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NIMAC: An Overview and Update Presented to Penn-Del AER Nicole Gaines April 24, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "NIMAC: An Overview and Update Presented to Penn-Del AER Nicole Gaines April 24, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 NIMAC: An Overview and Update Presented to Penn-Del AER Nicole Gaines April 24, 2008

2 What well cover today … An overview of the NIMACits role, purpose, and basic operations How NIMAC works with states and Authorized Users An update on NIMAC after its first 15 months. Your questions!

3 True or False? 1.NIMAC files are student-ready and are distributed directly for use in the classroom. 2.Accessible Media Producers, such as braille transcribers, do not have direct access to the NIMAC. 3.Only visually impaired students can be served with materials produced from NIMAS files. 4.The NIMAS specification requires that publishers supply alt-text for all textbook images. 5.Anyone can search the NIMAC database.

4 Part One: A NIMAC Overview In this section, well cover the basics about who we are, what we do, and why!

5 Who are we? The NIMAC is the National Instructional Materials Access Center. Created by IDEA 2004, we are a central repository of electronic source files for accessible media production. These files can be used to produce student-ready specialized formats, such as Braille and audio, for students in K-12 with qualifying disabilities.

6 How does the NIMAC help accessible media producers? A key purpose of the NIMAC is to improve timeliness of delivery of accessible formats by reducing the time it takes for a source file to get into the hands of the accessible media producer. In this way, the NIMACs chief impact is at the initial stage of media production, not at the final stage of delivery to the student.

7 How is this an improvement over the past? Files are required from publishers in a standard format. Publishers are required to submit files per IDEA 2004 on behalf of those customers who belong to states which opt into the NIMAC. The NIMAC provides a central location for files, eliminating the need for SEAs and LEAs to take their file requests directly to individual publishers.

8 What are the new challenges? Publishers do not create NIMAS as a part of routine print production processes. They have had to learn to produce the format. Accessible media production technologies have also had to gear up to be equipped to convert NIMAS into specialized formats. The file format is not equally useful for all accessible formats. Administering NIMAS is new for states and in some cases does not fit neatly with existing organizational structures.

9 What is NIMACs relationship to APH? Although physically located at APH, NIMAC is a separate entity and exists outside of APHs regular business operations. For this reason, we have a separate web site and telephone numbers.

10 What does the NIMAC do? The NIMAC receives and catalogs publishers' electronic files of print instructional materials in the NIMAS format. We provide the searchable web interface. We work with states to register State Coordinators and Authorized Users. We contract with OverDrive, Inc., who provide the database software and off-site storage for the NIMAC.

11 Does the NIMAC provide files directly to students? The NIMAC does not distribute any student-ready accessible versions, so we do not work directly with individual students, parents, teachers or schools. In most cases, teachers will go to the same agencies as in the past to acquire the finished accessible formats.

12 How does the NIMAC get files? States and local education agencies direct publishers to send us files when they contract for new textbook purchases. NIMAC is not authorized to require files from publishers. The NIMAC is not retroactive. Files needed for books purchased before NIMAC was created may still need to be requested directly from the publisher.

13 Which file formats are in the NIMAC? The NIMAC contains only NIMAS format. No other file formats can be accepted. Requests for other digital formats, such as PDF, must go directly to the publisher.

14 Where Did the NIMAS File Format Come From? NIMAS is based on the DAISY standard. It was established by a technical panel formed in 2002 and headed up by CAST. The NIMAS Standards Board is the group responsible for recommending changes to the specification.

15 What is a NIMAS file set? A NIMAS zip file contains: An XML file of the textual portion of the book A folder containing all of the images (in JPG, PNG or SVG format) A package file containing metadata and a list of image files included in the file set A PDF of the title page/copyright page of the print book

16 What does source file mean? NIMAS file sets are a starting point for creating an accessible version. A typical textbook may contain thousands of images. The NIMAS standard does not require alt text for images. Files range from less than 1 GB to up to 6 GB. In most cases, value-added work is needed to convert NIMAS to a student- ready format.

17 Which Students Are Eligible? IDEA 2004, PART D, SEC. 674. (e) (3)(A) BLIND OR OTHER PERSONS WITH PRINT DISABILITIESThe term 'blind or other persons with print disabilities' means children served under this Act and who may qualify in accordance with the Act entitled 'An Act to provide books for the adult blind', approved March 3, 1931 (2 U.S.C. 135a; 46 Stat. 1487) to receive books and other publications produced in specialized formats. NIMAC does not determine student eligibility. This task belongs to the state.

18 What types of materials does NIMAC contain? (3) (C) PRINT INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS The term 'print instructional materials' means printed textbooks and related printed core materials that are written and published primarily for use in elementary school and secondary school instruction and are required by a State educational agency or local educational agency for use by students in the classroom.

19 What materials are not included? Excluded from NIMAC are: –Teachers editions and other teaching materials NOT distributed in a print format directly to students –Material published only in digital format –Advance copy file sets (printings that are not ready for use in the classroom) –Higher education materials

20 What does related printed core materials really mean? OSEP has not provided guidelines on what constitutes core material. This definition is negotiated between publishers and their customers. The NIMAC will not reject material based on core versus non-core criteria.

21 Part Two: Working with the NIMAC In this section, well cover how the States, Authorized Users, and Accessible Media Producers work with the NIMAC.

22 NIMAC: Working with States Whats a State Coordinator? A State Coordinator is a state-level representative who opts into the NIMAC on behalf of that state. The State Coordinator designates and manages the Authorized Users for the state.

23 NIMAC: Working with States What is an Authorized User? Each State Coordinator registers a small number of Authorized Users for the state, such as IRCs and schools for the blind. AUs can directly download files from the NIMAC, and have them converted into student-ready formats like Braille. Authorized Users can also assign files to AMPs who are registered with the NIMAC.

24 How are AUs registered? 1.The State Coordinator logs into the NIMAC system and fills out the online AU registration to designate the AU. AUs are not able to self-designate. 2.The system automatically emails the Limitation of Use Agreement to the AU when the SC submits the web form. 3.The AU signs the LUA and mails it in. 4.The NIMAC activates the account.

25 AMPS and the NIMAC AMP registration with NIMAC is voluntaryAMPs do not have to be designated by anyone. Any Authorized User can assign files to any registered AMP. AMPs only have access to assigned files. Authorized Users are also welcome to use AMPs who are not registered with NIMAC.

26 For downloading files, we recommend … 1.A high-speed internet connection 2.512 RAM (minimum) 3.1GHz processor (minimum) 4.Sufficient storage for large files

27 The AU and the AMP Just as in the past, business arrangements for work to be performed happen directly between the AMP and their customer. Any and all negotiations between the AU and AMP are outside of the NIMAC, including cost, timeline and other expectations.

28 How do AMPs register? 1.The AMP fills out the web form at the NIMAC web site. 2.The system automatically emails the Limitation of Use Agreement when the online form is submitted. 3.The AMP signs the LUA and mails it in. 4.The NIMAC activates the account.

29 How does an AU assign a file to an AMP? 1.The Authorized User logs in to the NIMAC and does a search for the needed title. 2.At the search results screen, the AU clicks on the option, Assign title to accessible media producer. 3.An alphabetic list of all registered AMPs appears and the AU selects the desired AMP. 4.The AU then chooses the format they want produced. 5.The system sends an email to notify the AMP that the file is in the AMPs work queue.















44 Download Options There are two download options available: The Full download includes the images folder in the zip file. These files may be several GB in size. The XML download does not include the images. These files are small and download very quickly.











55 Part Three: NIMAC Update and Current Issues In this section, well wrap up with some numbers, current issues, and resources.

56 NIMAC: Stats (4/18/08) Publishers: 57 States/Territories Coordinating: 48 Authorized Users: 73 Accessible Media Producers: 55 Files accepted into NIMAC: 5,852 Downloads: 311

57 Current Issues: Number of Files The number of file sets received: Estimated was 2,400 per year actual was over 5,000 for first 15 months of operations.

58 Current Issues: File Sizes Estimated was well under 1 GB based on sample files received during developmentactual sizes are much greater, up to 6 GB or more for a single book. NIMAC has over 1 TB of data now and expects to add 2 TB this year.

59 Challenges of Large Files Large files require more user storage. Even users with high-speed connections will find that downloading full NIMAS file sets that are several GB is time-consuming. Large files increase processing time and transmission time for both publishers and OverDrive.

60 Working Toward a Solution Because images drive the file size, NIMAC is working with a consultant to help identify best practices for NIMAS conversion houses so that files are high quality but not larger than they need to be.

61 Getting Help Questions about NIMAC policy, how to use the NIMAC system or registering with NIMAC? Call or email us! 877-526-4622

62 Getting Help Technical problems or errors arising when you are working in the NIMAC system? OverDrive NIMAC Support Team

63 Getting Help Questions about converting NIMAS into accessible formats? NIMAS Technical Assistance Center Chuck Hitchcock, Director 781-245-2212, x233

64 Getting Help: NIMAC Publisher Contacts NIMAC is working with OverDrive to create a list of publisher contacts within the AU and AMP portals. These contacts will be the designated contacts for reporting issues with XML or other file set concerns.

65 Resources: Louis and AMP Louis will continue to list availability of the specialized formats: The Accessible Media Producers Database will continue to provide information on AMPs.

66 Resources: APH File Repository The APH File Repository will continue to house non-NIMAS publisher files and embosser-ready Braille files for Braille production only. It is separate and distinct from the NIMAC and its mission has not changed. For more information:

67 Resources: Requesting non- NIMAS files The Association of American Publishers maintains a list of contacts for Braille- related questions here: ues_01_Access_pages/issues_01_Acce ss_01.htm ues_01_Access_pages/issues_01_Acce ss_01.htm The AAP also provides contacts for rights and permissions for publishers here:

68 Resources: Working in Your State A list of NIMAS State Contacts is available at the CAST NIMAS web site: c_contacts.html

69 Resources: NIMAC Outreach, Training & Support Web cast trainings Archived presentations and web casts Conference workshops FAQs and resources on web site Telephone and email support

70 How to Reach Us 502-899-2230 1-877-526-4622 (1-877-52-NIMAC)

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