Access to NIMAC books

What is the NIMAC?

The NIMAC (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center) is a U.S. national repository of NIMAS source files for K-12 textbooks and related printed core instructional materials. NIMAS source files are used by states, and the organizations they designate—such as Bookshare—in the production of accessible formats for students with print disabilities.

NIMAS is not a format that is distributed directly to students; rather it is used as the starting point for the creation of braille, large print, audio, EPUB3, DAISY, and many other accessible formats. The NIMAC itself does not produce or distribute any formats for direct use by students. Organizations such as Bookshare provide these services on behalf of the states.

The NIMAC was established under IDEA 2004, which defines the file format it can receive (NIMAS) and the scope of the NIMAC repository. IDEA 2004 also sets out the eligibility requirements for students to obtain NIMAC-sourced materials from Bookshareand other organizations.

States and districts could begin requesting that publishers send NIMAS files to the NIMAC as a part of their print book adoption contracts and purchase agreements as of July 2006. Publishers submit files to the NIMAC in accordance with these contracts, and when there is a need for an accessible format, the source file is readily available in the NIMAC for use in producing the needed format for the student.

Per the definitions provided in IDEA 2004, the NIMAC does not generally receive files for college textbooks or trade books.

Who can access Bookshare's NIMAC-Sourced books?

K-12 students in the U.S. with an active IEP (individual education plan) and a qualifying reading barrier are eligible for a Bookshare account that provides access to NIMAC-sourced titles.

Students with a print disability who are attending private institutions or are being home schooled may be able to work with local public schools to create an IEP that will enable them to obtain a NIMAS-eligible Bookshareaccount. These students will also need to have a sponsor with an organizational membership, who will manage downloading of these titles.

Students served under 504 are not eligible under the current IDEA 2004 legislation.

How to access a NIMAC-Sourced book in the Bookshare collection

A teacher or other staff member of a U.S. education agency can download NIMAC-sourced books currently in Bookshare's collection for their K-12 students who have IEPs. Individual students, their parents, transcribers or non-student members cannot download NIMAC books from the Bookshare collection.

How to request a NIMAC book be added to the Bookshare collection 

It takes from 1-2 weeks for a requested NIMAC book to be added to the Bookshare collection.

From a state where Bookshare is an Authorized User: Use the book request form to give us as much information as you can.  If you've found it on the NIMAC already, please alert us to that fact in the notes.

From a state where Bookshare isn't an Authorized User: Search the NIMAC to find the book you need. If you find it, please ask your state's NIMAC Coordinator to assign the book to Bookshare. 

Bookshare is an Authorized User in these states: AK, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KS, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Should a file be in the NIMAC -- and isn't?

If you think a title that you need should have been supplied to the NIMAC, but you don’t find a file there, please feel free to contact the NIMAC ( for assistance. NIMAC staff are happy to follow up with the publisher to see if a NIMAS file can be obtained and/or expedited, if it is currently in production with the publisher. 

Options if you don't have NIMAC access

If you need a textbook for classroom use and don't qualify for NIMAC access, we can still convert a print copy into digital accessible form -- even if we already have a NIMAC version in the collection. Place a book request as soon as possible, since the conversion process is complex, and we can't guarantee a specific turnaround time.