What are the NIMAS Development and Technical Assistance Centers?
The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) Development and Technical Assistance Centers are two separate cooperative agreements between the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.
According to their website the NIMAS Development Center is charged with advising key stakeholders on the efficient production and distribution of NIMAS-conformant files as well as raising the awareness of the need for these accessible materials. The Development Center's activities will include:
- Identifying new technologies and education research that will make the NIMAS a more effective standard for developing universally designed, multiple-output formats in a cost-effective, timely manner,
- Building and supporting the capacity of its partner, the NIMAS Technical Assistance Center, to implement the adoption of the NIMAS by states and other entities,
- Exploring free-market distribution models that could increase the quality, quantity, and timely delivery of accessible materials.
The NIMAS Technical Assistance Center will work to improve the existing standard and explore distribution models. The Technical Assistance Center's activities will include:
- Planning and evaluating technical assistance to improve the delivery of accessible materials to students and teachers,
- Providing technical assistance to publishers, states, and other entities for a timely phase-in of the NIMAS,
- Working with stakeholders to ensure the coordinated and effective implementation of the NIMAS,
- Coordinating with the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center (NIMAC) to support the maintenance and delivery of NIMAS-conformant files,
- Disseminating information and resources about the benefits and availability of accessible digital materials.
For more information on the NIMAS standards and NIMAC consult the DO-IT Knowledge Base articles What is NIMAS? and What is the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC)?