Accessible Instructional Materials
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school districts to provide accessible versions of instructional materials to students who are blind or otherwise unable to use standard-format materials.
Students with disabilities should receive materials in accessible formats at the same time their peers receive the materials. If needed, the local education agency (LEA) can order a second set for a student to use at home.
Texas Education Code, §31.028 governs the ordering and distribution of special instructional materials.
How to Order Accessible Materials
State-adopted accessible instructional materials (AIM), including braille, large print, audio, and digital, are provided free of charge to eligible students and must be ordered through EMAT. These materials belong to the state, and any non-consumable items need to be returned when a student is done using them.
If choosing to purchase materials that are not state adopted, the LEA is responsible for the cost of any needed accessible formats. (Refer to the following ordering instructions for non-state-adopted accessible materials.)
State-Adopted Accessible Materials
The LEA instructional materials coordinator may request braille, large-print, audio, and digital AIM by submitting an AIM requisition in EMAT. The cost of these materials is not deducted from the LEA’s Instructional Materials and Technology Allotment (IMTA).
To ensure timely delivery for the next school year, braille materials should be ordered by mid-May and large-print materials should be ordered by mid-July. The shipping date for AIM requisitions will automatically default to 45 days from the date of submission. AIM producers have up to 45 days to fill the order, but the titles will be shipped as quickly as possible.
If an accessible version of a specific item is not available in EMAT:
- Submit a Help Desk ticket for assistance.
- To request braille ready format files, fill out a Requisition for State-Adopted Instructional Materials Electronic Files (PDF).
- To request accessible versions of state-adopted teacher editions, fill out a Requisition for State-Adopted Instructional Materials for Teachers with Visual Impairments (PDF).
Returning State-Adopted AIM after Use
When a student is finished with non-consumable instructional materials, follow return shipping instructions to send them back to the Special Textbook Redistribution Center (STRC) during the specified time frame each year—typically November through March. Specific dates are announced in EMAT and the TEA Instructional Materials and Implementation Update.
Some large-print items are considered consumable and do not need to be returned. Refer to the Returning Accessible Materials page for more details.
If state-owned materials are lost, destroyed, or irreparably damaged, the LEA is responsible for the cost of replacing the materials.
Non-State-Adopted Accessible Materials
Several outside organizations provide accessible content or resources for ordering accessible formats:
- American Printing House for the Blind, Louis Database contains information on more than 240,000 titles in accessible formats, including braille, large print, sound recordings, and electronic files. LEAs can use TIMA funds or IDEA part B funds to purchase materials from American Printing House for the Blind.
- Bookshare, an accessible online library with more than 900,000 titles, offers free memberships to schools and qualifying students through an award from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs.
- Learning Ally offers more than 80,000 human-narrated audiobooks that can be downloaded and accessed with various mainstream and assistive technology devices. Through a contract with TEA, Learning Ally offers free memberships to Texas K–12 public and charter schools with qualifying students.
TEA Support for Disabilities
In addition to providing AIM, the State of Texas offers other supports and resources for students with disabilities, including:
Sensory impairment support services: TEA coordinates services for students with sensory impairments, including children who are blind or have a visual impairment, are deaf or hard of hearing, or deafblind.
Assessment accommodations: TEA provides accommodation resources for students with disabilities taking the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) statewide assessments.