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                                                JANUARY 29, 2008

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This document is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART)
is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the

     >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: We're running a little behind already. My claim to fame is that my opening
 slide is prettier than Skip's was this morning; it has the NIMAS donut that sort of encapsulates the NIMAS
 system from start to finish but without a lot of detail.
     I do want to make sure that you got the handouts, so you should have an agenda. I just want to mention a
 few other of the hand-outs, and then I want to go around the loop here for a very, very brief self-introduction.
     But in your hand-out section you should have an agenda for today and tomorrow morning. You should
 have a list of the advisory—I'm sorry, NIMAS implementation advisory council membership. I want to point
 out that there are a few other people at the table partly because we've asked some of these folks to make
 presentations as part of the meeting.
     And so we have a few other folks sitting around the table here with us.
     You have a document which outlines the purpose, basically, which is a different group now, and this is one
 of the recommendations that came out of last year's meeting, that's different than the technical group.
     And one of the differences we'll get to in just a little bit is that we're not a voting group. We're a group that
 operates by consensus. Skip's going to help us with a little bit of that in a few minutes.
     There's also a new document, and I want to thank a few people in the room that gave feedback, general
 feedback on this NIMAS/NIMAC implementation action items, 15 generic steps, realizing that these 15 steps
 will be significantly modified in various states and territories, and through the associated states. All three

    >> DONNA McNEAR: Excellent!

    >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: And we don't always, and we need to. But these steps provide a simplification
 of a grid that was provided last year where there were three columns, sort of the quick-and-easy way to do it,
 the medium-effort way to do it, and perhaps the right way to do it with no judgment implied.
    This is the simplification because it provides generic steps for what we think probably needs to happen.

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One of the things that we're going to be doing is talking about implementation. And now the use agreement
[Limitation of Use Agreement (LUA)] is in greater play, it should be a time when we're full steam ahead in the
implementation issues. And the last document is an update of a NIMAS/NIMAC reference sheet because I
know there is an awful lot of information on the NIMAS web site. What I've tried to do here is to provide an
outline of some key resources, especially for people who are responsible for implementing NIMAS at the state
    And all of these documents, as you know, are available—you may not know—is my mic on? Oh, there I
go. Thank you.
    Are available on the NIMAS web site for download. In addition, I have them on a flash drive if anyone
needs them for use with Jaws or any other readers and so on. Let us know if you need an accessible version.
You should also know, in case you missed it, there's Braille of these documents on the table.
    It's just outside the room. So that's the set of documents.
    So having done that, I want to thank you all for joining us and for all of your good work over the last four
years. This is the first time that we've had a separating of the technical from the policy, and I know that Skip
was really adamant this morning when policy came up, he said, oh, oh, that's for those guys. And as you
probably know, I'm as much in Skip's work, and Skip's as much in my work, that people have come to call us
    Like we're one person. One of the documents that you have outlines the purpose of this Council. I'm just
going to read them quickly. National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard Implementation Advisory
Council. Short way of saying that is the NIMAS Council, will maintain, advance, and support the adoption of
the NIMAS Standard at the state level. This implementation is designed to facilitate the timely provision of
accessible versions of print instructional materials to qualified students. There is an assumed two-year
renewable term to sit on the Council.
    And we set a somewhat arbitrary number because we knew we didn't want the group to be too large: about
20 members.
    I'm not going to run through all of these, but I do want you to know that we have a fairly detailed list of the
activities of the Advisory Council. You have a record of these in a hand-out, in the document that you have.
So I am not going to do this right now.
    But there are a number of steps, number of activities, number of initiatives, that we're very much involved
in to help promote the implementation, especially at the state level. But I want you to know that the Technical
Assistance Center, that is the Center that really hosts the work of the Council, and is also very involved in
much of the technical work as well. Valerie, who maintains the web site, and also does the creative NIMAS
file documents, and she worked with us with Dave and with George and others on the Structure Guidelines.
    And so there is sort of an even representation of the work that's designed to support the states, but also to
support the conversion houses and support the publishers in creating NIMAS exemplars, for example, a lot of
you know what's on the web site, and there is a lot of technical information there in addition to implementation
    I am going to come back to a few hot topics for us, but first I would like to go around the room and just
quickly tell us who you are, perhaps your name and who you are representing, and no speeches. Valerie?

   >> VALERIE HENDRICKS: I work at CAST as everyone knows.

   >> JOHN CHURCHILL: Recoding for the Blind & Dyslexic.
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  >> RUTH ZIOLKOWSKI: Representing ATIA industry technology association.

  >> JIM FRUCHTERMAN: Head of Benetech. We operate

  >> DONNA McNEAR: I am a consultant to the accessible materials initiative in the Pacific region.

  >> BONNIE JONES: Office of Special Education programs, U.S. Department of Education.

  >> RICHARD ROBISON: Federation for Children with Special Needs, representing PTIs.

  >> BILL EAST: National Association of Special Education.



  >> LINNIE LEE: Representing Kentucky Department of Education.

  >> VICKI HERSHMAN: Indiana PATINS Project

  >> JOHN EISENBERG: From the Virginia Department of Education.

   >> MARY ANN SILLER: With the American Foundation for the Blind. I am the National Program
Manager for our Professional Development Department, and also the Project Director with CAST on the
partners project with ATIA and AFB with the NIMAS centers.

  >> JAY DISKEY: Association of American publishers.

  >> JENNIFER HILL: The Association of Educational Publishers.

  >> DIANE CORDRY GOLDEN: Missouri assistive technology and Missouri SEA.

  >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Representing Michigan Department of Education.

  >> JOY ZABALA: The AIM Consortium at CAST.

  >> SKIP STAHL: NIMAS Development Center.

  >> DAVID SCHLEPPENBACH: Representing the maintenance of the proper cookie to panelist ratio.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you. Did we miss anyone? I wish we had time to go around the whole
group. I am going to stop for a moment and turn it over to Bonnie Jones to make a few introductory
                                         2/5/2008                                                    3
comments from OSEP.

   >> BONNIE JONES: Thank you, Chuck. And welcome to everyone in the room. My comments will be
mostly directed to those around the table, but we're so pleased that these are public meetings so that everybody
can benefit from the richness of the discussion.
   So first of all, I want to give commendations to Skip Stahl for his work on the NIMAS Development
Committee, and to Chuck Hitchcock for his work with the NIMAS TA Center.
   These commendations are needed because of, number one, their support to the Department in helping us to
understand complex issues involved in the implementation of NIMAS and their national leadership on the
implementation. That's over the past four years. So we've really accomplished a lot in the four years,
although it sometimes feels like baby steps.
   The other piece and less of a commendation, but when you think about it, these two centers have worked
remarkably well together with different work scopes. But what we are trying to figure out, and Chuck talked
about this a bit at the beginning of his opening remarks, that we really needed as a group, the technical group
and the implementation group, to meet together as one advisory committee as we all sorted out what the
requirements of this law and how are we were going to implement it?
   So we're at a perfect point in time and took the Committee's recommendation from last year to then become
more focused and to develop two separate committees, and you've managed that transition to these more
specialized advisory groups very well.
   So what all of this says to me, and I want to share with you a little bit about some of complexities that you
are well aware of but one of them has to do with the system change itself, the very nature of systems change.
And the other part has to do with what's the real meaning of "collaboration?"
   Well, actually just last week I heard someone present on collaboration, and all of their examples were
information exchange. So if we really get deep in understanding the meaning of "collaboration" it really
means that everyone's working together for a common goal. It usually involves a team who bring different
levels of expertise.
   So I think that the NIMAS work in itself is a prime example of collaboration because I hear of these
extraordinary efforts that are occurring at all levels in states, among every particular group around the table.
   That's what it takes to overcome implementation challenges.
   Part of this is because of the complex federal regulations that are required as a part of the NIMAS
implementation, and as far as we can recall in our short memory, we've never encountered requirements and
IDEA that required so much interaction and attention to other federal regulations. NIMAS involves both parts
"B," section 612 and 613, what SEAs have to do and what LEAs have to do. It involves part "D," the
discretionary grant piece that establishes NIMAC. It involves the Library of Congress regulations under who
are the eligible students. And it involves some aspects of the Chafee Amendments.
   So given as a whole, it requires everyone to be cognizant of how these interact. And sometimes they don't
interact very well. So it is not surprising that sometimes the challenges seem almost insurmountable.
   But what's amazing is that some states have put together infrastructures that are actually fairly sophisticated
state systems. I'll just mention two. As soon as you mention two, you are going to feel sorry you didn't
mention five or six or seven, but in Indiana and in Kentucky they are a sophisticated state system of delivery
of accessible materials is really—we're learning a lot from them, as well as other states.
   But the challenge is to not develop bifurcated systems so that the systems come down seamlessly, although
they might be answering to another of federal laws.
   I would mention that as far as the collaboration goes, that although it's taking everyone to collaborate for
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the input, it's also taking significant effort and is required of all of the investments that OSEP has made to help
with the implementation. This is becoming more complex because we are making more and more
investments. There is the NIMAS TA Center, the NIMAS Development Center, the NIMAC, the two state
systems consortia that were just funded in September of 2007, and Bookshare for education, and soon-to-be
the RFB&D, their center will be funded, and there is funding, not out of OSEP, but through the earmark that
OSERS manages, the APH.
   So we have quite a constellation of investments that are helping to bring instructional print materials in
specialized formats to students. The amazing part of that is that for all of these players to understand the
feedback loops that are needed as the system is being implemented and to keep it moving in very positive
ways. So that requires open communication between all of these NIMAS-related centers, and then thinking
through the processes in each of these centers about how do we seek feedback from our customers to ensure
that continuous improvement is a part of our processes?
   And then how—and that changes, because the consumers will shift based on where you sit in the system.
So when you take a look at—Chuck, it does define in a circle how that process might work, but how those
feedback loops occur throughout the system because it is a complex system. But if we're going to assure
continuous improvement, we need to have that as a consideration.
   There are a number of strategies that we're using at OSEP, and probably one of our primary strategies is
that we have and continue to use a cross-division work group, and our legal team and our budget team and
both parts of OSEP and monitoring and the discretionary grants division are represented on this team, and we
meet very regularly to discuss the issues and resolve implementation issues that we have control over, and to
discuss those that we don't have control over.
   And so what I would guess—my concluding comments would be to keep thinking about what it takes for a
systems change and not be discouraged when we have slow progress because it does take time. If we look at
the literature, we know that it's 5–7 years for systems change.
   And then, secondly, is to think through the collaboration and the feedback processes within your own
respective—within your own respective projects, as well as within your locus of control; perhaps you are in
the state; to make sure that you have the collaboration and communication as part of your ongoing work.
   I would like to thank all of you who have come here today and tomorrow to be a part of this important
Advisory Council. We really value your input and look forward to some lively discussions. Back to you,

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you, Bonnie.
   And also, thank you, Bonnie. You know, just to thank you in a new and different way because just a few
years ago accessible instructional materials really was not a topic sort of on the OSEP radar, and I think that
Bonnie has accomplished an awful lot to make it a topic and the advisory group within OSEP is a wonderful
thing because we know that it's not something that is in the statute and regulation and forgotten, you know, let
the TA Center do it. They're working on these issues biweekly?

   >> BONNIE JONES: Usually every other week, sometimes once a month.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Terrific. And you brought to mind, and some of you may or may not know,
that Jeff Diedrich from Michigan—you don't even know what I am going to say.

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   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: I am a little worried.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: I am doing this in a way that's very interesting and ties into what Bonnie says,
because he is doing it backwards. He is trying to figure out what change really means within the systems that
exist. He is working with Dean out of Florida to really get a handle on what change means and how long it
takes and what are the right steps and what does it really take to enact change?
   At the same time, trying to enact change. So I want to give you credit for that initiative, Jeff.
   And Jeff is going to lead a group conversation just a little bit later this afternoon. Actually, we're going to
break into three groups for a conversation about three topics, and Jeff will help us with that.
   I want to take just a moment before we turn it over to Skip to talk for a couple of minutes about why we
work, or how we work, as a consensus group rather than as a voting group just to sort of key up a few of the
hot topics. And our topics are clearly different than the technical list that we are looking at this morning. And
I should have added—I probably should have defined this slightly. It's not just the publisher issues, but it's
sort of publisher-related issues, and so here is just a starter list.
   And I am going to stop at the end of just running through the list to ask if we could generate a few more
and I will ask Valerie to jot them down and we'll see if we can find a way to work them into the conversation
over the next couple of days.
   So for the publishers, obviously the quality and production of the XML, whether they're producing that
XML themselves or contracting with a third party, is important.
   My experience has been that generally it's quite good, that the production quality is actually quite high.
And I am very pleased about that. I don't know what the percentage is, Julia, whether you have that data on
how many files kick back that don't validate, but I would be curious. Why don't we stop for one second.

   >> NICOLE GAINES: Basically, I think that the number is actually quite low. And those files—I mean,
most of the files that are being submitted now are submitted directly to Overdrive usually through FTP, and I
think that in terms of notices going back to publishers or vendors that files do not validate is very rare actually.

  >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: That's been my impression, too. So congratulations, Jay, on the work that
you've done.

   >> JAY DISKEY: Thank you, sir.
   Do I all of it!

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: You have to share that responsibility with Jennifer. Thank you.
   A second topic. There has been some talk about being a K–12 container in the various national repositories
for a specialized format that results from the NIMAS filesets partly because these textbooks are not
necessarily opened to all of the population in the way that a full Bookshare database might be, for example, or
to other countries.
   And so that has been a topic of discussion with publishers in the past, and probably will continue to be, to
make a link between the purchase of the textbook and the access to a specialized format has been the topic of
some discussion.
   Appropriate student population served through those populations is still a subject of some discussion within
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the states and at a national level.
    A request for a NIMAS fileset at the time of the adoption process as pending issues bubble up periodically,
where a state may ask to have a NIMAS fileset submitted at the time of the submission of the adoption
documents, the bid response, so to speak, which has been impractical in many cases. A publisher can
demonstrate that it has the capacity to do it, but most often the textbook is actually not complete at the time of
that submission.
    And then some adoptions are requesting multiple file formats. This came up this morning in reference to
one of the publishers, and a state requesting rich text. So the meaning of the phrase "adopt NIMAS" is still a
little squishy. It's understood by some parties to mean "adopt NIMAS exclusively" and by others to mean that
"among the file formats that will be adopted will be NIMAS."
    And that's not—which populations are included sort of at the SEA, at the state level, only students, for
example, with IEPs as compared with Section 504 students, and students that might be included in section
 504, perhaps language in the proposed Rehab Act, and I just did some checking to see if there was any news
about that. Which LD populations, and what about certification requirements for those populations? Which
of the categories did these students fall under technically? The third category or the fourth category in the
Library of Congress categories?
    And then the, what I referred to a few minutes ago, exclusive formats, and then secondly whether there was
clearly over the last year some lost momentum around implementation at the state level because of the issues,
and I realize that Julia was not the attorney that made the decision that they couldn't do this, take that
paragraph out. I am very pleased that it's resolved now, and that the document is as far as I know acceptable
by state attorneys in compliance with state legislation.
    So I am very pleased. That is an issue that actually should be off the list.
    Are there other issues? I suspect that there are a couple of other issues. And I would love just to have a
couple of them brought up now so that we can jot them down. This was off the top of my head.

    >> RICHARD ROBISON: Chuck, we're running into issues around the use of accommodations in testing
situations in our state. Specifically even though it might be a use for instructional purposes, the state is
moving to tighten up its restrictions on the use. And creating—

    >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thanks. In fact, I met recently with the people from Boston College who
have developed, you probably know, a very robust assessment tool, and we're trying to figure out how to make
it interactive although we realize that it won't be a requirement because it won't be in statute. It might allow
some states to actually have the capability to create environments for assessments that were very similar to
those we expected on the instructional side. Thank you. That's a good one.

   >> DIANE CORDRY GOLDEN: This is a follow up to that. And we are having—I was nodding along
amen, amen, and Bonnie, the issue isn't blaming this on the feds. They're saying that this is NCLB. They are
saying that this is the direction that they're getting from the federal level as those accommodations cannot be
done as standardized testing through NCLB. So we need some help from the federal level. Because I am not
going to be able to move my people at the state level until they perceive or change their perception of what's
coming from the federal level.

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   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: You are talking about policy issue and not a technical implementation?

   >> DIANE CORDRY GOLDEN: (Indicating affirmatively.)

   >> JOHN EISENBERG: I would like to have a substantive conversation about the non-Chafee kids.

   >> LINNIE LEE: Related to your first bullet up there at the top, the quality, procedures for when we do
find errors in the files, and how can we let it—because we are finding in the files that we work with
considerable errors of missing images and some other things so that we don't fix our file and they're not telling
anybody else about it. What procedures should we have so that everyone gets all of that information?

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you.
   We've seen some great examples of that where the file will validate, and it's clear that the NIMAC or
Overdrive could never catch these unless they actually went line by line through the XML, and when it comes
time to apply them then you see the problem. But they are valid.

    >> JESSICA BRODEY: Just kind of adding on to some of the things that are up there, one of the things
that I think that we're concerned about is awareness issues on this SEA/LEA level, and that's knowing how to
request things from the publishers. It extends to technology issues. Do they deploy these once they get the
file and turn them into accessible formats for the students? How do the files work? What questions should
they be asking of vendors? Do they need to be working with other people in their state to do a better job with
technology purchasing and choosing textbooks that sort of thing?

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you.
   Mary Ann?

   >> MARY ANN SILLER: To add on a little bit, one in particular that's kind of being addressed in a
variety of ways—there is an echo—is the training aspects. And also testing of the loop for Braille related to
making sure that the software producers have enough testing opportunities to get real NIMAS files, and that's
really going well thanks to Pearson and Thomas is here, and Mary Lou who has done great effort of getting
actual NIMAS files. That's a huge effort. If they don't have particular files, it's really difficult to do that. But
that is an issue that needs to continually be addressed so that they do have the software pieces that they need.
   The other part is the actual training for transcribers which is something AFB is helping to address in our
project. But it's really important for states to realize that their transcribers need that training related to
working with the software. And there is new opportunity that you will hear tomorrow about training that will
be happening, so I hope that we'll get an influx of new registrations from this because it's an ongoing thing.
We're developing it as a train-the-trainers with an actual NIMAS file that will be developed with training
materials with 2000 Megadots [software]. And that goes back to what Jessica is saying; there has to be this
process of continuous training with states as part of the implementation.
   The other piece as said this morning is the images issue. We certainly don't want to have a continuous
supply of states reproducing the same graphic images. That needs to be addressed how the techno-graphics
can be looked at in the country where each state is not producing the same one. That still needs to be a really
hot topic.
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   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you. It's interesting, Skip and I don't have access to the NIMAC, so we
never see those files either.

   >> MARY ANN SILLER: We didn't have the NIMAC. It came directly from the publisher.

    >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: So the way that Julia and Nicole's advice, because we're not authorized to
download those files, and Jennifer is probably glad to hear that, because we're not authorized to download the
files, we had to create our own which is why we had exemplars on the NIMAS web site. But we have made
requests directly to publishers as well, and I don't think that there is going to be a solution beyond that for a
while yet, for to you go directly to the publisher.
    Jay? I'm sorry, Jay, let me go to Vicki first and then Jay.

   >> VICKI HERSHMAN: I want to follow up on Mary Ann's comments, and bring to the table an issue
that we're having with regards to large print, and that there is no standard format for large print because we're
getting ready to go into production of large print on our state basis, and we need to have some guidelines and
best practices on what large print should look like.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you.

   >> JAY DISKEY: Chuck, we can add to the hot topic list an issue that we're seeing in some states, which
are imposition of requirements to submit NIMAS files to places other than NIMAC.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Oh, yeah. Good, I left that off. As you probably know—

   >> JAY DISKEY: There are several bills that have emerged just in the past three or four weeks.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: So if an individual publisher wants to do what is right, they would remove all
of the content for which they did not own the electronic rights and make the submission that way, which is
sort of junky stuff.

   >> JAY DISKEY: Well, it's a single repository is what we're talking about, which in our view is a very
foundational issue here. We'll lose all of the economies of scale if we begin to look at separate repositories.
We'll talk more about that later.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Yeah. It's hard to know whether we'll ever be at a point where, you know,
where sort of a federal-level project can actually prevent states from asking for what they think they need. In
fact, it seems unlikely. So we'll have to figure out a way to make sure that the advantages of these in the
national repository are so great that the need for the other is significantly diminished.

   >> RUTH ZIOLKOWSKI: From a systems-change perspective, we need a lot more awareness, too, from
people who are making textbook purchasing decisions. So they really understand where we're going, what
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we're doing, and to look at this broader than just as a special ed. issue.


    >> DONNA McNEAR: Thank you, Chuck. From being a practitioner, and for people who don't know me
at this table, I am a teacher for children with visual impairments, and an orientation mobility specialist.
    On the issue of large print, as I was listening to this morning and all of the emphasis on concern around that
presenting print information and around large print, I think part of the discussion at the table should be the
perspectives from the field of vision impairment around large print, and that large print is not considered a
primary reading medium, and we go through intensive evaluation of students around learning media
assessment, and in print media assessment process to determine what should be the primary reading medium
for students.
    So at some level I think that background knowledge is relevant to looking at large print. And I know that
large print is in the regulations, but it also comes from a perspective of—I just wrote a chapter on
accommodations and modifications for children with visual impairments, and I did not mention large print
    So there's some background information there.
    Then also with my practitioner's hat on, when we look at implementing NIMAS from state education
agencies and to local education agencies, and when I see it as kind of a top-down not in a negative way, but I
look at it from the bottom-up so that we have all of this information in electronic format for our students when
the students—there might be a huge gap in the tools that they have access to, to utilize the electronic
    So I think that we should keep in mind the potential huge gap in students having access to the tools to
benefit from electronic formats and specialized formats.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you, Donna.
   Well, our list is growing. Valerie is writing like crazy, so we'll have a summary of these. I think maybe
what I will do is, after the meeting, I'll combine the ones that we have with the new ones and organize them
into categories and make sure that we have a strategy for sort of wrestling with the ones that we don't have
easy answers to, and we'll follow up. In fact, I don't think that we have easy answers for any of them.
   Or we would have solved them by now, right?
   Skip, I will ask to you step up for a minute. I have your slides in this set. So I will turn it over to you, if
you like.

   >> SKIP STAHL: Thank you. I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to talk about the consensus-
building process since this is a newly-constituted committee with some familiar faces and some new faces.
   In contrast to the NIMAS Board, which is actually a voting group, although we did not vote this morning.
We are teeing up some issues for a vote. This group is really based on consensus, the decision-making
process that this group will employ.
   And this practice actually goes back to 2003 with the National File Format Technical Panel, and then
subsequent to that the NIMAS Development Committee, both of those groups working on consensus.
   What consensus actually means is that people come together with a willingness to agree, and that basically
consensus is a unanimous process moving forward. There is no voting involved.
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    Consensus is used in circumstances where there may be unequal power or unequal knowledge at the table.
And so what's really important is everybody comes to the table with a perspective that what this group can
achieve as a group is far better than what any individual can achieve independently by themselves.
    So it's often related to conflict resolution, and as you saw Chuck's list of potential conflicts you can pick
any one of those and probably neatly divide the group into "I believe this and I believe that."
    Can I have the next slide?
    And a lot of this work comes from Susskind in the late '80s and early '90s about alternatives to
parliamentary procedures and Democratic processes, but I want to read you this: consensus has been reached
when everybody agrees that they can live with whatever is proposed after every effort has been made to meet
the interests of all stakeholding parties.
    So consensus is really an issue of confluence, and what's important for all of you on this Council is to come
to these questions not with a fixed sense of there's one right answer, but with a sense that there might be three
or four logical alternatives that may or may not work for you, and you are willing to kind of toss them into the
air and play with them a bit to see what works.
    The next one, Chuck?
    I don't know how many slides are in this collection. OK.
    So the assumptions are from this group that all participants anticipate that what they can achieve together
through negotiation will be better than what they can achieve independently. Participants approach the process
with interests rather than with fixed positions. And no group decisions are made unless everyone agrees.
    And that's really, really an important part of this.
    I think that there may be one more?

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: That's it.

   >> SKIP STAHL: That's it. OK. So often when you look at this, it seems fuzzy-wuzzy, or somewhat
unwieldy, and how can anything happen? But the magic is that everybody at this table are individuals and
represent groups that have a documented ability to affect the environment in which they find themselves, so
they are change agents. And we're bringing a group of change agents together and asking them not to hold a
fixed position, but to negotiate and come to agreement, and that's when the magic happens. That can be
effective and efficient. You will also find there are times when it's really just kind of bogged down. But we
get over that hopefully relatively quickly and move forward. So I just wanted to give you that framework
before we moved forward, and I will turn it back over to Chuck.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you, Skip.
   So moving into the next category of the agenda this is a hard way to do a NIMAS Center, TA Center
update for a whole year, because I would actually like to spend the rest of the afternoon talking about what we
   But I won't. I promise.
   What I would like to do, though, is highlight a few categories of the work that we do without boring you
with all of the details. We do maintain detailed information about the conferences that we present at. We
have teleconferences and Webinars that we present, and you probably know from the NIMAS web site that we
keep a record of the presentations with the hope that some people will look to see, oh, they're going to be at
this thing in my neighborhood, and maybe I will join them. Or that they'll join a Webinar sponsored by a third
party like the American Institute of Research, and we've done a number of NIMAS updates with them over the
                                            2/5/2008                                                     11
last couple of years.
    And we provide direct technical assistance to the states. Now, I do want to point out that we're a fairly
modest size. So most often when we get asked to spend a few days with a state to help them to develop their
new publication plan, we kindly resist. Only out of necessity because we don't have the resources really to
provide that level [of assistance]. It's the purpose that we'll be talking about, sort of the blessing of the AIM
initiative, which is that we can go deeper with 15 states over the next 18 months to 2 years in really looking at
implementation strategies and how it differs from state to state with the hope that they go to scale in
influencing all of the states and territories and the associated states.
    We also put a lot of work—and I have to say that we probably do as much work supporting the publishers
and the conversion houses, in preparing materials for posting on the NIMAS web site and in responding to
questions on a fairly frequent basis, about some technical aspect of converting a book into XML with
publishers and with conversion houses.
    And so I would say that we're fairly evenly divided here in our efforts to support both sides. And I think
that a lot of emphasis has been provided on that technical side, partly because of the quality of the products
that they produce and provide to the NIMAC which is critical for ensuring the quality of the specialized
formats downstream.
    A lot of new content on the web site. I hope that you peek at it once in awhile. I am not going to run
through it now. I would love to. Maybe that's what we'll do this afternoon.
    I would love to. But I am not going to. You can do that. There is one place where we've accumulated sort
of the key resources into a categorical page, a categorical list of things that are useful to the states, to the
publishers, and so on. We hope that's useful.
    But we have a plan moving forward to actually do something slightly different. One of the things that
we've come to realize is that some of the content in the NIMAS web site is not specific to the NIMAS
initiative. It's become a little bit more generic around accessible instructional materials out of necessity.
    One of the things that we've decided to do, just recently, is to sort of create another level above NIMAS
where we create a new site, and we actually have a new home page for this already, but it's just not public yet,
for accessible instructional materials. And that will be the focus of the top level where we put all of those
generic materials, and we think that will become a well-known and well-visited site.
    And under that be the NIMAS initiative. And under that in another fork will be the AIM Consortium with
specific information about AIM and its work, but also a way for AIM to share courses and to share ideas and
so on. And I will make that available to everyone.
    And I think that this is the right model to create more generic instructional materials, accessible
instructional materials, web site. NIMAS has a more NIMAS-specific web site around technology and
implementation and then AIM. Eventually we think AIM and NIMAS will probably come together.
    Additional activities, as you heard this morning if you were here, we're also very much involved in working
with the DAISY Consortium on the Standard. Boris, are you in the room? Boris has been sitting on that
advisory group that meets in exotic places around the world.
    Even though I would have nothing to contribute, I have been thinking of actually replacing Boris just so
that I get to go to those exotic places around the world with George.

   >> GEORGE KERSCHER: Then we can ask to you host us at our national—

                                            2/5/2008                                                     12
   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you, George! We do provide support for the OSEP policy group every
once in a while. When we have a question that Skip and I might have some ideas about, and we do try to
   And we have developed, as you probably know, a conversion tool which is open source. You can
download it freely. You can download the source code, or you can download the application from the NIMAS
web site. As was mentioned this morning by Steve Noble, Design Science has enhanced that by using the
source code to create a new application that now recognizes and works with Math and Science.

  >> GEORGE KERSCHER: And recall that that is based on the open source tools available from the
DAISY Consortium.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you, George.

   >> GEORGE KERSCHER: You are welcome.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: You are exactly right.
   And then, of course, the work of CAST and gh, AAP, and the DAISY Consortium on the Structure
Guidelines which we think is an asset to both DAISY developers and NIMAS developers. If I don't qualify
that, George will say, "Yeah, but those are the same thing, right?"
   Isn't that right?

   >> GEORGE KERSCHER: Say that again.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: NIMAS developers and DAISY developers are doing the same work.

   >> GEORGE KERSCHER: Of course.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: See? There we go. These are the few folks involved in the technical
assistance work at CAST, which is really a small group and not full-time for any of us in this endeavor, but all
good people and all contributing mightily.
   What I would like to do is turn over to Skip again for just a few moments to just give a brief update for
those who were not here this morning on the work of the Standards Board.

   >> SKIP STAHL: Sure. Thank you. The Board met this morning, and had a fairly rigorous three-hour
agenda that we moved through. I didn't let anybody leave the room. So everybody—no. The important thing
is where we're really dealing with issues that are moving the technical specification forward. As Chuck
mentioned, one of the purposes of separating groups out was to be able to deal with technical issues
independent of the policy and implementation issues. Even though it's hard to keep them totally separate, I
thought that we did quite a good job this morning of keeping the focus on the technical orientation issues.
   So the first issue to come up which I asked Steve Noble to kind of tee up was MathML. That's math mark-
up language for mathematical content. It's much larger than that but for the sake of brevity think of it that
way. Currently the NIMAS specification calls for it to be represented as images, which everybody agrees is
just a half-hearted solution that moves this in the right direction but barely, and then we really need to get to
                                            2/5/2008                                                      13
the point where mathematical content is rendered in a way that provides interactivity and an increased and
heightened degree of accessibility for the equations that would normally be displayed visually but then could
be rendered auditorily or tactilely or in Braille.
    The promise of MathML is to do just that. So I am actually pushing an agenda to hold in a fairly short
period of time, I'm thinking within the next couple of months, a Board vote on making MathML a required
element set as part of the NIMAS element set. For a lot of reasons, and there is not total agreement as you can
imagine, but I feel strongly that we're at a tipping point around this particular issue, and it would be something
that should the Board make a recommendation, then that goes with part of the Development Center
recommendations to OSEP for consideration in statutory change to the specification itself.
    That process we anticipate is going to take somewhere between 18 months and 3 years because it's a
policy-related process that involves a lot of feedback from the community and stakeholders. So from my own
perspective, there's no time like the present to start the ball rolling. Hopefully it will roll downhill and not
uphill, but we'll see.
    So MathML was a big item of discussion. Other items under discussion were images, image size, what's
required for large print and tactile graphics, and we clarified that the 300 DPI that's currently required as part
of the specification for image files is, as Julia referenced, a minimum acceptable level, and that that's seemed
to be—everybody was in agreement on that issue.
    There were other—I don't have my notes in front of me, so I am just drawing this from my depleting brain
    There were other issues related to text images, how that should be rendered. Valerie did a terrific job in
talking about not only image text, but in talking about image text there are a variety of image texts, the types
of definition in embedded text that might occur in maps, images that are tables, what's a gratuitous image as
opposed to an essential image? All sorts of issues that still need some clarification and guidance, particularly
in the production of NIMAS files.
    There were other questions about how should tables of contents and indices be rendered and particularly
tagged, and some agreement on that. And then there was a final discussion on images relating to what's
known as SVG or scaled vector graphics which are XML-based images, and the question did come up about
how to render the dimensions of those images, and there was an agreement that dimension data should be
included in the SVG image itself upon creation.
    I am trying to remember. Chuck, help me out. What else? What other issues were there?

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: If you stop now, you put us on time.

  >> SKIP STAHL: I will do that.
  So you get the flavor that it was heaven this morning. So everything from SVG to DTD, and so it was a
good meeting and I thought a very efficient use of time, and we have a whole lot of work moving forward.
Thank you.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you, Skip. I was starting to worry about Bill and Rich, and they were
glad not to be in the technical meeting this morning.
   So I was thinking about them the whole time. Did I mention the Patriots?
                                            2/5/2008                                                      14
   Oh, sorry. Moving on.
   So, Julia, if you will help me to decide which one of the files.

   >> JULIA MYERS: The second one.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you. Julia and Nicole have agreed to provide an update of the
activities of the NIMAC. I think that you have sufficient time. Thank you.

    >> JULIA MYERS: OK. We'll move on to the next slide.
    So just a little preliminary information, why did the American Printing House for the Blind establish the
National Instructional Materials Access Center?
    We did so because the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 made that as the
location to house the NIMAC. That is, of course, the same legislation that requires states to adopt the National
Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard, or NIMAS, file format, through source files for accessible
materials to local K–12 students. And we have IDEA of legislation on the CAST side which proves helpful.
    To the next slide.
    So what is NIMAC? We usually describe it as the box the files come in, the files go out. The big box with
all of the files. It's a central repository for NIMAS files. NIMAS files are source files that can be used to
produce accessible, student-ready, specialized formats such as Braille and audio for students in elementary or
secondary schools of qualifying disabilities.
    Next, please?
    So what do we do? We receive and catalogue the publisher's electronic files and print and instructional
materials in the NIMAS format. We register users for the NIMAC database to provide the searchable web
interface. Overdrive is the vendor who is providing the database software, and off-site storage for the NIMAS
    Next slide, please.
    So how do we obtain files? Interestingly enough this is important. I had spoken with someone fairly high
up in the state just a couple of weeks ago who was expecting this process to work differently than it does. So
there still continues to be questions about this. We obtain files but certainly only a state and local educational
agencies instruct publishers via the contracting process to deposit those files with the NIMAC.
    They don't necessarily come automatically. We do have a number of publishers who have voluntarily
deposited many hundreds of files in the NIMAC. But for those of you out in the states, the way to be sure that
those files will be in the NIMAS is to contract with the publishers as you are purchasing those materials, and
require them to deposit the NIMAS files in the NIMAC.
    Could NIMAS files be used with these formats? We get this question lot. The definition, of course, may
be found if it qualifies, qualification for students is written at the law at the link on the previous page.
    Are college students qualified? Again, we get this question fairly often. No. College students are not—
who do not provide files from the NIMAC are not meant to be used for college students. It's only for
elementary and secondary schools.
    The basic steps as of Thursday last week, we've accepted 4,100 NIMAS files available today as NIMAS
filesets. We have 49 publishers who have registered with the NIMAC and are actively working with us to
provide us the NIMAS filesets.
    We have 44 states and territories coordinating with us. Those states and territories have established 58
authorized users from 31 states. We have 45 accessible media producers. Those are organizations with the
                                             2/5/2008                                                     15
skills and the capability of taking those NIMAS files and converting them into a variety of specialized
    Today we've had 71 file downloads of unique NIMAS filesets of media producers, and 294 for authorized
    Next slide.
    Outreach of NIMAC over the last year was an important part of our inaugural year, and we will continue to
provide outreach services, which is an important part of our work. We routinely offer training and webcasts,
and we offer further outreach through conference calls and participation in a variety of conferences and
    Next slide, please.
    In 2007, NIMAC, and that would be Nicole and me (chuckles) conducted 27 webcast trainings, outreach
conference calls with various user groups. Those participants included authorized users, or those that
expected to be named one, NIMAC state coordinators, NIMAS/NIMAC coordinators, vendors, publishers, and
accessible media producers. We're not counting in this conference calls the meetings with individual
publishers, states, or local educational agency staff, the NIMAC Advisory Council, OSEP, or others, but there
were certainly numerous conference calls and meetings with those groups as well.
    On to the next.
    More outreach in 2007. We also presented two webinars that were not sponsored by NIMAC, one by
EASI, and one by NCDAE. We presented at I should say 10 conferences and workshops, and I've listed them
all there, but I won't read them all to you guys. This webcast will be posted on our web site as well in 2007.
    On to the next slide, please.
    A variety of hot topics through the year, one of which was referenced by Chuck, I believe, earlier this
morning. The great communication issue of 2007.
    The definition of core print instructional materials, advance copies, transcriber training, images and health
text, image and file size, and NIMAC outreach.
    On to the next slide, please.
    Thank heaven it was time to pop the champagne cork even though we're an alcohol-free organization.
December 26, 2007, President Bush signed HR2764 into law. That legislation included language
indemnifying the NIMAC. On January 2, 2008, NIMAC released a revised NIMAC LUA, limitation of use
agreement, with the indemnification clause removed.
    That new limitation of use agreement has been distributed to all registered NIMAC users and is available
on our web site at WWW.NIMAC.US.
    Next, please.
    Core print instructional materials. That's just the definition from the law. That's what we understand IDEA
to mean when they refer to print instructional materials. We understand that there may have been language
that came along with some of the conversation reports that further addressed this issue, that accompanied the
previous federal law, but we have not seen that. When we are asked about what qualifies as material that falls
in the NIMAC, we refer to the definition in the law, and it says, and I will read it, print instructional materials:
―The term print instructional materials means printed textbooks and the related printed core materials that are
written and published primarily for use in elementary school and secondary school instruction, and are
required by a state educational agency, local educational agency for use by students in the classroom.‖

                                             2/5/2008                                                       16
    And that definition does come out to be very important. We have questions arise about mature levels
originally produced in electronic format, primarily for teachers, a range of questions that have come up over
2007 related to this definition. And on to the next.
    Advance copies. NIMAC issued a policy statement in the summer, I believe, of 2007, with regard to
advance copies. Since these files are meant to be used to produce specialized formats used by students in the
classroom, that should correspond to those used by other students without disabilities in the classroom, there
was an issue with advance copies of some contracting with publishers around requiring to publish in the
NIMAC files that represented textbooks fairly early in the development cycle, and that would not if they were
subsequently downloaded and turned into a specialized formats to match the version used by the students in
the classroom.
    We've asked SEAs and LEAs to contract with this model in mind. We will not accept advance copies
because of the danger that the specialized formats produced by them will have substantial differences from the
final version that is produced by the publisher.
    And we have a link on there to reference more on that policy.
    On to the next slide.
    AFB, and we're very grateful for this, has offered NIMAS training for transcribers. They began offering
that training in late 2007, and, yes, this is the first of several times I worked for Mary Ann Siller as a contact
for more information. Contact her at for more information.
    On to the next slide.
    Images with alt text. This question we get—questions about this coming up all the time. People expect to
be there. Sometimes there are full descriptions of the images in the XML text. That's not really a requirement
of source files. There are thousands of images as part of the NIMAS filesets, and they're not described in the
text in the XML.
    So this is a significant issue, is the further work that needs to be done by the accessible media producers to
fully describe the educational content contained within those images.
    Next slide, please.
    Next slide, please.
    So as we referenced this morning, images, their number and size, drive the NIMAS file size. NIMAS
filesets commonly range 2–3 gigabytes in size, and they may reach 12 gig or more. NIMAS textbook files
contain thousands of images. File size can slow downloading even those with fast connections. The PNG
images typically run 5–10 times larger than JPEG for reasons discussed earlier today.
    NIMAS filesets in context: typically a 90-minute movie is less than 1 gig due to the compression method
used for MPEG used for movies. And the file size, that does produce considerable obstacles for the user to
download files, at least as they have reported to us.
    We're continuing to work on the system, of course. Key remaining issues include the Mac compatible that
is slated to be rolled out after all i‘s were dotted and t‘s crossed. One thing that we're excited about, we want a
federated search of both a database of materials that are already in a specialized format available to students
with disabilities, and NIMAC, which is the source files of the NIMAS that have not yet been converted into a
specialized format, and we always knew that it would be very helpful for people to be able to search both
databases simultaneously. The software that was used to support the database that is still used for that would
not support federated search. On Wednesday of last week we were pleased to announce that we signed a
contract with a company called Quality Solutions and they're going to help us to move LOUIS to a new
system that will support Federated search, NIMAC, and hopefully the database as well.
And we're planning on using OAI for that, the Open Archives Initiative.
                                             2/5/2008                                                      17
   Upcoming and continuing NIMAC outreach. Webcast trainings were authorized to accessible media
producers, and we'll continue to offer those. As you listen to me drone on out there, you will be grateful to
hear that. We will continue to make those announcements about the webcast training. We'll continue to have
the quarterly conference calls with the publishers and conversion houses. We continue to meet with the
NIMAC Advisory Council; in 2008 we'll meet on a quarterly basis. But we formed a new group, a NIMAC
user group that includes accessible media producers, authorized users, and publishers. The membership of
that group will change through the year, and will be meeting bi-monthly with our first meeting via
teleconference next month.
   The upcoming conferences that we have on the schedule so far include the AFB NIMAS Training in
February of 2008, CTEVH in February of 2008, and that's California Transcribers and Educators of the
Visually Handicapped, and the PA ADR meeting in April of 2008.
   So who are the NIMAC? Me, Julia Myers. I work part-time on the NIMAC. Nicole Gaines is full-time
dedicated to the NIMAC. Ann, who is the NIMAC support specialist, and staff at Overdrive who support us.
   On to the next slide.
   How to reach us? WWW.NIMAC.US; (502) 899-2230; (877) 526-4622. Or NIMAC is—and, yes, Nicole
gets all of the communications. That's it.

  >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you. Now because you didn't use all of your time, which is wonderful,
would you be willing to entertain questions for a few minutes?

   >> JULIA MYERS: Happy to entertain them.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: That would be great. Does anyone have a question for Julia?

   >> JIM FRUCHTERMAN: So, Julia, I was looking at the Limitation of Use Agreement that had been
updated, and the liability clause. But one of the changes I noticed was that the original version said that you
could terminate people with cause, and the new one says with or without cause. I was wondering if you could
describe circumstances where terminating someone without cause, you know, what circumstances might those

   >> JULIA MYERS: Nicole's having a bad day?

   >> NICOLE GAINES: Actually, I think that when we were going back through and reading that we did
realize that it was a good time to just kind of look through and see if there were any tweaks. And I think that
what we determined was that that was just standard language not included the first time. When we went back
and were looking at it, we just decided to make it commensurate with other things that we had seen. So I think
that in practice I cannot personally envision any situation where someone would be terminated without cause.
Even if I'm having a bad day.

                                           2/5/2008                                                     18
   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you. Other questions for Julia or Nicole? In the back?

  >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] You had some download statistics where you gave the numbers of
downloads. Were those the total number of downloads, or the unique titles that have been downloaded?

   >> NICOLE GAINES: Those were the unique titles. When we actually look at the total number of
downloads, that number is much, much more inflated because of folks multiply downloading things because
they weren't sure that they downloaded it correctly. But the figures that we showed you were unique
downloads only.

   >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] So we're only 10% of what's been placed in there?

    >> NICOLE GAINES: Well, to kind of put things in context, as Julia mentioned, in terms of the number of
files that are being submitted because they're required by contract, I think that that is still a relatively small
number of files. About 1/4 of the files in there so far were voluntarily submitted. Actually, it's probably even
more than that. I am thinking of one particular publisher who voluntarily submitted an entire reading
program. For example, in the absence of any request. We have to just kind of take it into consideration that
several publishers are submitting files just expecting some day somebody is going to want these which I think
is wonderful. But that's just kind of part of the context of it.
    The other thing to keep in mind, and those of you around the table are probably much more well acquainted
with adoption cycles than I am, but my understanding is that those tend to run on about a two-year cycle from
the time that states really start think being moving to a new program, and when things are in place. So think
that in terms of the number of downloads, that's also a part of the equation.

   >> JULIA MYERS: And if I could just add one other thing, the first 10 months of our operation we had
about 2,000 files deposited. And about the following—the last 2.5 months?

   >> NICOLE GAINES: Three months.

    >> JULIA MYERS: We had another 2,000 deposited. We understand that we have another 1,000 a way
it's not that the files were evenly deposited throughout the length of our operation either. It's been heavily
weighted toward the last few months.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you. Joy?

   >> JOY ZABALA: You mentioned the federated search in the database, and the NIMAC. Is the LOUIS
database currently a place where you can search for all kinds of file formats for students with not just
blind/visual impairments, but with physical impairments and organic dysfunction? And would it be that type?

   >> JULIA MYERS: They're not primarily the file formats in the LOUIS database, so our download files,
text files, searchable within LOUIS, but primarily it's Braille, large print, digital audio, accessible tests, those
kinds of materials. They were primarily visually impaired/print disabled.

   >> JOY ZABALA: Do you envision that becoming broader? Do you want to try to keep it at that?
                                              2/5/2008                                                        19
    >> JULIA MYERS: Well, broader. It's to list the specialized formats. The LOUIS is like a catalogue. It
points to where you can obtain the specialized format as opposed to a file repository. We do have the APH
file repository searchable also via LOUIS. It does contain downloadable files for Braille production. But
LOUIS itself, the primary purpose of LOUIS is to point people to where those materials are available. And a
couple of things could happen. One is that it could be that of those materials will be listed directly in LOUIS,
or it may be through federated search, for example, that the Bookshare catalogue, for example, and LOUIS can
be searchable through federated search. Those materials wouldn't be literally part of the LOUIS database, but
it would be searchable and findable through the same unified search.
That's more of the vision as we look at it going forward by necessarily pulling all of the data into it.

   >> JOY ZABALA: And then beyond that if a particular state particularly is converting files, could that
also be included in that search?

   >> JULIA MYERS: Yes. It depends on—there are a couple of different ways. It could be more taking
advantage of the federated search. If someone has more repositories that they're able to make these accessible
materials available to other students, then they can tie into the federated search. The OA item level
recommended to us and recommended because it's relatively technically easy to implement and low cost, and
so to participate in that, for anyone who has or is building a database or a repository of accessible materials,
they need to implement a OAI responder that could respond to that unified search sent out by the federated,
once we have this in place. Of course, it's possible for that single repository to be tied into a number of other
kinds of federated search options as well.

   >> JOY ZABALA: The reason I ask is earlier there was a comment made and maybe it was even this
morning about the techno-graphics that when somebody had created the idea of other people recreating it
seemed an unnecessary duplication of efforts. I think that we've been concerned that it's not just for techno-
graphics, but for all kinds of things where we don't want to have that happen.

   >> JULIA MYERS: For tactile graphics, there is a tactile graphics, a library that is available in the
database that has downloadable commonly-used tactile graphic files that exist already as well. That would
probably also be part of the same federated search. But our initial step with this is to make NIMAC and
LOUIS searchable through one unified search. And the important first step of that, which is a project on its
own, is to get LOUIS off of its current software and moved into this environment. Beyond that, then first
LOUIS and NIMAC unified search, and then build it beyond that.

   >> JOY ZABALA: Thank you.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Julia, coming back, one of the issues that came up earlier: If someone has an
issue with a file that they've downloaded from the NIMAC, would you prefer they go back directly to the
publisher? And if that is the route, how are you informed about the need to change the file?

   >> NICOLE GAINES: That's a very good question. Actually, we have been discussing this quite a bit
because that became apparent. In the discussions this morning, there is kind of a really wide gray area
between a file that's going to fail validation and one that might meet all of the best practices and really be the
                                             2/5/2008                                                       20
most user-friendly and the absolute best XML.
    And so I do know that in terms of questions and comments that have come directly to us, they really have
run a little bit of the gamut of folks who said there is something wrong with the XML file and what it really
turned out to be was that they really wanted a PDF, or they wanted a different file format and they couldn't do
what they wanted. There are those issues, and then there are other issues that are more tied in with the best
    We're currently trying to work something out actually with AAP in terms of the best way. Obviously
because the mechanism for us getting files is that agreement between the customer and the publisher, that's
actually going to be where the leverage is in terms of if that customer wants something different or wants
something done in the future in terms of file problems, though, that are serious problems as we talked about
earlier, the NIMAC doesn't have access to the print books. And so, you know, since it is impossible for us or
for Overdrive to go line by line through that XML, it is entirely possible and it's expected that there are going
to be problems from time to time. And sometimes those problems are going to require that the publisher pull
that file from the NIMAC and submit a better file, submit a corrected file.
    So I think that at this point what we're trying to come up with is a way to have a mechanism within the
NIMAC system so that authorized users will have a contact person with each publisher that they can contact
directly. During earlier days of system development we had thought about having an automatic email function
in there, but we were really discouraged by Overdrive in doing that because they had implemented doing that
in other systems. What they had found often is that in a practical manner those emails would go into a black
hole and people would get frustrated because they didn't know where the emails were going.
    So I think what we would prefer is to have a list of designated contacts for each publisher, but rather than
having that on our web site where all of the spammers can get to it so that authorized users when they log in,
or accessible media producers that they can get the contacts that way. We're interested partly because we want
to have a way of integrating this into our own trainings in terms of finding out.
    If we are seeing that there are certain issues that people are coming up with—I know just recently there was
an issue with a certain vendor putting some definitions information at the head of the XML that was throwing
off someone's conversion tool. Well, that's very handy because when we get the similar problem we can say,
you know, look for this. This is what's happening for you also. So we want to be counting on those
communications. So we're kind of working that out. But I think that at this point it is a situation where we do
tend to refer folks back directly to the publisher to report those problems. But we definitely want to be kept in
the loop.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: One thing that I was thinking about is that at some point in the future, it may
be useful to have a way of marking a file that is likely to be replaced sometime in the next three or four weeks,
because if someone is engaging in the process of doing a conversion, they might be interested in knowing, and
that is one more feature. But if you know that a publisher will re-submit because of feedback they've had, it
would be great for others who are looking at that file to know that's going to happen.

   >> NICOLE GAINES: Well, and generally what we would tend to do if there was a problem like that is to
avoid the danger of someone downloading the file is we simply would pull it from the certified inventory so
that it can't be downloaded.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Oh, good. Thank you. Thank you. I am worried about this next segment not
because of the time. I know now we're running a few minutes over. I am worried because I have no idea what
                                            2/5/2008                                                     21
Jay and Jennifer are going to talk about.

   >> JAY DISKEY: I don't either.
   >> Before we move on, from a publisher's perspective I just want to share our experience with the NIMAC
ourself. Quite frankly, I don't how they do it. They're the most patient people in the world.
   We're a large organization, so we're capable of making the same mistake many, many times.
   I often wonder why they don't just sort of pull our hair out. So thank you.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you for that.

   >> JULIA MYERS: I just wanted to say thank you, and we have found publishers and the conversion
house staff that we work with to be very supportive and very patient with us as well. But, you know, Nicole
always appreciates chocolate.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: You didn't have to pay him to say that.

   >> JULIA MYERS: No.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you very much.
   Jay Diskey, head of the Education Commission of American Association of Publishers.

   >> JAY DISKEY: Thank you. I think that you will pick up your five minutes here. I tend to be very brief.
   I want to say first of all AAP is very pleased to be at this table representing school publishers. We look
forward to a very successful implementation year in 2008. Obviously as Julia mentioned, and as we all know,
2007 got clouded with—what did you refer to it as, Julia?

   >> JULIA MYERS: The great indemnification.

   >> JAY DISKEY: The great indemnification issue of 2007.
   AAP performs great functions of publishers to help to fulfill their obligation to implement the law. We
have a series of teleconferences, and on the policy and legal fronts we remain active as well. We do, indeed,
remain concerned about previous implementation issues and what I would call fidelity to the law. Those
around the table will not be surprised to hear me say that we are no more interested in today and extra legal
expansion of the statute than we were a year ago or two years ago. That's exactly where we are.
   And we remain concerned about a variety of the implementation issues in the states. We continue to see
some things that are inconsistent with the federal statute and in the spirit of collaboration we will try our best
to work through those things.
   As Bonnie noted, it takes 5–7 years for a system change. Bonnie, 5–7 years, that will take us right to the
next reauthorization and we'll start all over again. Let's hope we don't start all over again.
                                             2/5/2008                                                       22
   And the last thing that I want to say, I am glad someone stole my thunder. I cannot thank Julia and Nicole
enough for their patience and understanding and their professionalism. I don't think that if they hadn't had
that, I really do believe this whole process might have collapsed at some point in 2007. I think that Julia and
Nicole are holding the line, and not to take anything away from the other folks involved in this, but I can't
thank them enough from the publishers perspective. Thank you.

  >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you, Jennifer Hill, for joining us here today also. I'm sorry, my
microphone is not turned on.
  Representing the Association of Education Publishers. Jennifer, I have your slides.

    >> JENNIFER HILL: Thank you. I just have a few slides, and really thanks, again, for including us and
it's been an interesting journey with you all, and we hope to keep in this process.
    You can go to the next slide.
    I just was going to go over what we have done and kind of where we think it's going at least for the
educational publisher, the supplemental publishers.
    In 2006, we were kind of like, "What is this?"
    We are just simple cavemen publishers.
    So we were feeling like, oh, my gosh. But thanks to Skip we were drawn into this process and we have
been participating in the NIMAS Development Committee, and we started educating our members about
NIMAS right away and working with CAST and participating in dialogues about the more—some things that
Jay referred to kind of cryptically there, other issues that have come up around NIMAS and how that would
affect our business. So we've been very concerned about that, but also willing to move forward.
    And then go ahead to 2007, we've been continuing our education efforts. In our last summit we have every
year we had a little intervention convention that we invited a lot of the AMPs to come to demonstrate to our
members what exactly they could do for them. We continued in our dialogues, and we also opened a dialogue
with our members. And this is the part of the education process is, how will that impact their work? And we
were invited to participate in the summit, and we have been able to try to do some marketing around the
MicroSoft Word today's plug-in efforts, and we also as a result of all of the nagging we've been doing to our
members at our strategic planning last September, our Board of Directors gave us the charge to really try and
figure out what these new digital opportunities mean for our members.
    They want to know what it means. They want to know what the opportunities are. They want to know how
to incorporate it in their workflow. They want to know what a market model means for them. So it's actually
beneficial and we're starting to see them, you know, want to know.
    So this means that there is movement. As Bonnie talked about, it does take quite a bit of time to get people,
first of all, even used to a new idea. Second of all, how do you convey and incorporate that into their
workflow? So it's been very interesting.
    You can go to the next slide.
    And so then in 2008, AEP is introducing their initial initiative. Basically we have some of the leaders in
our membership writing a series of articles that will come out in our online newsletter over the next several
months discussing what the digital future of publishing means for supplemental publishers. We're also going
to include the new configuration of the project of AIM and these two new committees on our web site,
continue to link to the NIMAC and provide support to our members.
                                            2/5/2008                                                     23
    Go ahead.
    There should be one more slide, and then I will just be finished. Oh, I wanted to share this anecdote with
you. I had a call from—sometimes parents and other representatives of students call us because we have
NIMAS things on our web site and they type NIMAS in and AEP pops up. And it was just interesting to me
that I talked to this parent—this grandparent actually, and she had not been able to get the NIMAS file for her
child. So we talked at length about what was going on, and ultimately what it came down to was the
indemnification issue. I asked her a number of questions. I was trying to find out. She said finally the
principal told her that the state was telling them that they couldn't access those files because of
    I said that's done now.
    So I said, you know, call the NIMAC, and I gave her the number, and the file had been downloaded. It was
interesting to me that she said that it wasn't in the right format. And so then I didn't even know what the
format that she referred to was because I am really, like I said, a simple caveman publisher.
    So I said, OK. But then she called the publisher. I didn't name the publisher. You know what I mean?
But the publisher then sold them the version that she needed for this amount. So clearly, you know, there are
still some issues, but these are the kinds of things that reflect specifically—all it really basically touches on a
number of issues that Chuck listed. So even though there are—we have moved forward considerably, and she
was also glad to hear that Bookshare services were now going to be free, by the way. She did mention that.
She said, you know, in the past they had to buy memberships. So it was interesting to me the conversation did
reflect a number of the issues that we're facing.
    And if you go ahead, I just wanted to thank, on my last slide, Chuck, there's one more slide.
    Yeah. That what we have done here is really informed AEP to really help us to move forward and as you
may or may not know, many of our members do produce materials that are specifically for interventions for
special education students. But because they don't necessarily rise to the level of course instructional
materials, many of our members are still kind of behind the times in terms of getting those out. So hopefully
this will represent, you know, this digital initiative will represent a step forward and we can start serving the
kids more.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you very much. I think we have about three minutes or so if anyone
has a question, if you don't mind entertaining questions.

    >> JEFF DIEDRICH: I was curious to hear what your thoughts were from your customers regarding the

   >> JENNIFER HILL: Most are concerned about the impact and the difference—I mean, how to balance
digital rights management and open source, you know what I mean? So those are the kinds of things that
we're going to start discussing with them. That's one of their biggest concerns. And then also, of course, the
copyright issues are concerns for them. So these are just things because they have traditionally been strictly
print publishers, they haven't really even ventured out into some of this.
   So those are the questions that they have. And we're going to be having ongoing discussions with them.

                                             2/5/2008                                                      24
   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Thank you.

    >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Any other questions?
    We must be doing a great job.
    You know, I was thinking about something from the meeting earlier this morning, and Steve Noble's
presentation that the NIMAS conversion tool has been enhanced now, and it's open sourced. But I want to tell
you that actually the thing I look forward to is killing it. I say that in part because of our history with Bobby.
When we first started developing Bobby to help improve awareness of web accessibility, it was our hope that
it would stimulate commercial development. And I am thinking about this in relation to the work of the
software developers and the publishers.
    And I hope the same is true of the commercial—of our conversion tool. That we'll get to a certain point
where the commercial development tools, or the commercial tools, will be of such quality that people won't be
very interested in our work anymore. They'll use those tools. And that they would be successful. That's our
hope. If you look now at the number of high-quality web accessibility tools, I feel like we're steering towards
that, but with Bobby you probably noticed they started charging a little bit so that others would have an
incentive to follow. Because if we always give it away for free it raises the question about—it raises the
question about is there a market here for someone who wants to invest?
    You know, Dave Schleppenbach and George and DAISY Consortium and some folks from CAST who has
been doing interesting work over the last—I lost track. It's more than six months. Almost a year with the idea
that DAISY Structured Guidelines that are used by developers and something like that, that is more NIMAS-
specific, will be useful in talking about this. In time it became apparent that DAISY Structured Guidelines
that were also good NIMAS-structured guidelines had NIMAS exemplars in them, would be a useful thing to
the market. And so we provided a small sub-contract to gh to get this work going. I have to say that you did
an awful lot of work for a small sub-contractor. And we're very much aware of that.
    But it was an interesting collaboration, and I will ask Dave to say a few words about that work.

   >> DAVID SCHLEPPENBACH: OK. We talked about this a little this morning, so I am going to keep
this short both because I don't want to repeat too much for people, and also so that we have time for our
voluntary realignment of blood sugar levels. Otherwise known as the cookie break. I think that Chuck
promised that if we're good he will let us leave the room this time.
   We talked a little bit about some of the difficulties with NIMAS mark-up, and maybe we could start to
think that what we did here is the cave paintings, OK? So we're trying to come out of the cave and into the
sunlight. You can't do that all at once. We have to take incremental steps to get to this goal.
   So this is our first incremental step. Maybe it could have been a bigger step, I don't know. But this sure
took longer than we all thought. But at least it's something.
   I am going to skip, again, sort of quickly, and we'll have a little bit of time at the end for questions. The
real problem here is that there are some limitations to what the NIMAC can do for us. It can give us some
technical guidance and certification of NIMAS files, but it can't really help us with stylistic or judgment-based
   And we need some other means to do this. The variety of content in K–12 educational materials is
staggering, and the requirements that are placed on accessible media producers to make decisions that are
largely value-based is pretty high.
   So we would like to try to help publishers to do as much of this pre-work as we can. After all, who better
to make decisions about pedagogical content than the publishers themselves?
                                            2/5/2008                                                      25
    So the goal here was to try to develop some additional means beyond just validation or completely
automated processes to help us with quality control for NIMAS files.
    And if we do this, we can ensure that mark-up is done in a way that will help identify structure and content
of the book and also help us with proper application of styles. This is critical not only for the publishers to
make their job cost-effective and easier to do, but also for the people making the accessible media, and
ultimately for the end-user. If I am a student that needs a word pronounced a certain way as I was talking
earlier about [with] someone, I need to know whether the word is pronounced red or read. I need to know if
the symbol for Mercury is a certain pronunciation and that sort of thing. This is all the stuff that has to be
marked up somewhere in the stream of the process. Whether the publisher does that, or if it's done in a value-
add step, it still has to be done.
We want to provide a consistent framework for these kinds of efforts to be done.
    So the Structure Guidelines project was a collaboration between AEP, CAST, and DAISY, and also we had
some participation from NEPS as well, and the goal of this was to try to bring everybody together on one
page. We can't solve the entire problem overnight, but we can come up with an initial step towards a concrete
table of examples that people can go to as a resource. If I want to mark up a History book or a Math book or
an English book, whatever kind of book, I can go on this Structured Guidelines site and find examples of how
I am to do it properly. If I am a state, [and] I have a problem with a NIMAS file, I need to determine what is
that problem related to? Is the NIMAS file marked up badly? I need to go and see. Maybe we can find
Is it missing content? That's a different kind of problem. Is there a problem with the certification process?
Maybe it's the wrong title or something. You know, there are different types of problems that can happen, and
publishers, because they have such complicated intricate and large-scale workflows, need to have a way to put
the window down to what is the real problem? So that should help in that process.
    The Structure Guidelines is what George likes to call the Chicago manual style. It's a document that shows
how to properly style and mark-up complicated information that has rich semantic meaning. And this is in a
review process right now in the DAISY web site. We're going to take a quick look at it in a second. Shortly,
this will become a fully-executed public [document], and we hope this is a first step or a Phase I that has many
subsequent steps to follow.
    I just want to mention that the reason this is important, without going into a lot of the technical information,
XML isn't just about the actual content. But it also is about the structure and the meaning of that content. So
it's not just text, but it's elements and attributes that together form a content model that gives that text
underlying importance or meaning. I might differentiate between different kinds of headings. In print, these
just have different colors, or different sizes. It's not really a big deal. But in a digital talking book they're
critical to the structure and navigation. In Braille they're critical to the formatting. Even in things like large
print they're important. They have to be printed in a certain font size and so forth.
    So all of these decisions can be assisted and semi- or even fully automated if the mark-up is done properly.
And the adage is garbage in, garbage out. If we make the input as high quality and consistent as possible, then
people who make conversion software, like Braille software, or talking books and so forth, they'll have an
easier time with things.
    OK. In NIMAS we have two different types of elements, and this is what makes this so complicated. We
have baseline elements for which we determined this morning we did a perfect job of selection except for one
    Well, it was probably more than one mistake, but we identified at least one this morning. And then we
                                             2/5/2008                                                       26
have optional mark-up elements. So if you are a publisher, your requirements legally, so to speak, is to mark
up information using, at a minimum, the baseline element set. However, some publishers, and actually many,
have chosen to do more than just the baseline. They have chosen to use optional elements, or even full
DAISY mark-up, which is great.
    So what happens when you have books coming in to the NIMAC or to states that are some full mark-up
and some baseline only? What if you are a publisher only doing baseline mark-up and yet the preferred
method requires the use of optional tags? We wanted to give instruction to those types of cases so that people
would have some guidance as to what to do.
    And, of course, publishers are free to do even more value-add mark-up for things like class attributes,
which are sort of like flavors to the actual mark-up. And this could include all sorts of value enhancements,
including things like pronunciation tags, or enhancements for Braille. DAISY has a group called Braille in
DAISY that's working on recommendations for attributes that publishers will use to help with the Braille
    So this document is a best-practices document: it tells people who read it how the industry feels the best
way to mark up specific cases are. And we have hundreds of cases. We'll hopefully continue to add to this
repository of examples as time passes. It's called the structure guideline process. It's similar in format to
Braille formatting rules or other rules for media production. The Chicago manual style, or Strunk and White's
handbook. These are the things in the same genre: It's really an accord where we're trying to agree what is the
best method and implementation of what is really a fairly complicated specification, and it's something that
can be used as a yardstick to measure quality by people like state-based consumers, or the NIMAC, or
publishers themselves.
    Once this file is marked up and has followed these structured guidelines, then theoretically conversion into
some sort of student-ready format becomes much easier. There are automated techniques that can be
developed to convert or at least semi-automatically convert in specialized formats. Some rendering agents like
DAISY players could actually display the information on the fly to students that needed a particular format,
like an audio book or a digital talking book.
    OK. Let me actually look at the Structure Guidelines. If you go to DAISY's site at, you can
find your way to the Structure Guidelines by going to the Z39.86 specification page.
    The 2008 revision has a number of changes. There is a forward specifically to address issues pertinent to
NIMAS. There are some NIMAS miscellaneous items which I will just touch on very briefly. You can see by
looking here, there is a table of contents that includes a number of different parts. Each part is meant to
address some major component of NIMAS. I'll just click on one particular part to show you what the format
of the document looks like.
    In this case, I picked elements. I can go down to a particular element I may have a question about. Maybe
acronym is one that I don't know how to employ. Under each example, the element is defined, and there is
expository text. And then we have a print page showing an example of the acronym or the problem element in
use, and in this case we're looking at acronyms.
    And then we have a code example, in this case the acronym is VA, showing the proper coding of that
element in context. And the specific element in question is highlighted, but the whole page is shown to give
you the context of the mark-up.
    And then finally there is a third section relevant for comments. In this case, acronym happens to be an
optional element. So a logical question is, gee, what do I do if I am not using optional elements? So we have
a technique if you are using only baseline elements, here is how you might handle this.
    There are other facets as well, for example, that you may have questions about how to apply the element in
                                           2/5/2008                                                     27
this expository text there.
   There are a couple of other sections that are of relevance in the Structure Guidelines. There is a
miscellaneous items section which is still being developed but has some issues cued up that were many of the
issues that Skip touched on earlier today.
   For example, we talked about image quality being a problem for bandwidth considerations and so forth. So
we have a section that just simply gives examples of various images, various qualities. You can judge for
yourself, is the quality loss a problem? Not a problem? What's the best way to utilize certain quality levels to
produce large print or tactile graphics, or whatever it may be. So these are meant to create discussion.
   One issue that comes up is the issue of text and images. And it may be clear in examples such as the one
that I have up now which is a map that has words on it, you know, that that all is meant to be grouped together
with the image with the words kind of contained within the image. On other images it may be less clear. One
of my favorites is the proverbial picture of a page. Certain elements of the page are labeled with text call-outs,
and so the logical question is does the text go with the image? Is the text separate from the image? Both?
Neither? Do we punt? Go for the safety? So we have to figure all of these things out.
   I also wanted to mention, Math can be a particular challenge. We had a lot of discussion earlier today
about MathML. When you are confronted with the textbook page which is the one I am showing on the
screen, if you were to employ the current fall-back approach, you may have 100 images for this one page
because there's 100 little equations on this page of homework problems in the Math book.
   Well, that's, although technically achievable, not a very practical method for production. The problem is
that there are very many good practical methods. We can use MathML, which is time-consuming, or encode it
using the separate-image approach, and then make sure that each image has the appropriate information
encoded along with it, which is time-consuming.
   We recommend, I, and I think that all of us agree, that the future use of MathML at the publisher level
where the print image can be generated from the publisher level simultaneously with the text information that
underlies that. That may have information that goes beyond accessibility in scope.
   I want to give you an example, although this is certainly an issue that we're dealing with, it's not impossible
to solve. And I mentioned this the last time that we were together, but I don't know that everyone in the room
followed my instructions and ordered a copy.
   So I will have to mention it again. Now, I know that all of you came to the meeting today just dying to
purchase a high school Chemistry textbook. I mean, I find on the plane ride what a great way to pass the time.
   Perhaps you have trouble sleeping in your hotel room. So American Chemistry Society has decided to take
the plunge, so to speak, and be what I think we see as the first publisher to produce a full DAISY version of
their premier Chemistry textbook, "Chemistry in the Community," and they did this voluntarily. No one
forced them to do it. It's a market-based solution that they feel is the best way to solve their particular
problem, which is that they have students who can't access their Chemistry book, so what do they do?
   So if you go to the web site to purchase the print version, you will see that for this Chemistry textbook,
which is really the gold standard in high school chemistry, the print version costs $78, or you can purchase the
digital talking book version for $100, about the same price. This was prepared in advance, it's suitable for
students with visual impairments, learning disabilities, a wide variety of different problems.
   We would love to see all publishers eventually adopt this model. And I think that the power of this market-
based solution is something that with help of things like NIMAS committee, DAISY's work, Structure
Guidelines, as these things converge, you will start to see this solution become the norm as opposed to the
                                            2/5/2008                                                      28
   OK. One other thing that I have to mention; we've talked a lot about the problems with Math. Perdue
University is in the middle of a formal study to try to help solve some of these problems, and they're working
on technologies involving automated conversion of Math into speech for students who can't read the
mathematics. If anyone is interested in participating in this study, let me know. You can get a small stipend
for the study, and maybe contribute to the vast knowledge of humanity in the realm of Math education. And
they'll be doing the study later on throughout the week. It takes about an hour of your time if you are
interested in participating.
   OK. Let me stop and take any questions before we get our blood sugar rush here.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you. And I do want to open the floor up for a few minutes for
   So a few of you are thinking, "That was a little too technical for the policy part of the talk."
   But, if you don't mind, Kathy McWhorter, you have gone through these with a fine tooth comb. From your
perspective, is this useful for someone in a state position?

   >> KATHLEEN McWHORTER: Well, I'm not a cavewoman, but I am a techno-guru. It's kind of very,
very helpful to hear both policy implementation and the technical aspects of it. I don't know for the other
folks, a lot of states where people are making the decisions in policy are not going to be manipulated by it. So
there is a real gap there. But every time that I hear a little bit more, it helps tremendously in the process in my

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: You do have a foot in both camps.


   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: You are not the only one, Kathy. I know it feels lonely out there.
   Were there any questions for Dave? George?

>> GEORGE KERSCHER: So, Dave, you made the statement that this was, you know, very complicated
stuff. Let me just say that what we've tried to do is create something that was as simple as possible. Now, as
Einstein said it should be as simple as possible but no simpler.
   The current open XML spec that's out for iso-review is 6,000 pages of technical information about an XML
spec. We've only got a lousy 82 tags. It's probably the simplest XML vocabulary that's in wide use in the
world today. So while it is technically difficult, we really are trying to keep it as simple as possible.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you, George.
   Right after our brief break, we're going to be a little more focused on what the TA Center ought to be doing
to better enable the states to do what they need to be doing, what the states need to be doing to enable the local
districts to be doing what they need to be doing, and thirdly, and Jeff is going to help us with this, what the
local districts need to be doing to ensure that kids are getting what they need when they need it, and in the
formats that are necessary and appropriate.
   So I‘m going to tie this together a bit this afternoon, and then come back tomorrow for some additional
                                             2/5/2008                                                      29
policy and implementation issues. But let's take a—at quarter past I would like to start, and if you don't mind
just taking a brief break, and then coming back, and we'll continue.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: OK. If you don't mind coming back to your tables.
   Grab yourself come coffee, and we'll get started. Thank you.
   Thank you. We're going to start now. Folks, if you could come back to the table. OK. I'd like to
introduce Jeff Diedrich from Michigan who is going to lead the next activity. And Jeff is not only associated
with Michigan, but can SLATE which is an organization which helps assistive technology at the state level.
And I thought maybe we should put him under the spotlight.
   So, Jeff?

>> JEFF DIEDRICH: Thank you. I think that it's because Chuck wants to sit down and eat some cookies.
But I wanted to start out with a quote that some of you may have heard from Gilda Radner. ―Some stories
don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the
moment and making the best of it, not knowing what's going to happen next.‖
   ―Delicious ambiguity.‖ I think that describes quite well where we're at with all of this stuff. And as
Bonnie said earlier, the only way we're going to clear up some of that delicious ambiguity is through working
together. So this afternoon for the next 45 minutes we're going to spend trying to clear up some of the
ambiguity. And Chuck mentioned that we have three questions to go over. Originally we were going to break
into groups. We're not going to do that. We want to include everyone in the room in the discussion. So
everyone is going to have an opportunity. We're going to roam around with a mic and spend about 10 minutes
on the question, and five minutes after for the report out.
   So the first question is, What can and should the NIMAS TA Center do to inform and enable our SEAs?
   So, again, just have some discussion. Let's have discussion for about five minutes amongst yourselves, and
then I will have you guys just—or actually, if you just want to shout out some things if you have ideas already,
we can do it that way as well. What do you want to do? Five minutes or start yelling?

   >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] Start yelling.


  >> KATHLEEN McWHORTER: I would like to know if there are in-state models that we can look at,
maybe not to mirror, but to use as a guide and starting point?

   >> JOY ZABALA: I think that's what you are supposed to be.
   That wasn't meant to be the answer to her question.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Am I supposed to be answering these questions? I didn't realize that. I didn't know
that was the deal.
   Say the question again. Yell it.

>> KATHLEEN McWHORTER: Are there any existing state models that could be encapsulated so that we
                                            2/5/2008                                                    30
can view the way different states are approaching the implementation.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Skip, do you want to talk [about] that?

   >> SKIP STAHL: Sure. I can jump in. All we can really point to at this point is what has existed
previously and what exists now. So I know for a fact that Kentucky has had a model of kind of internal
repository distribution, sharing of, you know, who has got what, alternate formats, and that's been up and
running six years, where are we at this point? Somewhere in there.

   >> LINNIE LEE: Five years.

    >> SKIP STAHL: Virginia is embarking on a state-wide system. Indiana is embarking on a state-wide
system. California has had quite an elegant accessible media center for primarily for K–6, I think. Does it go
all the way up? I'm not sure.
    And Texas has a model. So one of the problems is that you look at models and you start to say, well, what
are the variables? So what's the number of special education students in the State of Wyoming? Probably
similar to what exists in the State of Maine. Not that many kids in terms of volume. Looking at California
with identified IEPs, and Texas is similar, models in those states may not be transferable to a smaller rural
state. And then you've got states that are state adoption states in terms of textbooks, and you have states that
are open territory states. That changes the equation also.
    I am not saying that these are all reasons not to be looking at developing some models, but part of the AIM
Consortium initiative is really to begin to identify those models, and to make those models available. So
currently we can point in some direction, but I think it's customizing the model to kind of fit what your needs
are in Wyoming, which may more of a challenge.

   >> JOY ZABALA: I was only half kidding that it was you looking for the answer.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: OK. Any other thoughts on what the NIMAS TA Center could be doing to inform
and enable SEAs?

   >> RUTH ZIOLKOWSKI: I am going to keep going back to Bonnie and system change. I think that if we
don't do this with a vision of, really, student outcomes and pictures of what it looks like. So last week I was
with somebody, and it was this classroom of students all using—you know, some students had books, and
some students are using electronic, and they're all learning how to read. It's not even just about access, but it's
about student achievement. And the students are talking about how successful they were reading. And I think
that we need to start with that big, big vision of really what this is about because there is so much legislation
and everything to figure out. But we have to really keep our eye on the big, big picture.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: I agree. I think that we can get all of the ambiguity and all of the legislation if we
don't keep in mind that big picture we'll never get there. We need to, again, work hard to figure out the
problems, stumble along the way, and learn from one another to get there.

   >> SKIP STAHL: Jeff, can I ask Ruth a question? You are thinking about student stories?
                                             2/5/2008                                                      31
   >> RUTH ZIOLKOWSKI: Yeah, and videos. Keep that vision way up there. So we really look at what
we're trying to achieve here, and keep that as always going back to that. Because, again, I think that brings
people together, right? It's the common vision. And no one would say that's not what anyone would want to
see happen. You know, that's what we really all can come around so easily.

   >> SKIP STAHL: And maybe partially gathering existing resources. The one that jumps to mind is at
Reading Rockets—a marvelous video series called "A Chance to Read," and it's not got anything to do with us
and everything to do with us, because it aligns student needs with different approaches to reading and it tells
some of those stories, and really kind of showcasing some of those other existing resources would be really

   >> JOHN EISENBERG: I would really suggest that we—that you guys can partner with SLATE, and that
we begin to share for those of us that are actually building the ship at seas forms, policies, and procedures, the
things that take us as we sit in our little cubicles hours and hours to create, that we can then share in some of
those things that have headed down that path of development so that we're not recreating the wheel in terms of
the infrastructure piece that we can then adapt and make whatever your state-specific model will be.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: And, again, I think that's one of the goals for the AIM Consortium, but we need to
look broader than the AIM Consortium, and with SLATE and the NIMAS TA Center, that's a very good point
we need to share.
   Any other thoughts?

  >> BONNIE JONES: My thought is that since you think all three of those should work together, what an
opportunity to collaborate. Yes!

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: I don't know if I can work with Skip.

   >> SKIP STAHL: We'll have to iron that out. We have some differences.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Yeah.
   All right. Any other thoughts on what the TA Center can do to assist states?

   >> LINNIE LEE: Kind of piggybacking on what Ruth was saying with the big picture, even though we've
been at it quite a while in Kentucky, we still have 10% of our districts ordering 10% of our books that we have
available. So ramping it up so that everyone sees the need and can really grab on to this and what it can do for

   >> DONNA McNEAR: I would like to follow up on the discussion about, really, cross-state sharing. And,
Bonnie, maybe you can speak to this as well as I, but Bonnie and I were both involved for a number of years
in an OSEP-funded initiative on teacher quality—the center for teacher quality. And they had, really, several
strategies for cross-state sharing that I thought were very effective, such as shared work sites, you know, on
                                            2/5/2008                                                      32
the web site, and communities of practice. So just those factors that Skip was alluding to that make states very
different, yet with shared work sites and opportunities to post things that they're developing with the cross-
state sharing, states who maybe saw themselves as diverse from each other could actually learn from each
other and not duplicate work.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Thank you.

    >> JIM FRUCHTERMAN: So I want to kind of pose this as the ‗go beyond the engineers and the
lawyers.‘ One of the things that we've been doing is surveying people using our existing Bookshare sites, and
it was pretty much written by engineers and lawyers. Lots and lots and lots of words. People spent a lot of
time trying to figure out, what does this mean? So to echo what I have heard from Ruth and other people, one-
minute videos that says here is how a blind, Braille-reading kid uses a digital book, you know, and shows a
Braille display, and shows hard copy Braille. Or here is how an LD student uses a multi-modal feedback.
And I think that if people could watch one-minute You Tube videos, they would get a lot more than they
would get out of 5,000 words about why it's legal and all of the technical jargon.
As someone who wrote all of those technical core details.

    >> JEFF DIEDRICH: It kind of gave me thought. We broke these down to three questions, the TA Center
to the state, the states to the local, and the locals to enable educators to support students. And really what
we're talking about is all the same thing. So what the TA Center needs to provide is stuff that is readily usable
and beneficial to those LEAs and the educators that are implementing, and maybe we just need to crinkle
this—and I was part of developing these questions, but I have no problem throwing them away.

   >> JOY ZABALA: I thought that if I sat down I would get my hand raised. If we think about not just—
here is how someone that's buying this does this—but the purpose being traditionally-printed materials, and
then, this is how somebody does it. But I think that in the whole country right now there is a tremendous
emphasis on reading, and the idea that reading can be done in many ways with specialized formats for people
who require them. That if we stay in that specialized formats world, we really miss the link to everybody who
needs to understand.

   >> JOHN EISENBERG: Jeff, one more follow-up thing is just I was actually telling you in the hall,
NIMAS for administrators in state government is so low on the totem pole in terms of what's going on, but
much like everything else, NIMAS and accessible texts is a wonderful way of integrating into major federal
and state initiatives, like your state performance plan, looking at student outcomes, is that we haven't made
that connection. And maybe that's one of the things that you all could help us do is look at some of those
types of links so that our supervisors will pay attention instead of having this be a separate thing, it's an
integrated thing.

   >> DIANE CORDRY GOLDEN: I am going to follow up exactly with that. I have asked Joy to come in
and try to connect electronic text with response to intervention, tiers of intervention, all of the buzzwords that
DOE people are listening to, everybody in the local district level and SEA level. Unless you make that
connection for them and get them to understand how e-text will support those tiers of intervention, RTI,
whatever it is they're calling it, you know, all of these initiatives, you've got to make that connection or else it
                                              2/5/2008                                                       33
is, it's just too low on the totem pole. The other thing I would caution is when I use the word "NIMAS" it's
blind and that's it. I can't get anybody to get out of that, and it's the whole word "NIMAS and NIMAC" that's
been associated with blind, and to try to uncouple that and to get it into a larger context of e-text and flexible
curricula and response to intervention and the differentiated instruction and things that they understand and
apply to a whole lot of kids, and it will impact their drop-out rate, and it will impact their SPP factors and all
of that sort of thing.
    That's the connection that we've got to make somehow to get it higher on the priority list.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: I saw a couple of hands raised. Any other comments? Vicki?

   >> VICKI HERSHMAN: I will just add to that piece also that I agree with them. The other piece is the
monitoring and compliance. And if we could get some assistance with that on how states look at monitoring
and compliance, it would also help us elevate us on the totem pole.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: So to put some of the NIMAS and accessible instruction materials-related issues
into the monitoring so that districts are held accountable and states look at it in more depth?

   >> VICKI HERSHMAN: (Indicating affirmatively.)

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Any other comments on NIMAS TA Center?

   >> RUTH ZIOLKOWSKI: It's interesting because I think that we have an interesting opportunity in that
RTI was just mentioned. And I think that it's one of the big areas, and I know that the publishers are saying
we're not interested in broadening the definition of Chafee, it's that LD population that everyone is struggling
with what to do with. And in light of RTI, you know, that throws in a whole new ballgame, right? Because
right now there are new ways to identify students, and it's really about a response to intervention. So I think
that another thing that we could really do is look at the research, some of the things that have been done. Is it
truly an intervention? What kind of research can we pull together and do a research synthesis to show that this
could possibly be categorized as an intervention at some level.
And then we can think about it maybe in a whole different way.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Skip?

   >> SKIP STAHL: I had a suggestion that I made to Chuck, which turns out to be to myself as well. But it
was the question that was raised earlier about some states that are requesting RTF files in addition to or in lieu
of NIMAS filesets. And one of the challenges that we have is that if you ask—often ask someone at the local
level what they want, they want something that will work either to extend what they're doing immediately, you
know, right then, or something that works with the software that they currently have that they've used before.
   So it's either a MicroSoft Word document, in some cases it's a PDF, or in some cases it's an RTF file. And
a lot of those requests go back to publishers and say, "Well, this NIMAS stuff is well and good, but what we
really want is a Word document, and what we really want is a RTF."
   And so there is this resistance at almost every level that can occur. And I think that some of the work that
we need to do is figure out a strategy for some sort of dialogue with those state entities that are kind of
                                             2/5/2008                                                      34
pushing back. And there is technology that can help this in the short-term. You can take a NIMAS fileset and
de-render it, essentially down-render it into a RTF file which always makes George groan.

   >> GEORGE KERSCHER: (Groaning)

   >> SKIP STAHL: It's kind of like taking the car and turning it into a horse. So it's probably not the best
strategy. Which is nothing against people that like horses. But I think that maybe we ought to, as a center,
figure out a strategy for having dialogue with those states, and coming up with a solution.
   So it's something that I would certainly ask the forbearance and the expertise of those of you in this room to
help to figure out a strategy for approaching that as well.

   >> JAY DISKEY: Skip, if I can chime in on that.

   >> SKIP STAHL: Yep.

   >> JAY DISKEY: Most states requesting NIMAS files are not looking at anything else. We are really
using the economies of scale. Obviously the population to be served. So I certainly agree that—and these
costs are passed along. I can't tell you to what degree. The Association doesn't get into the business practice
of each member, but these costs are being passed along. I think that whatever we can do collectively as you
see state legislation, I think that a lot of these things can be corrected. But it's not getting off to a great start
with that and a number of other issues.
   Think that any of us envisioned—those of us who fully supported NIMAS envisioned a system where
NIMAS would simply be one more format that would be submitted by a publisher. Nothing like that at all.

   >> SKIP STAHL: Right.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: And I agree. I can say in Michigan we're getting some push-back from districts who
are very comfortable using a file other than NIMAS. And again I think that it goes to a systems change. I
think that it's a paradigm shift, and, you know, again in the—Chuck mentioned earlier that we're working with
Dean and in his research he talks about the stages of implementation. And what we oftentimes do is we go
from exploration where we find something new, NIMAS, all the way down and we skip about four steps and
we go to innovation. And when we do that there's no paradigm shift because what we're doing is we're taking
that new thing and we're making it fit our existing paradigm. So there is ultimately no change.
   So I think that one of the things that the TA Center can do again, it goes back to what Ruth said, which is
we need examples of perhaps videos of students, but focus on students who are using and benefitting from the
NIMAS filesets out there, and show districts what they're capable of.
   Way in the back.

    >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] I am curious and intrigued by some of this conversation because it strikes me
that the fundamental difference here is people perhaps not understanding that NIMAS is a means to an end,
and that the end is the RTF, the accessible HTML, so maybe people are not quite aware that there are options
from companies like mine and Bookshare and so on to take the NIMAS files and convert those that would
ultimately be a student readable format. So when someone goes to Jay's company and sayS, I need aN RTF,
what they are saying they need something from the student, and they're looking for guidance of how to get to
                                              2/5/2008                                                         35
that point where Jay's company has taken these people. So I figure like one of the things that Can be done is
to kind of raise the level of awareness of how we get from NIMAS, this thing that we've been working toward,
to that last mile, the student-level materials.
I would be interested in feedback.

   >> RUTH ZIOLKOWSKI: At some point I think that ATIA can probably try to help the communication
mechanism, because it's mostly the AT tools that are out there in those different formats, and the more that
they come together. And I think that we just need to educate people that even the history of how this came to
be, that it was a group of people all the way back to national file format, so people understand that it's thought
through and maybe we need to help educate some of the other file formats. We can see how maybe ATIA can

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: We can do that with SLATE as well. The more organizations it's coming from the

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: I wanted to add that I think that one of the key reasons that some significant
number of states or local providers have asked for rich text is because the NIMAS fileset has not been
available. It's only recently that that door has been opened wider now. So I think that most of the benefits for
the NIMAS and the conversions that are possible and incentive for the publishers is really ahead of us still.
And it's really through the drought of the last year and a half or so that folks have said, well, then we're not
sure that we're ever going to get these files, so we might as well ask for what we've always asked for.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: All right. We're blurring the lines a little bit here, but do I want to talk about what
the SEAs can provide locals, and then what the locals can provide the educators at the classroom level.
   So we can just shift a little bit. Again, there is going to be significant overlap. But what should the SEAs
be doing to provide LEAs guidance? With regard to NIMAS.

    >> DONNA McNEAR: I think one of the things is to think about who the stakeholders are in the LEAs.
It's parents, it's teachers, it's administrators who make decisions about money. They are really important for
me, that they stay knowledgeable.
    And I think if we think about the stakeholders and then what Jim said previously about presenting
information in multimedia formats, think about how we have a lot of stakeholders where English is their
second language, and think about the diversity of stakeholders, that if we inform people with multimedia—I
remember a number of years ago when I said to—when Jim was explaining to me about DAISY and stuff, and
this was, you know, years ago, and I just finally looked at him and I said, "You have to do DAISY for
Dummies, because I—"
    I couldn't follow him. And my peers are—now, I've come along.
    And rooms full of people like this on and off through the years. But my peers in the trenches have not
been, and they don't get it. So when you think about the parents and the—

   >> JIM FRUCHTERMAN: I did mention that, after that I registered "NIMAS for Dummies," and I got a
                                            2/5/2008                                                      36
nasty letter from the Dummies publishing series. So I gave it up.

   >> GEORGE KERSCHER: Jim, I did the same thing.

   >> Jim, our new publisher works for that series, so I will work on that.

   >> DONNA McNEAR: So thank you.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: You know, one of the challenges as well is, you know, with NIMAS being available
for a relatively small set of students, when you go out and you talk to parent groups, and then you explain that
this is intended for this group of students versus this group of students, there tends to be the looks of, Why?
―That doesn't make any sense.‖ They don't understand the complexities of it. And then when you start to
explain the complexities of it they go, "Forget it" and they go back to, ―I want my RTF,‖ or go to where
[they‘ve] been getting the files previously, or converting it, and hopefully not eliminating the option
altogether. But I think that's a challenge that we need to address at the state level as to how we can
disseminate this information in a way that is understandable, makes it clear which students are going to benefit
from the NIMAS files.
And I know in the legislation it's broader than the NIMAS files. But—yes?

    >> RICHARD ROBISON: To build on that, PTI is a group across the country that—PTI is parent
training—and we're always interacting with parent questions. And I would say that the parents probably come
from two perspectives. One, they're primarily retail consumers. And when you start talking about source file
and all of the stuff behind the scenes, it makes no sense; what they want is the book and the materials for their
child, now. And the parents are also advocates, which means they want it now!
    And, ―What do you mean? What do you mean it's only for this amount of people?‖ So until we've
wrestled with that here, until we've figured out a marketing plan and resolved some of the issues around
accessibility, you know, through a business model, it's really frustrating to tell people that this is now part of
the law. And also by the fact that it is under IDEA, there are certain expectations that being part of the law is
an entitlement. So you have a series of things that people understand, and a series of things that people don't
understand. I think that we really need to be much more creative and much more sophisticated with the
approach to professionally develop for teachers, parent education, and how this can reach people at the LEA

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: George?

   >> GEORGE KERSCHER: So, first of all, I think we need to harmonize the word "NIMAS" and the
DAISY XML. To think that they are two different things is not good for anybody.
   So NIMAS is a quality standard. You know, you can't just call it a NIMAS or DAISY file. That doesn't
meet the Structure Guidelines. So the NIMAS sets this quality standard. But what it is, is DAISY XML. So
we want to harmonize that.
   I know there are a lot of companies, ATIA vendors that have products that go from Word to DAISY
products, but one of the companies has a beta out of Save As DAISY in MicroSoft Word, and it works for
                                            2/5/2008                                                      37
Office 2000, 2003, and Office XP, and it produces valid DAISY XML right now. They've got a lot of work to
do on it, but it's moving forward.
    So here you've got a toolbar that has Save As PDF out of your publishing system—your publishing system
like Word, and right next to it is Save As DAISY. You've got a PDF which is great for people who can see it,
and you've got DAISY for people who want to do a version of that. I think that we need to move and focus in
that direction. Now, that Save As DAISY function in MicroSoft Word, if you click on that document, you
would save, and it opens in any web browser and displays right now.
    Now, it's not perfect. But you've got free viewing of that content in a form that people will understand.
Everybody will. Parents, teachers, and the kids can use it with their access technologies. It's not ultimately
what we want. We want to be able to take that document that was saved out and still use it as the raw material
for the pertinent product. But I think that we've got a real opportunity from a marketing perspective to clarify
what this is because they can take this Word document, save it, and look at it right now. Nobody looks at the
HTML underneath the HTML document. You don't need to look at that stuff underneath the DAISY
document because you just view it. I think that we've got an opportunity to harmonize things there. But I
don't think that Save As DAISY for MicroSoft is the ultimate solution.
It needs more work after that. But it's—you know, they're committed to producing a good product.

   >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] I would just like to follow up with George. George, I went to a workshop
on Kurzweil, and there we learned how the written word can just be converted into the auditory language. So
where would the advantage be if I were trying to sell products to my folks in my state, would I be better off
saying pick and choose? Or I would be better off saying get a Kurzweil for each machine?

   >> GEORGE KERSCHER: So this gets into how we read. When you are using the screen reader you are
talking about all kinds of kids. You are using access technology. I think that all of the kids need to learn how
to use access technology screening readers, the computers and all of the kids need to know it flat out. That's a
categorical statement. But when you use a screen reader to access windows, you are using a piece of
technology that gets in the way of the user interface. It gets in the middle of it. So it's very abstract. It's not
simple. It's not a simple experience.
   Similarly with all of the different technologies. Now, what we've got the ability to do is to take this content
in DAISY XML and move it into a reading system that is drop-dead easy for the kids to use. You first have to
get kids to be able to read and get an education, and learn how to use the computer which is the springboard
into life, OK?
   So we do this in developing countries as well. The first thing that people have to have is access to
educational materials. And the DAISY technology anD DAISY reading systems that you can see on the floor
of the conference, and a lot of the software applications, are intended to make it drop-dead easy and not seven
layers of complexity to get at.
   So I think that we have to provide these materials to the students in a form that's really, really, really easy to
use. And we don't have to make them work to make the book for themselves.

   >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] You mean, it can go on like an MP3 player or something?

   >> GEORGE KERSCHER: DAISY, if it's unprotected—

   >> JOY ZABALA: There is a lot of discussion here.
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   >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] I can talk to you out in the hall.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: We've got eight more minutes, so, Vicki?

    >> VICKI HERSHMAN: I would like to go back to what the SEAs can do to inform the LEAs, and maybe
this would have impact on the TA Center. But this is a—NIMAS is a special education initiative. And we
found in Indiana, and I think that it's true in other states, that if we don't make a general education initiative,
we're never going to get higher. We're going to stay with the percentages that Linnie is looking at. We have
to find a way, not only the SEA levels, like bringing in the superintendent inside of the room with special
education, but we also have to look at those folks who decide curriculum development, instructional
technology folks, those folks who support those educational entities. If we are not finding some ways. And I
think that as states we need ideas on how to do that.
Maybe that's something else that the TA Center can help states do.

   >> MARY ANN SILLER: Well, just to add on to that, I think that it's been said a couple of times, but I
don't think that we can say it enough. The information and series of using our technology to enhance
ourselves is extremely important. So maybe doing workshops once a year that we need to consider really
harnessing what we have out there, like talking communities, and using that kind of thing where a series
continuously happens in the state, that teachers can go on to 45 minutes to an hour, superintendents, can but
really think of a system and use to harness technology that we have. And so we personally have to be there in
that district. We can offer this through some really creative ways. Which the talking communities is
accessible, very accessible, because of George who is blind and has been through the process.
So I think that harnessing new ways in creating a series of training systems would be really important.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Thank you.

   >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] Yes. I just wanted to comment on this question about how states can form
and enable their LEAs. I am sorry, I am Chris from the State of Utah.
   I don't want to mean to be simplistic here, but I know that all means all. But as we look at someone
commented how it's a low priority for our LEAs, and I think that that's true, and as we look at that, we've got
to have some people—some LEAs who get it, who want to be part of it, and they have kids who need it. As
soon as they have kids who need it, then we're the angels of America.
   So it's nice to be able to work with those people and then they will be our examples for those who are
coming in a little later. And so I think that we need take advantage of those people that will work and that
want to work, and not feel bad that we're failing because we don't have everybody on board. So that was my
   And I also wanted to give you just a little acronym: BALD, Braille, audio, large print, digital.

   >> SKIP STAHL: Watch it with those acronyms.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Diane?

                                             2/5/2008                                                      39
    >> DIANE CORDRY GOLDEN: I was thinking and kind of following up on some of these other
thoughts. Some of the things that the TA Center might do that would be helpful is reach out across to gen. ed.
at a national level, National School Board Association, I don't know what the comparable organization is for
curriculum instruction people, but it's those same sorts of groups. We've had some success at a state level with
our school board's Association, but I have had zero success with our business officers, and those are the people
that buy textbooks. And I can't get anywhere with that organization, and I don't know if they have a national

   >> SKIP STAHL: Which? I'm sorry?

   >> DIANE CORDRY GOLDEN: The school business officials. Those are the people that buy the texts.
They're the procurement people in school. And I have struck out with them at a state level completely. So I
don't know if they have a national organization, but if the national organization sends something down to my
state, so that they might listen to me, so maybe you guys can make some of those connections at a national
level that would help us then at a state level make those same connections more easily.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: And I just want to follow up on what Chris said, not about the BALD acronym, but
this is about the kids. The legislation says definitely any kid that requires accessible instructional materials,
we are obligated to provide that. And so we need to look broader than the files from the NIMAC, but I think
that—now I forget where I was going with that.

   >> DIANE CORDRY GOLDEN: I'll follow up on that because I was thinking this as part of the
discussion, too.
The whole discussion about outreach to parents and districts, I have had that same experience of it's a double-
edged sword. You cannot get out there and offer something that you can't deliver or offer something that
sounds like a panacea, and then you pull the rug out from under people. You lose all credibility, and they
completely will shut you out. So it's really a delicate balancing act to put on the special ed. hearing officer hat
and kind of legal hat. It's a real balancing act to talk to local districts to try to get them excited about this
when you are telling them that there are so many restrictions, and yet they are obligated, you know, copyright
law be damned, they're obligated to provide these books. And those are people that come to their doors and
sue them.
So it's really difficult to package this to raise awareness without shooting yourself in the foot at the same time.
And I don't know—

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Actually, you've jogged my memory.
   And it's something that Joy and I have had several discussions [about] through the AIM Consortium. You
know, we need to do a very good job at the SEA level of providing the professional development series about
which kids benefit from which formats, you know, those types of issues that, to create the need at the local
level, to have them push for it, and that, I think, will lead to, obviously, kids getting what they need. But also I
think that it supports the market model from the publishing viewpoint. You know, if we don't create that need,
publishers aren't going to create something where there isn't a need. If we can create that need through the
professional development and showing the benefit, which was Ruth's idea of exemplars and everything else,
then I think that's the way we're going to change the system.
                                             2/5/2008                                                       40
That's the way we're going to change the paradigm. That's the way that we're going to change the way things
are today.

   >> RUTH ZIOLKOWSKI: I want to echo what Diane is saying. We just need to look at those
organizations, and I would identify three. Curriculum is really ASCD. Then there is the reading side of that,
so IRA, International Reading Association, and because they are actually not a fast group to get on board with
technology in general, so that will be one of our challenges. And then the third one is the textbook adoption.
That helps our textbook adoption states, but I don't know if the non-adoption states follow that. But at some
point, it's like, how do we get them to sit down at this table? I think that the publishers being here, that's how
we've got collaboration and excitement and, you know, so really until we get people here to be advocates from
those groups, we're probably going to be hitting our heads against the wall.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: We have 30 seconds to address the third and most crucial point and the most
difficult point of this, so don't everybody yell out all their ideas at once.
   I think that this will have to be tabled for the day, unless everybody wants to stay around. Addressing
LEAs, helping them to support their individual classroom teachers.

   >> DONNA McNEAR: I can say something that's a follow up to Diane on number 3?

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Sure.

   >> DONNA McNEAR: One of the things that I heard in the dialogue on this whole issue is the decision-
making at the individual student level, at the IEP level. The field of vision impairments, because this is what
we do, has a long history of making decisions around specialized formats for students with vision
impairments. But what I see missing, and it's a big bubble out there, is how all educators make decisions
around kids outside of the VI field with print disabilities, and I think that we need to have a dialogue around
what the evaluation looks like, what are the factors that determine specialized formats with print disabilities,
how you go about making IEP decisions.

   >> VICKI HERSHMAN: Hello. I just will reference the podcast that Joy has done using SETT
Framework and looking at addressing the print accessibility.

   >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] I realize that I have a new soap box. I am from the University of Wisconsin,
but we need to inform our up-and-coming teachers of these ways that they can be teaching their students,
because these are the leaders of tomorrow that we're caring for with our work. If we're going to let them to
continue to be educated in the caveman way, when they enter the schools, those are the people that will carry
our torch. So we need to take it to that level also.

   >> JOY ZABALA: I think that as I listen to this, and I was listening to what George was saying about
saving as a DAISY file and that kind of thing, that one of the things that comes to my mind, and I think that
this has to do with while we're developing this system, which obviously just doesn't happen in one second,
while we're developing this system that makes all of these connections, that we still have to remember that
implementing NIMAS is a part of implementing accessible instructional materials. And while we may have to
                                            2/5/2008                                                      41
say right now this child under how we're working right now does not qualify to use files from the NIMAC, or
NIMAS files from the NIMAC, we can still look at, OK, so how do we address providing specialized formats,
or instructional materials that are accessible to this child right now?
Because that's also what we are required to do, so that sort of kicking that piece up a notch. Not diminishing
at all implementation of NIMAS, but making sure that we're looking at NIMAS as a means to provide
accessible instructional materials, but not the sole means by which we can provide accessible instructional

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Right.

   >> JOY ZABALA: A really good one.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: A very good one, yes.
   Any other comments or questions, suggestions?

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you.

   >> JEFF DIEDRICH: Thank you.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Thank you very much, Jeff. Jeff is just off TRLD, is that right, on the West
Coast? Thank you for making it back, and for leading this conversation.
   We're just about to wrap up for the day. But I do want to remind you that at 5:30, or from 5:30 until 7:00,
there is a product showcase in Curacao 7/8. 7/8 at the other end of the hallway, I believe. Does anyone know
for sure where it is?

   >> [AUDIENCE MEMBER:] It's at the end and other side of the building.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: The other side of the building. I don't know if you can register for ATIA at
that time or if it will be open.

   >> SKIP STAHL: I would say probably, because their pre-conference is tomorrow.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: I think that you might be able to.
   And then tomorrow we're going to start the meeting at 9:00 a.m. Joy will have a chance to talk a little bit
about the AIM Consortium, and we've asked Donna to say a little bit about CMAP, right?

   >> DONNA McNEAR: Correct.

   >> CHUCK HITCHCOCK: Another project funded by OSEP to support implementation in the territories
and freely-associated states. There will be a general conversation that doesn't have a facilitator right now, so it
must be me.
   And AFB and ATIA will have an opportunity to share a few comments from their partner perspective, and
Jim Fruchterman will have a chance to talk a little bit about the new OSEP-funded initiative that Bookshare
                                             2/5/2008                                                      42
 B4E, books for education. And I wanted to have a chance for the national level accessible media producers
 like Bookshare, RFB&D, and so Jim is on the docket again, but representing a generic Bookshare, and then
 Julia for APB, and figure out how to wrap up the loose ends, and our work will be done tomorrow afternoon at
 noontime. And then there will be an AIM meeting which is really for AIM members in the afternoon. So
 thank you very much for today, and please remember to come to the reception. Thank you.

                                                    * * * * *
This document is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART)
is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the

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