Accessible From the Start

Accessible from the Start = all students can engage and have access to the same information


About the Instructional Materials Center

Accessible Learning Materials

Our Programs & Resources

Our Services

Our Staff

About the Instructional Materials Center (IMC)

The Library and Instructional Materials Center provide student materials in accessible formats and assistance with accessibility.  Our focus is ensuring that materials and learning resources are accessible from the start for Iowa students.

The Library and the Instructional Materials Center (IMC)

The Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) is an Authorized Media Producer in Iowa for braille, large print, audio, and electronic text formats.

The Library and the Instructional Materials Center (IMC) at the IDB assist students and others with their textbook, research, and career needs. The IMC works in partnership with the Department of Education (DOE), Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs), classroom teachers, para-educators and families to supply accessible instructional materials in a timely manner. Our Library is a regional library for the National Library for the Blind and Print Disabled allowing Iowans access to a nationally developed collection of materials in alternative formats including; braille, large print and audio.

Accessible Learning Materials

  • Schools and classrooms are increasingly using more digital technologies and all students need equal access to learning
  • We want to avoid schools relying on parallel delivery systems or on costly and difficult accommodations
  • There are benefits of producing or purchasing materials that are accessible from the start:
    • Content and the delivery method are both accessible
    • It supports inclusion – students with disabilities can access general education curriculum using the same materials, provided at the same time as all students
    • Benefits all students’ learning – many supportive features can benefit a wide range of students
    • Benefits teachers – making it easier to plan instruction when all students use the same accessible flexible materials
    • Reduces costly accommodations – schools don’t have to provide different sets of materials or accommodations of inaccessible materials
Steps You Can Take
  • Incorporate accessibility into your purchasing policies and practices
  • If you are entering into contracts, include language about accessibility
  • Give draft examples of language for digital and print materials (see handout)
  • Create lessons, units, curriculum, and activities that are accessible
What if accessible materials are not readily available?
  • The Library and the Instructional Materials Center can help! 
  • See our information under “Our Programs & Resources” and “Our Services & Staff”

Our Programs & Resources

  • Transcription Services (Braille, Large Print, Electronic Text and Audio)
    • Four NLS certified Braillists on staff, one with Nemeth and Proofreading certification
  • Alternative format experts on staff
    • Instructional Materials Center librarians to research and find materials quickly
  • Large library collection of materials in alternative formats
  • Coming Soon!  Braille Embosser Loaner Program
  • Accessibility
  • Universal Design
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Learning Management Systems
Online Resources
Youth Programs

Our Services

  • Provide training and educational resources to schools, organizations, and individuals
  • Assistance with accessibility and Learning Management Systems, such as, Google Classrooms and Canvas
  • Open Educational Resources Accessibility Assistance
  • Universal Design Training
  • Braille Resources and Training
  • Braille, Large Print, Electronic Text and Audio Transcription Services
  • Assistance in locating materials in alternative formats
  • Reference and information assistance

Our Staff

Library and Instructional Materials Center Points of Contact

Braille Production

Large Print and Audio Production

  • Marcella Edmonds, 515-452-1341,

Accessibility Services

Youth Services and Programs

Library Services