“Eligible Person” Is Now Used to Describe Students Who Qualify for NIMAS-Derived Materials

From The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials

Under IDEA, in order for students to be eligible for NIMAS-derived materials, they must: (1) be receiving special education services under IDEA and (2) meet the qualification criteria of the NLS statute. As part of the recent update to the NLS statute, Congress revised the NLS qualification language to include the new term “eligible person,” defined in the MTIA as:

(A)n individual who, regardless of any other disability—

(A) is blind;

(B) has a visual impairment or perceptual or reading disability that cannot be improved to give visual function substantially equivalent to that of a person who has no such impairment or disability and so is unable to read printed works to substantially the same degree as a person without an impairment or disability; or

(C) is otherwise unable, through physical disability, to hold or manipulate a book or to focus or move the eyes to the extent that would be normally acceptable for reading.

Thus, going forward, in order to be eligible for NIMAS-derived materials, students must be receiving services under IDEA and fall under one of the disability categories identified above. The revised NLS statute also states that the Library of Congress will be publishing regulations that will “include procedures that shall be used by an individual to establish that the individual is an eligible person.” These regulations will identify the process for determining whether a student falls under one of the above disability categories for the purpose of receiving NIMAS-derived materials.