louisiana July 2008

3 Main Ideas for this Session Clarify IDEA Section Accessible Instructional Materials Adopting NIMAS and providing Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) to students. Share the Louisiana model that is being designed to support student access to alternate formats in a timely manner.

4 Evolution of Accessibility 1975 – Education for All Handicapped Children Act defined access as a right to Free and Appropriate Public Education (e.g., mainstreaming and inclusion) – Redefined as IDEA -- access shifted to include the general curriculum, stating that special education is "specially designed instruction" (20 U.S.C. § 1401(25); 34 C.F.R. § (a)(1)) whose purpose is To address the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability; and to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that he or she can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to all children (34 C.F.R. § (b)(3)(emphasis added)). Access to the general curriculum did not assure instruction to the same standards or benchmarks.

5 Evolution of Accessibility In spite positive changes, research showed that students with disabilities tended to fail classes and drop out of school at a higher rate than students without disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 1995). In passing the 1997 Amendments to IDEA, Congress explained, "Despite the progress, the promise of the law has not been fulfilled" (H.R. Rep. No , at 85 (1997).

6 Evolution of Accessibility Students with disabilities must be involved in the general curriculum: (1) IEP goals must address how the student will be involved in and progress in the general curriculum; (2) the IEP must specify appropriate supplementary aids and services, accommodations, modifications, or supports; and (3) the IEP must include an explanation if the student will not participate in the regular class – IDEA adds NIMAS Uniform criteria to expedite the conversion of print into specialized formats (e.g., Braille, Audio, Large Print, Digital)

7 NIMAS and AIM National Instructional Materials Standard (NIMAS) - To standardized the source files used exclusively to convert required print textbooks into accessible formats for students. Accessible Instructional Materials(AIM)- alternate formats of print core and core related: Braille, Audio, Large Print, and Digital

8 Goals of NIMAS and AIM? Timely Delivery of Core Instructional Materials in specialized formats expressly for K-12 students who are blind or print disabled. Arriving in the classroom at the same time as printed core instructional materials. Reducing Student Achievement Gaps Bulletin 1794State Textbook Adoption Policy and Procedure Manual (LAC 28:XXXIII.301, 303, 319, 503, 723, and 2001)

9 If the AIM is not NIMAS, What is it? The AIM is a 15-state member national consortium that represents different state models supporting the acquisition of alternate formats for students with disabilities. 18-month grant ending March 2009 The LA-AIM is comprised of many staff from the Department, Louisiana Instructional Materials Center (LIMC), book depository, Louisiana Center for Educational Technology (LCET), and Louisiana Assistive Technology Initiative (LATI) in Region 6.

10 The AIM Model in Louisiana March 2009 Develops a system that will ensure accessible instructional materials are delivered to children with disabilities in a timely manner. Develops and distributes written guidelines that will define the responsibilities and actions needed. Develops training modules that ensures all staff are able to fulfill their responsibilities to establish student need as well as to identify, acquire, and utilize specialized formats appropriately. Develops a data collection system that will be used to monitor progress and inform the Department of changes and support continued improvement of the system.

11 Five Steps to NIMAS Implementation Step 1- States (and LEAs) Adopt the use of NIMAS Step 2- States and LEAs decide whether to coordinate with the NIMAC by requiring source files to be sent by publishers under contract Step 3- Publishers under state and/or local contract (or voluntarily) provide Core and Core Related instructional materials source files to the NIMAC. Step 4- Upon LEA order/purchase, Authorized Accessible Media Producers (AMPs) convert NIMAS source files and deliver. Step 5- Timely access. All formats (print and non-print) reach students at the same time.

12 Key Information The NIMAS/NIMAC is not required to serve all children with disabilities who need accessible materials. However, the LEA remains responsible for ensuring that all children with disabilities who need instructional materials in accessible formats receive them in a timely manner – The Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) Project in Louisiana will operate collaboratively with textbook publishing companies to help our state fill the gap for ALL students needing alternate formats.

13 Who Actually Qualifies for NIMAS? Copyright Law (Chafee) Eligible ADHD, Deaf, Others LD w/o Organic Dysfunction, MMD, OHI, Autism Blind/VI, Physical With 504 plan Blind/VI, Physical, or LD (w/organic dysfunction) With IEP NIMAS eligible IDEA 2004 K-12 w/disability affecting education ADA Section 504 Age 0-99 Disability not affecting education Adapted: Kentucky Department of Education

14 Chafee Eligible The Library of Congress regulations (36 CFR 701.6(b)(1)) related to the Act to Provide Books for the Adult Blind (approved March 3, 1931, 2 U.S.C. 135a) provide that blind persons or other persons with print disabilities include: Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or whose widest diameter if visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees. Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material. Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations. Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner. Competent authority is defined in 36 CFR 701.6(b)(2) as follows: (i) In cases of blindness, visual disability, or physical limitations competent authority is defined to include doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents). (ii) In the case of a reading disability from organic dysfunction, competent authority is defined as doctors of medicine who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.

15 Competent Authority In cases of blindness, visual disability, or physical limitations competent authority is defined to include doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, teachers, and superintendents).

16 Competent Authority In the case of a reading disability from organic dysfunction, competent authority is defined as doctors of medicine who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.

17 LA-AIM Four Step Plan of Action for Competent Authority Designation. Districts identify AIM-LA liaison. Districts designated competent authority certifies which students have a print disability. Districts identify staff who will assess and determine student eligibility for print disability. Competent authority must have experience in the identification and evaluation of students with disabilities such as pupil appraisal staff, reading specialists, education diagnosticians, special education teachers, and therapists. District personnel must complete a mandatory training Request for accessible instructional materials are supported by documentation and submission of the certification of print disability.

18 Proposed Revisions to Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Proposed Revisions to Individualized Education Plans (IEPS) for October 2008: AIM addressed in Assistive Technology Section of IEP under special factors. General Student Information Section - it has been proposed that a new statement will be added that addresses alternate formats. Progress or Lack of Progress in General Curriculum – a statement will be added that addresses the need for an alternate format and the type of format required. (IEP Help Section) Proposed Statement: In order to support access and make progress in the general curriculum, does the student require core and supplemental instructional materials in an alternate format (e.g., digital, audio, or Braille text books? Does the student have a significant disability such that she/he requires content presented through a primarily graphic/pictorial mode. Accommodations Page - indicate whether alternate format is required by selecting yes or no. If select yes, then Braille, large print, digital, and/or audio may be chosen. Help Page- AIM lagniappe.

19 AIM and Special Education Reporting Database(SER ) Proposed Changes to SER AIM field will be added to the IEP section of SER for each student. The alternate format is selected and linked to the specific student by selecting yes, and identifying the type of format required. SER will generate AIM data report that will provide LEA site code, student name, type of format required. Data will be used to expedite the acquisition of accessible materials in a timely manner.

20 Proposed Revisions to Individualized Accommodation Plans (IAPs) and SIS Data Reporting Proposed changes for 504 students and SIS Database Spring 2009 Updated IAP form will allow for accommodations of altered print and supplemental formats by designation of Braille, large print, digital, or audio. IAP form will be converted to an electronic format. A field for 504 students will be added to Student Information System (SIS). If alternate format is chosen as an accommodation, a designation will be made identifying the type of format required. SIS generate an AIM data report.

21 How Will These Changes Help Louisianas Children? Competent Authority - students will be identified by professionals trained and designated by LEA Superintendents to identify the need for alternate formats. IEP and IAP - tracking and reporting capabilities for all student statewide requiring alternate formats. SIS and SER - assist LEAs in making data driven decision making when requesting the type of alternate formats required.

22 Louisianas Model Establishes one-stop shopping for the LEA Print textbooks prescribed by the state and their alternate formats are ordered by the LEA at the same time via the states book depository. All print and non-print orders are electronically filtered and flow daily to the appropriate authorized media producer (i.e., School Book Supply, LIMC or LATI 6) for processing.

23 AIM Streamlining LEAs order core and core related materials for all students Book Depository (Print Materials) Louisiana Instructional Materials Center (Braille/Large Print Materials) and/or Louisiana Assistive Technology Initiative (LATI) NIMAC, Bookshare, APH, or RB&D, National Library (Audio, Braille, Lg. Print Materials). Directly through the publishers (Print Materials or Other accessible formats)

24 NIMAS is not the AIM NIMAS merely represents standardized file formats that can be converted more quickly. NIMAS files are accessed for conversion by only a few authorized users within each state. NIMAS files are NOT in a student ready format.

25 NIMAS is not the AIM Searching for NIMAS files at the NIMAC is merely a first step in the process of determining whether core or core related instructional materials are available to be converted. NIMAS files are not student friendly nor student ready version and are NOT available for use on behalf of every student.

26 Three Part AIM-LA Plan Step 1. The LEA determines the need for AIM. Step 2. The student's educational team reviews the student's current performance, needs and resources to determine if there is a need for AIM. Step 3. The LEA orders AIM through the LA Book Depository.

27 Three Part AIM-LA Plan Step 1. The LEA determines the need for AIM. If the student is already receiving AIM and there is a continued need, the LEA moves to Step 3. If the LEA is unable to determine the need, the LEA moves to Step 2.

28 Step 1 LEA Process for Determining Need for Alternate Format

29 Three Part AIM-LA Plan Step 2. The student's educational team reviews the student's current performance, needs and resources to determine if there is a need for AIM. If there is no need, the process stops. If there is a need, the LEA identifies how they will obtain AIM. If the LEA is ordering AIM through the LA Book Depository, they proceed to Step 3.

30 Step 2. Alternate Instructional Material (AIM) Eligibility Flow Chart for Educational Team Does the student have difficulty gaining meaning from print-based instructional materials used in the content areas? No Alternate format not needed. Yes Identify the factors that contribute to the difficulty: Disability, Lack of instruction, LEP, Response to Intervention, Medical, and Environmental factors. Determine the alternate formats needed by the student Braille Audio Large Print Digital No Student is not eligible under Chafee Amendment Identify additional instruction, assistive technology, supports, services, and/or training that will be needed by the student and others to use the materials effectively. Take steps to obtain and/or prepare alternate formats that support need. Order from LA Book Depository Order within District Resources Other (Describe):

31 Three Part AIM-LA Plan Step 3. The LEA orders AIM through the LA Book Depository. Orders for students with blindness/low-vision are processed through the LIMC. All others are processed through the LATI. The LATI identifies the AIM materials and notifies the LA Book Depository. The LA Book Depository distributes AIM to the LEA with book charges applied for non-Chafee eligible students. The LIMC delivers formats as requested through the current LIMC process. Records of student orders are maintained by the LATI and LIMC. Each year, the LIMC and LATI notify the district teacher, district Special Education Director and Textbook Supervisor of any students who are in the database of orders from that year. The district teacher, Special Education Director and Textbook Supervisor determine the need to order for the following year and continue the cycle through Step 1.

32 Step 3

33 The AIM is a Formula for Student Success! Formula: SIS(TO+TD)=SA SIS= Sound Instructional Strategies TO=Timely Ordering TD=Timely Delivery SA= Student Achievement

34 Research Stahl, S. (2004). The promise of accessible textbooks: increased achievement for all students. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Retrieved [07/07/2008] from Heubert, J. P. (2002). Disability, race and high stakes testing. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Retrieved [07/07/2008] from

35 Louisianas NIMAS and LA-AIM Coordinating Council Nancy Beben, Director Dr. Jackie Bobbett, NIMAS Primary Contact-LA-AIM Project Director Nancy Hicks Monica Hogan Marcie Coupel Brenda Neff Donna Broussard Janice Fruge Joyce Russo Debbie Tullos, School Book Supply Company of Louisiana Judy Noles, Webster Parish Donna Knapp, Scott Foresman S. Merchant, LSU Leslie Lightbourne, Student Standards & Assessment Quentina Timoll, Louisiana Center for Education Technology Eric Guillory

36 Future Plans Obtain permission to pilot the Louisiana AIM Model in 4 Parishes Implement statewide, if successful Resources Louisianas NIMAS/NIMAC and AIM Project Director:


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