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Understanding the NIMAS and NIMAC Provisions of IDEA: Analysis of the Term “Reading Disability Resulting from Organic Dysfunction” and its Relationship to the IDEA Category of “Specific Learning Disability”

policy brief
Author(s)

Joanne Karger

Publisher

National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM Center)

Description

The meaning of the term “reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction” used by the Library of Congress’s (LOC’s)National Library Service regulations is discussed.  This is one of the four disability categories that determine eligibility for instructional materials that have been developed from National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) files obtained through the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This disability category, which is specified in regulations that were originally issued by the LOC in 1974, also helps determine eligibility for the population of individuals with disabilities served under the 1996 Chafee Amendment to the U.S. Copyright Act. This paper is divided into four parts. First, “organic dysfunction” by the LOC is explained. Next, the historical background for the term “reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction” is described. Then, the historical background for the incorporation of the term “specific learning disability” into IDEA is reviewed. Lastly, the implications of the differing perspectives of the LOC regulations and IDEA for the provision of NIMAS/NIMAC materials to students with learning disabilities are discussed.

Organic Dysfunction

Reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction establishes eligibility under Chafee Amendment for specialized formats.

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National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)

A technical standard used to produce XML-based source files for print-based educational materials.

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National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC)

Central national repository established at American Printing House for the Blind to store, validate, maintain and disseminate NIMAS filesets.

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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Federal law governing rights of children with disabilities to receive free and appropriate public education in least restrictive environment.

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Chafee Amendment

Copyright Law Amendment allowing authorized entities to reproduce previously published work for use by blind or other persons with disabilities.

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Cite As

Karger, J. (2004). Understanding the NIMAS and NIMAC provisions of IDEA: Analysis of the term “reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction” and its relationship to the IDEA category of “specific learning disability”. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials. (Links updated 2012). Retrieved [insert date] from http://aem.cast.org/about/publications/2004/organic-dysfunction-relationship-ld.html