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4321.6 Availability of Alternative Format Instructional Materials for Students with Disabilities

  • 4000: Instruction
4321.6 Availability of Alternative Format Instructional Materials for Students with Disabilities

(This policy replaces previously approved Board of Education Policy #6161.2)

Chapter 377 of the Laws of 2001, effective April 2002, requires each school district to develop a plan to ensure that all instructional materials to be used in the schools of the district are available in a usable format for students with disabilities as recommended on their individual education programs (IEPs) and for students requiring alternate formats as defined in Section 504 Accommodation Plans.

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure that all the instructional materials used in the District’s schools are made available in a usable alternative format for students with disabilities in accordance with their individual educational needs and course selection at the same time as those materials are available to non-disabled students. In accordance with applicable law and regulations, any such alternative format procured by the District will meet the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard.

For purposes of this policy, alternative format will mean any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, other than a traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a student with a disability enrolled in the District, including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file. An electronic file must be compatible with at least one alternative format conversion software program.

The Superintendent, or his/her designee, will develop a plan to ensure the availability of alternative format materials in accordance with the timeliness requirements of this policy. The plan shall include the following steps:

  1. The District will review procurement procedures to provide a preference in the purchase of instructional materials from vendors agreeing to provide instructional materials to the District in an alternative format, whether such purchases are solicited through RFP, bid request for quotations, or some other source.
  2. In those cases where students are provided electronic files as recommended on their IEPs, the vendor will be required to specify how that format may be accessed by students who have disabilities, and/or how the District might convert such files to an alternative format.
  3. When the Committee on Special Education (CSE) identifies the need of a specific student to receive instructional materials in alternative formats this information will be coordinated between the Special Education Office, the Business Office, Purchasing Department, curriculum specialist, as well as general education school administrators.
  4. For students identified during the annual review process as needing alternative formats, the District will take all reasonable steps to ensure that such instructional materials are ordered and present in the District prior to the start of the next school year or, in any event, no later than the general education students receive such items. In addition, the District will order New York State assessments in alternative formats when needed as determined by the CSE.

  5. In cases where a student enrolls during a school year, the District shall apply the timelines under law and regulation for implementing an IEP when ordering alternate format materials.


6700, Purchasing

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§1474(e)(3)(B)
Education Law §§1604(29-a); 1709(4-a) 1950(4-a); 2503(7-a); 2554(7-a); 3602(10)(b)
8 NYCRR §§200.2(b)(10)
State Education Department, Access-VR, Policy 02-05 Amendment to Section 200.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner Implementing Chapter 377 of the Laws of 2001: Plans to Provide Instructional Materials in Alternative Formats for Students with Disabilities, May 2002, available electronically from the VESID website:


Approved by the Board of Education: 03/19/09
Revision will be sent to the Board of Education for Information: 11/21/19

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