Instructional Resouce Centers

The role of an instructional resource center (IRC) or an instructional materials center (IMC) is largely defined by the state, county, school systems etc. the IRC is serving.  Keystone and KLAS work with each IRC to understand the policies and expectations of the state or system they are serving and then tailors KLAS to those needs.

Examples of the responsibilities of IRCs in different states:

Established in 1991, the IRC is the statewide depository for Braille and large print textbooks for blind and visually impaired students attending public and private schools throughout Maryland. For requested books not currently available in inventory, the IRC handles searching, ordering and shipping of materials, including books on tape, for students statewide. The IRC also maintains a Braille production facility to produce needed Braille textbooks that are not available from another source.  The vision of the IRC is that students with visual impairments in Maryland receive their instructional materials at the same time as their sighted peers.  During the 2001-2002 school year, the IRC provided 4,280 books in braille, large print and tape to 393 students in Maryland.  The IRC's braille production staff completed 161 books, transcribing 24,319 print pages into 44,684 braille pages and 4,645 tactile diagrams. The IRC also produced 329 large print books in the area of reading and literature. 

The mission of the Instructional Resource Center is to provide a variety of quality instructional materials and to support the effective use of these materials. We take pride in providing the best instructional resources available to support diverse teaching strategies and learning styles…connecting the curriculum to improve student achievement. The online catalog with web booking is available twenty-four hours a day.

The Instructional Resource Center (IRC) at New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NMSBVI) serves as a statewide lending resource for Braille and large print textbooks, as well as other specialized equipment used by students with visual impairments.

Each year, books and equipment from the IRC are loaned to schools for use by qualifying students, and then returned to the IRC to be used again by other students. This stretches educational dollars used to purchase these expensive items, and makes more textbooks available to students in a timely manner for use in their local educational agencies.

What do they do?

The Association of Instructional Resource Centers for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a collaborative group of people who work in or with media centers. Members of the group have worked with the American Foundation for the Blind in the successful passage of parts of IDEA 2004 related to the needs of students who are blind or print-handicapped to have their adapted instructional materials available at the same time as their sighted peers.

Instructional Resource Centers for the Blind and Visually Impaired (IRCBVI) are nonprofit organizations or governmental agencies that have a primary mission to provide specialized services relating to training, education, or adaptive reading or information access needs of blind or other persons with disabilities in local school districts or special school settings. Additional services are often included.

These Centers and their respective representatives are considered authorized entities by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) for the production and delivery of textbooks and instructional materials to students who are blind or have low vision.

Through IDEA 2004, states and local education agencies will soon begin to systematically plan for implementing the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) while opting in to work with the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center (NIMAC).

KLAS for Instructional Resource Centers

KLAS Modules for Instructional Resource Centers