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NCDAE: The National Center on Disability and Access to Education

Improving web accessibility in higher education
through system-wide reform

NIMAS in IDEA: Department of Education response to public comments and final regulations

Many individuals who are following the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) will be interested in the results of the period of public comment to the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). Others will be interested only in the final regulations that will be promulgated from the Act. On August 3rd, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the final regulations of Part B of IDEA 2004. Within these final regulations are those that pertain to NIMAS. Although these regulations will not appear in the Federal Register until August 14th—thus making them final—the Department of Education has posted an "unofficial" copy for the convenience of others.

If you are interested in seeing the entire document, you can retrieve it at . The final regulations consist of a document of well over 1700 pages. Staff from the National Center on Disability and Access to Education thought there might be interest in reading only those aspects of the "Analysis of Comments and Change" and the "Final Regulations" that deal with NIMAS. With this in mind, NCDAE provides this summary. It is hoped that gathering NIMAS information into a single source, will help more individuals read the comments, discussions, and understand how the final regulations were developed.

We have linked three sections that are excerpts taken verbatim from the final "unofficial" Part B regulations of IDEA 2004 retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education Website on August 3 2006.

  1. The first is content provided in the prologue and act as a summary of the changes to NIMAS.
  2. The second is an analysis of all comments and change to NIMAS. This represents the Department’s response to public comment made to the NPRM. These public comments, the discussion of each comment, and any changes made to the regulations as a result of comments are presented for both §300.172 (Access to instructional materials) and §300.210 (Purchase of instructional materials).
  3. The third section includes the final regulations for §300.172 and §300.210 along with Appendix C to Part 300 (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard).

Although the content of the document remains unchanged, document headings, table headers and other elements have been added to make the information more usable and accessible. The underlined text from the original document has been preserved, even though underlined text that is not a link should generally be avoided on the web.

Finally, readers may be interested in reading the technical standard for NIMAS (34 CFR Part 300). This appeared in the Federal Register on July 19th 2006, and is a final rule from the Department of Education.