Guidance and Resources

Assistive Technology

Published: 6/5/2024 10:34 AM

​​​This page provides resources related to assistive technology, which includes any device, software or equipment that helps people work around their challenges.​​


​Kentucky Accessible Materials Database (KAMD)

In 2002, the Kentucky Senate passed Senate Bill 243, which required that any publisher of a textbook adopted for use in K-12 public schools provide those textbooks in an accessible electronic format in order to assist schools in meeting their obligation to provide equal access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities. SB 243 also established the need for facilitating the timely delivery of accessible materials to schools. 
To accomplish this, the Kentucky Accessible Materials​ Database (KAMD) was established in October 2003 (KRS 156.027​). The KAMD is managed by the University of Louisville’s School Research Partnership​. The mission of the KAMD includes:
  • To serve as a state repository for accessible materials
  • To disseminate accessible materials to authorized users
  • To develop and implement effective tracking systems to maximize copyright protection
  • To provide training and technical assistance to member agency staff on accessible technology tools and the use of accessible content
  • To prepare and provide National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) files in a student-ready format
  • To assist with awareness efforts and the development of materials to increase consumer understanding and use of accessible digital materials
Between 2003 and 2010, the KAMD filled requests for approximately 2,000 digital textbooks, issuing approximately 275 new files each academic year.  On average, these textbooks reach nearly 70 school districts each year.
In July 2006, Kentucky’s vision of increasing “the availability and timely delivery of print instructional materials in accessible formats to blind or other persons with print disabilities in elementary and secondary schools” (34 CFR Part 300, National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard; Final Rule, FR Doc. 06–6340 Filed 7-18-06) was realized when the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) was published in the Federal Register at the Library of Congress by the U. S. Office of Special Education (OSEP). With this official posting of the NIMAS, accessible instructional materials have become part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA). 

Eligibility to Receive Digital Textbooks

Since each state is required to provide oversight regarding the distribution and use of these digital files, the KAMD provides K-12 Kentucky public schools a way to find out what instructional materials are available in digital format and allows schools to order the digital materials for use by qualified students with disabilities. In addition to the review and distribution of these digital textbooks, the KAMD provides training and technical assistance to publishers and schools regarding file preparation and the use of accessible instructional materials in the classroom.

Qualified students with disabilities are those who meet the definition as described by the Library of Congress and referenced in IDEA 2004:

The Library of Congress regulations (36 CFR 701.6(b)(1)) related to the Act to Provide Books for the Adult Blind (approved March 3, 1931, 2 U.S.C. 135a) provide that blind persons or other persons with print disabilities include:
  • Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses, or whose widest diameter if visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
  • Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material.
  • Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.
  • Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.
Competent authority is defined in 36 CFR 701.6(b)(2) as follows:
  • In cases of blindness, visual disability, or physical limitations ‘‘competent authority’’ is defined to include doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents).
  • In the case of a reading disability from organic dysfunction, competent authority is defined as doctors of medicine who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.
Note: This federal regulation is available in a table form on the Digital Textbook Eligibility page of the KAMD website.  

​Accessible Books - Digital - Large Print - Braille

APH - Accessible Media Producers Database
Phone: (800) 223-1839, ext. 705
AMP is a directory for locating accessible media producers of formats such as braille, tactile graphics, large print, e-files and audio.
APH - LOUIS Database
Phone: (800) 223-1839, ext. 705
APH email
Named in honor of Louis Braille, the database assists educators, administrators and those who are visually impaired in efficiently locating accessible books and materials.
APH - Tactile Graphic Image Library
Phone: (800) 223-1839, ext. 705
APH's Tactile Graphic Image Library (TGIL) contains a pool of well-designed templates to aid with the creation of tactile graphics.
Bookshare – Online Library of Digital Books
Phone: (650) 352-0198
Bookshare provides the world’s largest online library of accessible reading materials for people with print disabilities.
KAMD - KY Accessible Materials Database
Phone: (502) 564-4970 (KDE – ask for a exceptional children consultant)
KIMRC - KY Instructional Materials Resource Center
A Statewide Resource for Blindness/Visual Impairments
Phone: (502) 897-1583 ext. 7117
The Kentucky Instructional Materials Resource Center (KIMRC) provides textbooks in braille and large print and other educational materials needed by students who are blind and visually impaired for use in local school programs.
Kentucky Talking Book LibraryPhone: (800) 372-2968 or (502) 564-​5791
Fax: (502) 564-5773
The Kentucky Talking Book Library (KTBL) provides free library service to Kentuckians with a visual or physical disability which prevents them from reading standard print.
Learning Ally
Phone: (800) 221-4792
Learning Ally provides textbooks professionally recorded. Over 75,000 titles are currently available; other titles may be recorded upon request.

NIMAC – National Instructional Materials Access Center
Phone: (502) 899-2230 or (877) 526-4622
The NIMAC is a federally-funded, national file repository that makes NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) files available to states for the production of accessible formats for students with print disabilities.


Marcie Bridges
Office of Special Education and Early Learning
Division of IDEA Implementation and Preschool
300 Sower Blvd., 4th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4970 x 4143 ​​

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