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Procedures


 

 
 
Accessible Educational Materials, AEMs (also known as AIMs, accessible instructional materials) are any type of printed material that is converted into an alternative format. An alternative format gives students the independence to access the same material that their classroom peers are using. AEMs are produced in 4 media type categories. 
·         Braille 
·         Large Print 
·         Digital
·         Auditory
The Georgia Instructional Materials Center (GIMC) provides braille, large print and digital files.
There are tools to help teams determine if a student can benefit from AEMs. A listing of district supports can be found in the Administrator section of the Educator page on the GIMC website. Districts must consider the needs of each student independently to ensure that each student has access to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The GIMC provides support to districts for acquiring AEMs however, the responsibility for the provision of FAPE, including any necessary accessible educational materials and/or services and technology, is the local district's responsibility. 

Teacher Registration

Patron Eligibility 

Anyone employed by a public-school district and teaches students with a certified print disability. To register: Complete the “Request a Patron Account” on the patron section of the GIMC website.
 

Registration Benefits   

·         Order accessible educational materials (textbooks, equipment, and supplies) electronically from the GIMC online database,
·         Request the production of new accessible educational materials not already found in our database, and 
·         Add new eligible students or edit existing student information.
Once the registration request has been received, a new account will be established and the District Administrators will be notified. The account will then remain active until the District Administrator contacts the GIMC and requests that the account be cancelled.

Account Inactivation 

Accounts will be deactivated and District Administrators notified if materials are not returned or if other abuse of the system occurs. 
 

Student Registration 

Eligibility

Students who have one or more of the following are eligible for registration with the GIMC. All students who register must be certified by a competent authority as having a print impairment. A sample certification form is located on the Educator page of the GIMC website.
  1. Blindness/Low Vision*
  2. Physical disability*
  3. Reading disability due to an organic dysfunction (e.g.., learning disability or dyslexia) **
 *A competent authority is defined as the following:  
  • 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). 
In the absence of any of these, certification may be made by professional librarians or by any persons whose competence under specific circumstances is acceptable to the Library of Congress. 
**A competent authority is defined as the following: 
  • A medical doctor (MD) this may be in conjunction with other health professions 
NOTE: Local Districts are responsible to keep student records related to eligibility. Local procedures must be in place to assure compliance with the eligibility requirements of students. Failure to maintain records or to acquire accessible materials for students who are not qualified to receive them is illegal.
 

Student Classification 

The types of books and materials ordered is dependent on each student's classification.
Classification is determined by three factors:
·         Type of written plan (504, IEP, IFSP...)
·         Certification (see student registration) Certified or Non-certified 
·         APH eligibility (see APH registration) 

Private and Home School Students 

Equipment and supplies will be ordered for students who are registered with APH. The quantity is limited to the dollar amount up to but not exceeding the quota/student amount for the funding year in which the student is registered. Orders will be shipped directly to the student's home or school location. Information on registering is available on the GIMC website:  http:\gimc.org\parents

Ordering Materials 

Materials are purchased utilizing two funding sources. The first is Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 6B funds which are used to purchase textbooks and other print materials for students with IEPs. The other funding source is APH quota funds. These funds are used to purchase textbooks and other materials (supplies and/or equipment) for students who are blind. Items that have been previously acquired from these funding sources but are not in use by qualifying students will be issued to students who otherwise would not qualify for material purchase using either funding source.

The GIMC registration and ordering system provides access to protected student data. As a condition of use, each user must agree to comply with the Family Educational Rights and privacy Act (FERPA) policies before access is granted. By proceeding to the GIMC ordering database you are agreeing to protect student education records and abide by FERPA’s regulations. It is the local district’s responsibility to ensure all employees accessing the system are fully trained on FERPA
 

Available Materials 

The following is a list of available materials (in order of priority):  
·         Textbooks (Braille, large print, and digital formats) 
·         Test Preparation Materials/Study Guides
·         Leisure Reading (Coursework assigned) 
·         Leisure Reading (Ancillary to coursework) 
·         Su pplies (APH registered only)
·         Equipment (APH registered only)
 **Please refer to the GIMC Materials List/Student Certifications on the educator’s page of the GIMC website for a list of materials each student is eligible to receive.**
 

Additional Material Sources Information

Braille Leisure Books and Magazines
·         The National Library Services (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
·         Bookshare
·         The GIMC (limited collection)
Large Print Textbooks: The GIMC will purchase the book from APH or other commercial sources and loan it to the school system.

Large Print Leisure Reading Books and Magazines: 

·         Local libraries
·         Commercially available
·         GIMC (limited collection) NOTE: Only required curriculum content may be produced.
Digital Books: The most widely used Digital Book format is DAISY. Textbooks with speech, navigation, and images are available.
·         Bookshare
·         Learning Ally
·         Regular Curriculum Texts

Sound Recordings (textbooks)

·         Learning Ally

Creating an Order 

Once logged into the ordering system, patrons can search for materials by ISBN (textbooks), Title (other required readings and leisure text) or APH catalog number. If the desired book or material has been ordered before, the description will appear in a selection window. If there is a choice between a national edition and a Georgia edition (textbooks), we prefer that you order the national edition. These books are considered compatible. Patrons will be notified of the final status request via email. 
Patrons are prompted to create a Special Request if an item is not currently indexed in the GIMC record system. NOTE: This is not an order. The GIMC will conduct a search to locate the title if it has been produced. Items that are available in the requested format will be ordered or the district will be notified where the materials can be obtained. If a title has not been produced in the requested format, the GIMC will contract to produce the materials. All inappropriate requests will be cancelled. Patrons will be notified of the actions taken via email. 
If the GIMC intends to produce the book, patrons are asked to send a print copy (in new condition) to the GIMC. A print copy is required for each Special Request that is submitted. These copies will not be returned to the districts. A notification with the ink print request number will be sent via email to the requesting patron. A printed copy of this notification MUST BE INCLUDED with the ink print. All ink print requests must be sent using FIRST CLASS or MEDIA MAIL (do not use Free Matter) to: 
GIMC Macon Repository
2895 Vineville Ave
Macon, GA 31204

Ordering Equipment and Supplies (Other than Textbooks) 

The GIMC will order supplies and equipment (items under quota funds) from the American Printing House for the Blind for students who are registered with APH. Any supplies and/or equipment that has been previously ordered and is available can be issued to nonregistered students on a first come first serve basis. No equipment will be purchased for students who are not counted in the previous year's census. Equipment and supplies will be ordered based on available funding. If APH funding is not available and the equipment or supply item is not in stock at the GIMC warehouse, then the local district is responsible for providing materials to ensure FAPE for the student as determined by the IEP team.
Certain AT equipment such as VisioBooks, SmartBraillers, and Refreshable Braille Displays, require an order request, a completed Decision Guide, and evaluative data. Additionally, a District Special Education Administrator must approve the request.

Delivery Timelines 

·         Materials (books and equipment) that are on the shelf will ship as soon as the order is approved. 
·         Books that have been produced will be ordered from the vendor and then shipped to the patron after they have been received at the GIMC and are cataloged - NO EXCEPTIONS.
·         Books that are not available in the requested format will be produced by the GIMC or contracted for production (if appropriate). The time it takes to produce a book varies on the complexity of the book, the type of media requested (braille, large print, audio, or digital), and the volume of requests for any number of producers. The GIMC will attempt to secure the producer who can process the request as quickly as possible. Braille books are the most difficult to produce, therefore it is important to plan and submit orders as soon as it can be determined what classes are upcoming in the student's schedule. 
·         APH supplies will be processed and shipped directly to the patron if funds are available.

Requesting materials for students not already registered with APH or not previously registered with the GIMC?   

Upon determination that students are eligible to receive AEMs, login to the GIMC online database.  Once logged in you have the option of registering a “New Student” as legally blind or not legally blind.  After completing registration, Students that are registered between March 15 and the first Monday of the following January will be registered with APH during the next registration cycle following their registration. These students will be eligible for purchase of new materials after October 1st of the year in which they are registered with APH. 

Shipping 

Orders are shipped through the USPS as Free Matter for the Blind. Original packing materials and containers should be used for returning the materials to the GIMC Macon Repository.

Ordering multiple copies of books and equipment. 

Duplicate orders for braille and large print books for the same student cannot be honored. Any items over and above the GIMC allotment is the districts’ responsibility and should be duplicated at the districts’ expense to meet IEP recommendations. However, duplicate orders for manual braillers and supplies will be honored based on availability and the discretion of the GIMC staff.

Out of Date Materials 

Special Requests for materials not previously acquired or produced are submitted though the online ordering system. Materials that are listed on the state textbook adoption list will have priority. Any book with a copyright date that is more than two adoptions old and any book that has been purged from the system will not be produced. Textbook adoption cycles are located on the GaDOE website. 

Exceptions  

Books that support curriculum (test preparation, study materials, etc.) will not be produced in braille. Only those materials with similar content that have been previously produced or are scheduled for production will be provided. A list of those materials can be found on the website. If districts wish to order a braille version of this type of material, the districts become solely responsible for acquiring a print copy of the book to be assigned to the student. Additionally, large print and digital acquisition and production will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Consumable Materials 

Large print workbooks that are considered consumable in the classroom for other students may be used as such by students with alternative text. If the books are not marked in or otherwise unaltered, they must be returned to the GIMC for reissue to other students. If the book has been consumed by a student (written in, pages removed), the patron must notify the GIMC that the book has been consumed. All consumed materials must be reported through the electronic transfer request form (Renew/Transfer/Consume Books and Equipment) located on the educator page of the GIMC website. Please do not return consumed books to the GIMC.

 Material Renewals 

All books and equipment are assigned for a period of one year. Each year these materials must be renewed by the patron for the same student or another student. Renewed materials should not be returned to the GIMC. Assistive technology equipment (VisioBooks, Refreshable Braille Displays, and SmartBraillers) may be renewed for the same student but MAY NOT be transferred to another student even within the same district. If the original student transfers or no longer uses the equipment, it must be returned to the GIMC to be assigned to another student. All transfers must be reported through the electronic transfer request form (Renew/Transfer/Consume Books and Equipment) located on the Educator page of the GIMC website.

Returning Materials 

Use the following instructions to return materials that have not been renewed or have not been reported as consumed and are due back to the GIMC:
·         Please pack the materials securely in an appropriately sized box.
·         Enclose the following information in every box returned: Patron Name, Address, School System and a note if any volumes are missing or damaged.
·         Number all boxes in the shipment. Example 1 of 5
·         Please use the GIMC address in the Return Address portion of the box to ensure delivery in the event the Shipping Label comes off during handling at the Post Office.
·         Address the box using the address below, mark as Free Matter for the Blind and deliver to the Post Office.
GIMC Macon Repository
2895 Vineville Ave
Macon GA 31204
 
Equipment Repair and Damaged Materials
Normal wear and tear on equipment and books is understandable. The GIMC will make every attempt to repair equipment. However, if the damage is a result of misuse or abuse the district will be required to repair or replace the equipment at the district's cost. If the district does not repair the device then the device will be repaired by the GIMC but not returned to the district.
Books and equipment that are not returned by the due date and/or damaged and unusable are also expected to be replaced at the district's expense. Cost of each item is clearly printed on the barcodes when the orders are originally shipped. 
A repair form (Equipment Repair), found on the Educator page of the GIMC website MUST accompany all equipment sent in for repair.
All equipment must be returned directly to: 
GIMC Macon Repository
2895 Vineville Ave
Macon GA 31204

Sanitization 

USED material kits may be packed with an instruction placard directing users to follow equipment sanitization procedures that are in place in the local district. If there are no procedures for equipment sanitation, users should follow the procedures on the reverse side of the instruction placard. USED Equipment received by the district must never be assumed to have been sanitized for student use. Equipment must always be sanitized after use.  

Assistance 

All inquiries including duplicate student registration, forgotten passwords, etc. should be directed to: 
The GIMC (ynorman@doe.k12.ga.us) 404-463-5845

APH Registration 

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) provides accessible materials to the blind and visually impaired population.  This is accomplished by using Federal quota funds issued as a credit for each registered student. The amount per student is set by the U.S. Congress each year. For students to be eligible they must meet the following criteria:
·         meet the definition of blindness: a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or the visual field is no greater than 20 degrees or
·         function at the Definition of Blindness: visual performance reduced by brain injury or dysfunction when visual function meets the definition of blindness as determined by an eye care specialist or neurologist and
·         be enrolled in a formally organized public or private, nonprofit educational program of less than college level. (School-aged students must be enrolled with the registering school or agency on the first Monday in January.) 

Note: 

If the student is registered with APH, then a current eye report is at the discretion of the IEP team. Best practice is at least every three years. If the student is a new APH registrant follow the same eligibility/reeligability rule. If the student was registered with APH and was unenrolled due to the 3-year limit (under the old rule) then the student must have an eye report dated after the one on file of the last APH registration.
A students' APH registration information must be updated each year. Patrons must log into the GIMC online registration and ordering system to update the students' record. To maintain APH eligibility the student must continue to meet all the primary registration criteria. Every effort should be expended to acquire current eye reports (no more than three years old). However, in certain cases where such a report is not available, registered students will remain eligible for APH Funds. Those students who lost APH registration MUST have a new eye report to reregister and thus qualify for textbooks, supplies and equipment.