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The Right of Students with Disabilities Who Need Accessible Instructional Materials to Receive These Materials in a Timely Manner: A Brief for Families and Educators


Joanne Karger


National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM Center)


All students with disabilities who need accessible instructional materials (AIM) have a right to receive these materials in a timely manner. This article introduces what accessible instructional materials are and why they are important. Next, the provisions in IDEA 2004 pertaining to accessible instructional materials are discussed. The relationship between accessible instructional materials and FAPE under IDEA are discussed as well as the additional IDEA requirements, which reinforce the right to appropriate accessible materials. This includes the evaluation process, IEP development, special factors for the IEP team to consider, IEP review, and transition planning. Information for parents to challenge school districts failure to provide accessible instructional materials in a timely manner under IDEA is reviewed. Lastly, the protections available under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA for students who need accessible instructional materials are outlined.

Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

Print-based educational materials converted into specialized formats, related to the requirements of the IDEA statute.

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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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Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

Under IDEA, special education is provided at public expense, under public supervision, and without charge.

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Individual Education Program (IEP)

Written plan individually developed for students identified as having a disability under IDEA.

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Section 504

Prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. Written 504 plan used to guide provision of instructional services.

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Cite As

Karger, J. (2004). The right of students with disabilities who need accessible instructional materials to receive these materials in a timely manner: A brief for families and educators. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials. (Links updated 2012). Retrieved [insert date] from