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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Definitions (Sec. 300.172(e))

Comment: Several commenters requested that Sec. 300.172(e) include the full definition of terms, rather than the citations to the definitions in the laws. A number of commenters requested that the regulations include a definition of "persons with print disabilities."

Discussion: We have published the NIMAS as Appendix C to Part 300--National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard of these regulations, which will include the definition of NIMAS from section 674(e)(3)(B) of the Act.

The definition of the NIMAC in new Sec. 300.172(e)(1)(ii) (proposed Sec. 300.172(e)(2)) and section 612(a)(23)(E)(i) of the Act refers to the center established pursuant to section 674(e) of the Act. Paragraph (e)(1) in section 674 of the Act establishes the center at the APH and paragraph (e)(2) outlines the duties of the NIMAC. We do not believe it is necessary to include this information in the regulations in order to implement the requirements of the Act, but will include it here for the convenience of the readers.

National Instructional Materials Access Center or NIMAC means the center established pursuant to section 674(e) of the Act. Section 674(e) of the Act provides, in part, that--

(1) In general. The Secretary shall establish and support, through the American Printing House for the Blind, a center to be known as the "National Instructional Materials Access Center" not later than one year after the date of enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004.

(2) Duties. The duties of the NIMAC are the following:

(A) To receive and maintain a catalog of print instructional materials prepared in the NIMAS, as established by the Secretary, made available to such center by the textbook publishing industry, State educational agencies, and local educational agencies.

(B) To provide access to print instructional materials, including textbooks, in accessible media, free of charge, to blind or other persons with print disabilities in elementary schools and secondary schools, in accordance with such terms and procedures as the NIMAC may prescribe.

(C) To develop, adopt and publish procedures to protect against copyright infringement, with respect to the print instructional materials provided under sections 612(a)(23) and 613(a)(6).

The definitions of blind persons or other persons with print disabilities and specialized format both refer to statutes other than the Act. For the reasons set forth earlier in this notice, we are referencing the definitions of terms in Sec. 300.172(e), rather than adding them to these regulations. However, we will include them here for the convenience of the readers.

The Library of Congress regulations (36 CFR 701.6(b)(1)) related to the Act to Provide Books for the Adult Blind (approved March 3, 1931, 2 U.S.C. 135a) provide that blind persons or other persons with print disabilities include:

(i) Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or whose widest diameter if visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.

(ii) Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material.

(iii) Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.

(iv) Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.

Competent authority is defined in 36 CFR 701.6(b)(2) as follows:

(i) In cases of blindness, visual disability, or physical limitations "competent authority" is defined to include doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents).

(ii) In the case of a reading disability from organic dysfunction, competent authority is defined as doctors of medicine who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.

Specialized formats has the meaning given the term in section 121(d)(4) of title 17, United States Code:

(A) Braille, audio, or digital text which is exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities.

(B) With respect to print instructional materials, includes large print formats when such materials are distributed exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities.

Changes: As noted earlier, we have amended paragraph (e) of Sec. 300.172 by adding a new paragraph (e)(2) to clarify that the definitions in Sec. 300.172(e)(1) apply to each SEA and LEA whether or not the SEA or LEA chooses to coordinate with the NIMAC. We have made technical changes to Sec. 300.172(e) and renumbered Sec. 300.172(e) to be consistent with this change.