Local education agencies (LEA's) who have opted to assure coordination with the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center (NIMAC) must include in contract or agreement language for the purchase of print instructional materials that the publisher send a NIMAS file set to NIMAC and/or the publisher make alternative format materials directly available to the district. The Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) opined in a January 2008 letter to New Mexico that – "this requirement is applicable to all new contracts for the sale of print instructional materials since July 19, 2006, notwithstanding when they were first published." As a result this language must be included in all purchase agreements for print instructional materials (as defined above) that a district executes."
The following templates include contract/purchase agreement language in several formats as suggestions to districts for material contracts. The sample language requires the publisher to send the NIMAS file sets to the NIMAC repository and confirms the LEA’s right to provide specialized formats as mandated by federal law. The files in NIMAC will be available to Arkansas LEA’s through identified authorized users designated to access the NIMAS file sets. LEA’s can identify a date certain for delivery of the NIMAS file set to NIMAC in the contract/purchase agreement language when it is known that lead time will be needed to allow for production of specialized formats. This issue has reached a new level of importance because of the advent of Arkansas becoming an open territory State in selection of educational materials, our methods for identifying and selecting materials has been transferred almost exclusively to local control and the variety of educational materials has become much more extensive.
A second optional part of the sample language allows schools to require specialized format materials as designated by each LEA be made directly available from the publisher for purchase by the LEA. Schools may identify one or more specialized formats they wish to have directly available from the publisher for purchase. Another suggestion is that contracts include language for requesting core curriculum and supplementary be available in a accessible formats. While not required, inclusion of an option to directly purchase specialized materials would likely be a benefit to districts.
By agreeing to deliver the materials marked with “NIMAS”; on this contract or purchase order, the publisher _____________________, agrees to prepare and submit, on or before _____/_____/_____ a NIMAS file set to the NIMAC that complies with the terms and procedures set forth by the NIMAC. Should the vendor be a distributor of the materials and not the publisher, the distributor agrees to immediately notify the publisher of its obligation to submit NIMAS file sets of purchased products to the NIMAC. Files will be used for the production of specialized formats as permitted under the law for students who are blind or students with documented print disabilities, as defined in IDEA 2004; Section 300.172. Further, it is requested that the publisher include a valid XML source file (MathML3), rather than image-based files for books in the content areas of Math and Science. If accessible versions of this material are not available from any other source, the publisher gives permission for the purchaser to create an accessible version or versions.
This is page ____ of ____ of this contract or purchase order.