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NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) is a US technical standard used by publishers to produce XML that is used to develop specialized formats for students with print disabilities. The various specialized formats generated from NIMAS file set include Braille, large print, digital texts and audio books.


The client was a publishing company with years of experience creating engaging and effective resource materials for science teaching and learning, including UK A Levels, International Baccalaureate, and AP Biology. The company is renowned for its user-engaging design with a strong visual appeal made available in textbooks around the world.

The Project and KGL Solution

Because the textbooks were being adopted in US, the client needed to submit the NIMAS file set for the textbooks to the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC), per the state and local education agencies. The client was new to this requirement and approached KnowledgeWorks Global Ltd (KGL) for a solution. The KGL team briefed the client on the complete process for NIMAS file creation and submission, which includes understanding the following:

  1. The need to create NIMAS file set
  2. Registration and setting up account with NIMAC
  3. NIMAC guidelines for publishers, NIMAS specification and metadata requirements
  4. Image descriptions
  5. Submission to NIMAC and certification process

KGL handled the complete process from NIMAS file set creation to submission to NIMAC and certification of the files. The team adeptly handled all queries from the publisher in consultation with the NIMAC contact.

The submission to NIMAC requires metadata information for each book, so metadata sheets were created ensuring all mandatory information was captured accurately. The books were carefully evaluated to identify images that would need descriptions; and meaningful descriptions were created by KGL Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and included in the XML. The image descriptions were also provided as a separate deliverable to the client for future reuse or repurposing in other products. The NIMAS files were verified to pass NIMAC validation and submitted to its repository.  The files were then accepted and certified by NIMAC. The complete process was handled by KGL on behalf of the publisher.

The project was completed on time and the client was immensely pleased with KGL’s work and professionalism. KGL is now a trusted partner to the client for ongoing NIMAS needs and other business.

“Thank you for this in-depth information and alt text! This is fantastic for us to not only understand the NIMAS conversion process but also what we can expect from the output files.”

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