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Include me! Don't exclude me!

Updated: May 10, 2020

The key to success in the classroom lies in having appropriate adaptations, accommodations, and modifications made to the instruction and other classroom activities.

Adaptations, accommodations, and modifications need to be individualized for students, based upon their needs and their personal learning styles and interests.  It is not always obvious what adaptations, accommodations, or modifications would be beneficial for a particular student, or how changes to the curriculum, its presentation, the classroom setting, or student evaluation might be made. This page is intended to help teachers and others find information that can guide them in making appropriate changes in the classroom based on what their students need.

What are accommodations?

Accommodations are alterations in the way tasks are presented that allow children with learning disabilities to complete the same assignments as other students. Accommodations do not alter the content of assignments, give students an unfair advantage or in the case of assessments, change what a test measures. They do make it possible for students with LD to show what they know without being impeded by their disability.

How does a child receive accommodations?

Once a child has been formally identified with a learning disability, the child or parent may request accommodations for that child's specific needs. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act states that a child's IEP (Individualized Education Program) team — which both parent and child are a part of — must decide which accommodations are appropriate for him or her. Any appropriate accommodations should be written into a student's IEP.

Here are some examples of possible accommodations for an IEP team to consider, broken into six categories:

  • Presentation:

  • Provide on audio tape

  • Provide in large print

  • Reduce number of items per page or line

  • Provide a designated reader

  • Present instructions orally

  • Response:

  • Allow for verbal responses

  • Allow for answers to be dictated to a scribe

  • Allow the use of a tape recorder to capture responses

  • Permit responses to be given via computer

  • Permit answers to be recorded directly into test booklet

  • Timing:

  • Allow frequent breaks

  • Extend allotted time for a test

  • Setting:

  • Provide preferential seating

  • Provide special lighting or acoustics

  • Provide a space with minimal distractions

  • Administer a test in small group setting

  • Administer a test in private room or alternative test site

  • Test Scheduling

  • Administer a test in several timed sessions or over several days

  • Allow subtests to be taken in a different order

  • Administer a test at a specific time of day

  • Other

  • Provide special test preparation

  • Provide on-task/focusing prompts

  • Provide any reasonable accommodation that a student needs that does not fit under the existing categories,-Modifications,-and-Intervention-at-a-Distance.aspx


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