“Accessible Formats” Is Now Used to Describe the Types of Formats that May Be Developed from NIMAS File Sets

From the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials

The MTIA amendments to section 121 also replaced the term “specialized formats” with the term “accessible formats,” which is defined as:

[A]n alternative manner or form that gives an eligible person access to the work when the copy or phonorecord in the accessible format is used exclusively by the eligible person to permit him or her to have access as feasibly and comfortably as a person without such disability.

The NIMAS provisions of IDEA reference section 121 in describing the types of formats that may be developed from NIMAS file sets. Therefore, going forward, the term “accessible formats” should be used in relation to the NIMAS. While the previous term “specialized formats” had identified four specific alternative media – namely, braille, audio, digital text, and large print – the new term “accessible formats” is a more inclusive and functional term that focuses on the experience of the user, emphasizing that an alternative format enables the eligible person to have access to the work “as feasibly and comfortably as a person without such disability.”