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:
Provide on audio tape
Provide in large print
Reduce number of items per page or line
Provide a designated reader
Present instructions orally
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
Allow frequent breaks
Extend allotted time for a test
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
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
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
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