Distribution of Large Print and Braille Textbooks

The Indiana Educational Resource Center (IERC) is a collaborative service of the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), PATINS Project, Indiana Center for Accessible Materials (ICAM) and the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI). The IERC is designed to assist schools in providing large print, braille and adaptive equipment for students who are blind or have low vision. The IERC assists schools as a service to the Local Education Agencies (LEAs). The ultimate responsibility for providing services to students remains with the LEA.

A part of this service is provided via the Miami Accessible Media Project (MAMP). The MAMP was established in 2008 to assist in the production and provision of braille and large print textbooks, as well as derivative digital versions of these textbooks when available for students in the State of Indiana. This initiative is primarily funded through Part B dollars of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) targeted funds. Requests for MAMP services must be made through the ICAM and those requests will be sent down electronically to the IERC.

Additional funds are made available to eligible students via the Federal Quota Registration Act (established in 1872 by the Federal “Act to Promote the Education of the Blind”). The Federal Quota Act works in conjunction with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to provide specialized books and equipment for students who are legally blind throughout the country.

The IERC does not have an unlimited amount of fiscal resources to expend on accessible formats of instructional materials for students who are blind or have low vision. The IERC houses and purchases specialized instructional materials (braille, large print, and aids and equipment). It is not the practice of the IERC to keep or purchase books that are older than 12 years old due to space and fiscal constraints, with the exception of novels or reference materials. The IERC reserves the right, dependent on funding, to not purchase older copyrights or editions of specialized braille and large print instructional materials. If the LEA requests an older copyright of a textbook in braille or large print, and the IERC is unable to purchase, the IERC will assist the LEA by researching available commercial vendors for procurement at the local level.

Furthermore, if an LEA writes into a student’s individualized education program (IEP) that braille and/or large print textbooks will be provided for a student, it shall not be the ultimate responsibility of the IERC to provide the braille and/or large print textbooks and materials.

Therefore, it is the policy of the IERC to:

  • Require that all students for whom equipment and/or textbooks are requested are registered with the ICAM as a student with a documented visual impairment that meets the requirements for "blind or low vision" per Article 7; have medical certification on file; and an individualized education program which documents and identifies a need for specialized materials.
  • Require that all student registrations and requests for specialized aids and equipment and/or adapted textbooks be submitted through the ICAM by individuals who have been given the authority by the LEA.
  • Process textbook and specialized aids and equipment requests on a first come, first serve basis for only those students who qualify for their use.
  • Fill as many textbook and specialized aids and equipment requests as fiscal allocations allow for that particular school year.
  • Provide only one (1) copy of a particular textbook for an eligible student.
The IERC will not be held responsible for failure to provide braille and/or large print instructional materials for students who are blind or have low vision. When requests are received by the IERC, they will be processed in order of receipt. If the book is currently available from the IERC it will be shipped to the LEA. However, if the book is not currently available, and the LEA elects to have the IERC provide or produce the textbooks, it shall be with the understanding that:
  • Requests received after June 1 may not be received in time for the start of the forthcoming school year. A minimum of 4 months is required for the provision of braille and 3 months for large print during summer peak ordering season.
  • A course syllabus must be provided by the LEA to the IERC prior to the start of the transcription of an ordered braille textbook. The syllabus must designate the specific chapters and the dates the chapters will be taught to guide the transcription.
  • The IERC may not have the funds with which to purchase the textbook(s) and may have to inform the LEA that it will not be able to provide the textbooks(s). If the LEA requests an older copyright of a textbook in braille or large print, it will be the responsibility of the LEA to purchase with local funds. The IERC will assist the LEA by researching available commercial vendors.
  • The MAMP is only able to transcribe and produce a part of the many requests made annually.

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