Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) by Dave Edyburn

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We would like to introduce this week's guest blogger Dave Edyburn.

Dave L. Edyburn, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Exceptional Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Edyburn’s teaching and research interests focus on the use of technology to enhance teaching, learning, and performance. He has authored over 150 articles and book chapters on the use of technology in special education. His most recent book (2013), Inclusive technologies: Tools for helping diverse learners achieve academic success, is an online textbook published by Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Dr. Edyburn currently serves as editor of the Journal of Research on Technology in Education and is an advisor to the National Center on Universal Design for Learning and The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a consortium of 22 states engaged in the development of a new generation of accessible high-stakes assessments. He has co-authored software and web-apps such as Text Compactor ( and Jen: The Tiered Web Page Generator ( and created a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for parents ( He is a frequent conference presenter and national workshop leader.

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We want to thank Dave for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share with our readers information on Accessible Instructional Materials.


Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

Now that everyone has their tax returns submitted, I am sure that the topic at the top of their to-do list is Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)! Unfortunately, AIM never seems to be at the top of anyone’s to-do list. Interest in AIM can be traced to work by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs in 1997 to develop a National File Format (NFF). This work subsequently evolved into the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) that was first released 2004. The need for NIMAS was summarized by Troy R. Justesen, acting director of the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education: “In past years, the lack of a standardized format meant that publishers had to produce materials in multiple formats--often causing delays that meant students with disabilities did not receive their textbooks in time for the beginning of the school year. The use of this standard will allow students and teachers to more quickly access general curriculum materials, giving students with disabilities the same educational resources as their non-disabled peers” (Source:

In your experience, in 2014, has the potential of NIMAS be realized for the students you work with? To Learn More History of NIMAS National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials bOOKS

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