Colorado Instructional Materials Center: An Introduction

external view of the South side of the Jones Hall building with a playground in the right foreground.

Housed on the campus of the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB), the Colorado Instructional Materials Center (CIMC) provides braille and large print textbooks and novels, as well as instructional products, to teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) licensed by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for use by students who have been identified with “Visual Impairment, Including Blindness” in Colorado schools at less than college level. The CIMC is able to purchase books through funds provided by CDE and the APH Federal Quota Program.

CIMC Year-at-a-Glance

July 2020:

July 1, 2020 New state fiscal year begins


September 2020:

September 30, 2020 Invoices for missing/damaged and non-returned volumes mailed to Directors of Special Education.


October 2020:

October 1st (annually): The federal quota allocation is appropriated to the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). The allocation is made available to the CIMC/Colorado Department of Education/Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. This allocation is based upon the number of eligible registrations specific to the January 6, 2020 federal quota census.

October 13, 2020 CIMC will send administrative units (AUs) their current "Visual Impairment, Including Blindness" Statewide Student Registration Database Reports via encrypted emails for TVIs to edit and return to make sure each AU has an accurate statewide registration count of students in their districts and in preparation for the federal quota census count day that will occur the first Monday in January. These first round edits are due back to the CIMC by Friday, November 20, 2020.


November 2020:

November 20, 2020: First-round edits to the statewide registration database reports are due back to the CIMC by the end of the business day.


January 2021:

January 1, 2021 CIMC will send updated "Visual Impairment, Including Blindness" statewide student registration database reports via encrypted emails to district designated CIMC contact personnel for TVIs to edit and return with information specific to student enrollment in the district on the Monday, January 4th federal quota census count day.

January 4, 2021 Federal quota census count day of legally blind students related to the 1879 Act to Promote the Education of the Blind.

January 4, 2021 In addition to being the date of the federal quota census, our statewide registration database of students with "Visual Impairment, Including Blindness" is based upon enrollment in Colorado AUs on the first Monday in January annually.


February 2021:

February 26, 2021 (1) Statewide registration updates, and (2) federal quota census paperwork is due back to CIMC (based upon enrollment on the Monday, January 4th count day).


April 2021:

April 1, 2021 Textbook orders due for the 2021-2022 school year. Districts are encouraged to place orders earlier than this deadline. Orders for future school years beyond the 2021-2022 school year can be placed in advance as well. Order forms for the 2021-2022, and the 2022-2023 school years are posted on our CIMC Forms website page. Contact the CIMC for additional information. 

April 15, 2021 CIMC will mail Directors of Special Education a printout of the count data as reported by TVIs for their individual AUs.


June 2021:

June 30, 2021 All textbooks must be returned to the CIMC. Districts will be billed for volumes that are damaged or not returned.

Registration Databases

Step 1: TVIs register students in their school district/administrative unit (AU) with "Visual Impairment, Including Blindness":

Use the most current version of the CIMC Registration Form to register your students with visual impairment, including blindness (VIIB) the day vision services begin in your Administrative Unit (AU) or school district.

You may submit a partially completed Registration Form to have your student added to the statewide registration and library databases and submit the missing information at a later date.

You may submit Registration Forms every day of the year.


Step 2: TVIs Exit students:

Exit students with VIIB the day vision services stop or the day the student is withdrawn from your school district. Use the most current version of the CIMC Exit Form.

Exit Forms may be submitted every day of the year.


Step 3: Update your district's statewide registration report:

Update your statewide registration database report on a regular basis.

Administrative Units will be asked to edit Statewide Registration Database Reports to reflect any changes that have taken place (new Registration Forms, Exit Forms, updated eye exam dates, updated signed parent consent forms, updated MDB/FDB Forms, etc.).

Statewide Registration Database Reports may be updated every day of the year. Call the CIMC staff if you need a current copy of your district's Statewide Registration Database Report.


Step 4: On the first Monday in January: complete your annual federal quota census:

Update your federal quota census count information to reflect the current count cycle which occurs on the 1st Monday in January, annually.

Look at your statewide registration database report and identify those students who meet the eligibility requirements of the federal quota census (see below).

Notify the CIMC which students should be included in the current January federal quota census count. 

Your district must have a current eye health report on file, from an Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist, which verifies legal blindness along with a signed Parent Consent Form. A signed MDB/FDB form is optional.

APH Orders

School districts are required to register their students who meet or function at the definition of blindness (MDB/FDB) with the CIMC for inclusion into the annual Federal Quota Census if the student and the district have met all of the eligibility requirements of the quota program. The CIMC manages a repository of educational materials and instructional products specifically designed for use by persons who are blind/visually impaired by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). School district TVIs may access APH materials from the repository for their eligible, registered, students. Materials should be returned to the CIMC repository so they can be used by other Colorado students.

2021 InSights Art Contest is now open!

The 2021 InSight Art application cover is displayed with a red ink tipped fountain pen, a teal tipped paint brush, and a golden tipped pencil against a black background.

Every Fall, APH and the InSights Art Program sends out a Call for Entries, for the following year's competition. APH is currently accepting entries now through March 26, 2021. Go to the CIMC Forms page for a copy of the entry form for your convenience. More information can be found on the InSights Art Competition website. Just right click the link and choose 'Open link in new tab'. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Rob Guillen, at APH, directly at and send in your student's art.

Book Orders

The Colorado Instructional Materials Center (CIMC) is a collaborative service of the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the CIMC, and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB). It is the ultimate responsibility of a school district to provide accessible materials in the format needed for their students. The CIMC is here to assist administrative units/B.O.C.E.S. in the transcription, acquisition and production of large print and braille textbooks and novels and to provide some adaptive equipment for students with visual impairment, including blindness. 

  • School districts may request access of one (1) copy of each specific textbook or novel needed in braille or large print formats for their students who are registered with the CIMC. Registered students may access one (1) copy of an available e-book textbook or novel in electronic large print format for access on a tablet or computer.
  • Large Print: If a title is available for purchase from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) using federal quota funds, then the CIMC will purchase the title for you. If a title is available from a vendor other than APH, the CIMC will share the sourcing information you, but will not encumber funds for the production or purchase of the title in large print format.
  • Braille: The CIMC sources the our own inventory, a national database, a listserv or materials/resource centers in other states. If a title is not available for purchase or loan from one of these agencies, then we will encumber funds to have the title produced. We would then need your school district to provide us with at least one ink print copy that you may or may not get back (the vendor may need to cut off the binding and distribute chapters to multiple braille transcribers as part of the the production process). 
  • Please understand that new productions of math, science, and social-studies can take up to 2 years to produce in braille format, due to the large numbers of tactile graphics they contain and the technical nature of the textbook formatting.

Braillers, Technology, and Software

School districts may request to check out one (1) Perkins brailler for their students with IEPs identifying a need for braille instruction. The brailler remains the property of the CDE/CIMC. The brailler is intended for use in the student's school building only and should not be sent to the student's home. If the student transfers to another school district, the brailler should be returned to the CIMC and not sent to the new district. After the new district submits a signed brailler order form, the CIMC will process and ship the same brailler to the student's new school district.

Use the current version of the Brailler, Technology, and Software Order Form.

Brailler Repair:

The CIMC will continue to inventory and repair braillers issued after July 1, 2013. The CIMC will not be providing a replacement brailler during the time it takes to repair the brailler. The administrative unit/district will be expected to use their own brailler inventory while the brailler is being repaired.

Please use the current version of the Brailler Repair Form and email it as an attachment to

Professional Lending Library

TVIs may check materials out of the CIMC's Professional Lending Library for a period of 60 days. The library includes assessments in large print and braille formats as well as professional books from APH Press (formerly AFB Press) and other publishers. A searchable inventory is not currently available. Please call the CIMC at (719) 578-2196 or send an email to if you would like to know if a particular title or item is available. 

Assessments available include:

  • Boehm-3 Preschool (Big Picture Kit or Tactile Kit)
  • Boehm-3 K-2 (Big Picture Kit or Tactile Kit)
  • Brigance Diagnostic Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills (Green), Revised, 1999 (CIBS-R), Student Braille Edition
  • Brigance Diagnostic Comprehensive Inventory of Early Development (Yellow), APH Tactile Supplement, Revised, 1991
  • KeyMath3 (in large print; uncontracted braille, contracted braille)
  • Woodcock-Johnson IV (WJ IV) (in large print or braille)
  • Wrat5 (in large print or braille)


Click the link below to download an accessible Word document of resources related to blindness/visual impairment. This document was updated on October 23, 2020. Check back for updates. 

CIMC Resources document to share with Colorado TVIs

Click the image below to view the clinic video shared at the CDE Office Hours Zoom meeting on October 21st:

Contact Us:

Email: - Use for "APH order form" & "CIMC Professional Lending Library" submissions & related questions.

Email: - Use for braille and large print "Book Order Form" submissions, sourcing inquiries, and questions.

Email: - Use for "Brailler, Technology, & Software Order Form" & the "Brailler Repair Form" submissions and questions.

Email: - Use for questions and to submit "registration" and "exit" forms and questions about your district's statewide VIIB registration database report and the Federal Quota Census.

(719) 578-2196 - CIMC Pilot Phone number. This will ring all of the CIMC computer-based Skype for business phones simultaneously but this pilot number does not have a voicemail message capability.

Mailing Address: CIMC, 1015 East High Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3559