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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 (accessible pdf formats). 

How do IEP teams determine if a student requires AEMs? 

There are tools to help teams determine if a student can benefit from AEMs. One such tool is the AIMs navigator, http://aem.cast.org/navigator/page/. 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 who teaches student(s) with a print disability and/or reading disability pending approval by the local Special Education Director. To register: Complete the Request a Patron Account.
 
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 request has been received, a new account will immediately be establishedDistrict administrators will be notified when new account has been added to the system. The account will then remain active unless the district administrator contacts the GIMC and requests that 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 
Which student(s) are eligible to register with the GIMC? 
Student(s) who meet the following criteria:  
1. *Student(s) who have total vision loss, 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.  (Students who register between March 15th and January 4th will be registered with American Printing House for the Blind (APH) during the next registration cycle following their registration.) 
2. *Student(s) who have vision loss, but does not fit the above criteria, must be certified by a competent authority stating the student(s) cannot read printed material.  The certification form can be found here.  
3. *Student(s) who have a physical limitation that prevents them from reading standard print, must be certified by a competent authority stating the student(s) cannot read printed material.  The certification form can be found here.   
4. **Student(s) who have a reading disability due to an organic dysfunction (learning disability or dyslexia) that prevents them from reading standard print, must be certified by a competent authority stating the student(s) cannot read printed material.  The certification form can be found here. 

 *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.
 
Available Materials 
The following is a list of material that is available (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 Eligibility Media Matrix (GEMM) to ensure your student(s) are eligible for specific material**
 

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 the description will appear in a selection window. If there is a choice between a national edition and 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 ian item is not currently indexed in the GIMC record system. NOTE: This is not an orderThe GIMC will conduct a search to locate the title if it has been produced. Items that are available will be ordered or the district will be notified where the materials can be obtained. If it has not been produced in the requested format the GIMC will contract for the production of 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 good condition) to the GIMC. A print copy is required for each special request that is submitted. These copies will not be sent back to the districts. A notification with the ink print request number will be sent via email to the requesting patron. A copy of this notification must be included with the ink print. All ink print requests must be sent to: 

GIMC (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. In the event that APH funding is not available and the equipment and/or supplies is not in stock at the GIMC warehouse 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 Refreshabrailles, require an order request,  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 who produces the book and then eventually 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 requests as quickly as possible. Braille books are the most difficult to produce therefore it is important to plan ahead and submit orders as soon as it can be determined what classes are upcoming in the student's schedule. 
    • APH supplies will be processed if funds are available and shipped directly to the patron.

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 who register between March 15th and January 4th will be registered with APH during the next registration cycle following their registration. These student 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 retained to return the materials back to the GIMC.    

Ordering multiple copies of books and equipment. 

Duplicate orders for braille and large print books for the same student can not be honored. Any items over and above the GIMC allotment is the districts' responsibility and should be duplicated at the district's expense to meet IEP recommendations. However, duplicate orders for manual braillers and other equipment and supplies will be honored based on availability at the descretion 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 maybe 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 in order to reissue them to other students. If the book has been consumed by a student, the patron must notify the GIMC that the book has been consumed.  

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 and Refreshable Braille Displays) may be renewed for the same student but MAY NOT be transferred to another student 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. 

Returning Materials 

Use the following instructions to return materials that have not been renewed or otherwise due back to the GIMC

  •  Box the materials securely.
  • Deliver the boxes to the Post Office  
  • Enclose the following information in every box returned 
    • Patron name
    • Address
    • School System 
    • Note if any volumes that are missing or damaged. 
  • Number all boxes in the shipment. Example 1 of 5. 
  • Address the box
GIMC (Repository) 
2895 Vineville Ave 
Macon, GA 31204 
    1. Write the school system name in the return address portion of the box or label. 
    2. Use the GIMC address provided below as the shipping address: 
    3. Mark the box as "Free Matter for the Blind." 
​Equipment Repair and Damaged Materials 

Normal wear and tear on equipment and books are understandable. The GIMC will make every attempt to repair equipment. However, if the damage is extensive or if a device is returned for repair more than twice within a single school year, the district will be required to repair or replace the equipment at the district's cost. 

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 packing slips when the orders are originally shipped. 

A repair form must accompany the equipment sent in for repair.

All equipment must be returned directly to: 

GIMC (Repository) 
2895 Vineville Ave 
Macon, GA 31204 

Consumable Materials

If the book is considered a large print workbook then the student may write in the book. These books are expensive to produce and should be returned if they have not been used. Remember, marking or tearing just one page out of the book makes the book unusable for another student. Books in this condition should not be sent back to the GIMC. If you are not sending the book back when it is due, please notify the GIMC that the book has been consumed or needs renewal. 

Sanitization 

Material kits are 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 must follow the procedures on the reverse side of the instruction placard. Equipment that has been newly received by the district must never be assumed to have been sanitized for student use. Equipment must always be sanitized after use.  

Assistance 

All inquires including duplicate student registration, forgotten passwords, etc. should be directed to: 

The GIMC (ynorman@doe.k12.ga.us) 404-232-7987. ​

APH Registration 

What is the (APH) Annual Census? 

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) provides accessible material to the blind and visually impaired population.  This is accomplished by using issuing Federal quota funds issued as a credit for each registered student. The amount per student is set by the U.S. Congress each year. In order 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 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.

Each year students' APH registration information must be updated. Patron's must log into the GIMC online registration and ordering system to update the students' records. 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 student's who lost APH registration MUST have a new eye report to reregister and thus qualify supplies and equipment.


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