The Georgia Instructional Materials Center (GIMC) is a unit within the GaDOE's Division for Special Education Services and Supports. The GIMC provides accessible educational materials (AEMs) to all of Georgia's eligible K-12 students and acts as the clearing house for distrcts to access quota funded materials from the American Printing House (APH).
The GIMC provides technical assistance to local districts by providing training on reading accommodations and best practices on the utilizations of AEMs. Additionally, the GIMC directly provides Georgia's students AEMs by producing or purchasing braille, large print, and accessible electronic text when possible.
Every student in Georgia will have the appropriate accommodations for reading and is provided access to the curriculum with the correct type of text and technology to use it.
More on AEMs
"People with disabilities frequently experience barriers to the use of printed materials, digital materials, and technologies. Examples where barriers might occur include textbooks, digital documents, websites, apps, learning delivery systems, and electronic devices....
Accessible educational materials, or AEM, are print- and technology-based educational materials, including printed and electronic textbooks and related core materials that are designed or enhanced in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of learner variability, regardless of format (e.g. print, digital, graphic, audio, video)" (National Center on AEM, 2020).
The four specialized formats of print material included in IDEA and supplied to districts by the GIMC in some form are braille, large print, audio and digital text.
American Printing House and Federal Quota Funds
The American Printing House was established in Louisville, Kentucky in 1858. It is the world’s largest nonprofit organization creating accessible learning experiences through educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are blind and visually impaired.
Additionally, APH is the sole national center of educational materials through the Federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind enacted by Congress in 1879. This Act set up a system to provide free textbooks and other hands-on instructional materials for students in the United States who were blind.
An annual registration of eligible students is conducted that determines a per capita amount of money designated fby the U.S. Congress for the purchase of educational materials produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). These funds are credited to Federal Quota accounts which are maintained and administered by APH and its Ex Officio Trustees throughout the country.
National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC)
NIMAC a federally funded, online file repository of specailized textbook source files (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard, NIMAS) was created in 2004 under the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEIA).
The GIMC is the state level NIMAC coordinator and can assign NIMAS files to accessible media producers (AMPs). These AMPs download NIMAS files and convert the files into accessible materials including braille, digital, or other student-ready formats.