Skip to Content

Students with Visual Impairments (AIM)


On this page...

Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) is an Authorized Media Publisher in Iowa for braille and large print formats.

The Instructional Materials Center (IMC) is the library unit at the IDB which assists students and others with their textbook, research, and career needs. The IMC is committed to providing quality materials in alternate formats for students who are blind or visually impaired. The IMC works in partnership with the Department of Education, Teachers of the Visually Impaired, classroom teachers, and families to supply accessible instructional materials in a timely manner.

Here are some suggestions that will help improve timely delivery of your student's accessible instructional materials:

  1. Make decisions early about the student's curriculum needs for the following school year, so orders can be placed by February, if possible.
  2. When requesting books to offer as leisure reading choices, consider choosing from the catalog of titles that are already available. Items that don't have to be produced from scratch can be delivered more quickly.
  3. If only part of a book is needed and is going to be used by a student, indicate the needed pages. Our library can send the part of the book in alternative media that will meet the student's needs.
  4. Send complete and accurate information about requested materials. Include title, author, publisher, copyright, ISBN, edition, and media needed for each book or material requested. Also, indicate where you would like us to ship the materials and when the materials are needed. You can request materials using our Student Materials Order Form.
  5. When print copies of books and other materials are requested by the IMC, send the print copies ASAP. The print copies are needed prior to starting the transcription and/or recording process. Delays in receiving print materials will result in delays in production of these materials.
  6. If you are asked to send print copies for production purposes, provide a syllabus or guideline as to when units or chapters of each book might be studied. With multiple books or worksheets in a given subject, provide a priority list or the order in which items will be used.
  7. In the case of teacher-created materials, if you have them available in electronic format, send them to us by email or on a disk or flash drive. It is quicker and easier to convert to an alternate format if the item is already available electronically.

FAQs About AIM for Learners With Visual Impairments

How is the Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) involved in the AIM process?
The TVI should conduct appropriate assessments such as the Learning Media Assessment and develop a report which indicates what accessible format is appropriate for the student. The TVI should be a part of the IEP meeting and provide information to the team about NIMAS eligibility and appropriate accessible formats. The team may ask the TVI or other personnel to make contact with the Iowa Department for the Blind or Bookshare to begin the process of developing an accessible format for the student.

Are there costs to the local district to request accessible formats from the Iowa Department for the Blind?
No. The Iowa Department for the Blind requires paperwork that certifies that an individual is eligible for their service. Once eligible, IDB services are free to the individual. All school districts in Iowa can have an organizational membership to Bookshare for free.

What is the turnaround time from a request to the Iowa Department for the Blind for a specialized format until the student receives the specialized format?
The time from which the Iowa Department for the Blind receives a request to the student receiving the specialized format will vary by the type of specialized format and the efficiency of the authorized user. Requests for accessible formats should be made in January of each year for textbook materials needed by a student in late August of that year.

How many titles can I request from the IDB for one student?
The IDB does not have a numerical limit. However, if 50, 100, or 150 titles are being requested, the IDB would like assurance that the intent of all these materials will be used by the student during the school year, rather than just an array of choices, from which only a handful might actually be used. If requests are made early for the following school year, the IDB has more time to provide these materials. If they receive requests right before everyone leaves for summer vacation with the expectation that these materials will be available on the first day of school, then those requests will probably not be met.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on June 28, 2022 at 6:44am.