Accommodations: Everything You Need to Know

Refer to specific methods with the target to provide the same degree of access to quality learning for students with certain disabilities. Note that accommodations don’t fundamentally change the content, learning expectations, or instructional level of the assessment, standard, or course. They’re intended to help students overcome or work around their disability and gain full access to the general education curriculum.

Some common accommodations that can be considered as possible options for students include:

Presentation accommodations: These alter the way information is presented. Some examples include:

·         Learning content from digital media, audiobooks, videos, etc. rather than reading print versions

·         Listening to audio recordings rather than reading text

·         Hearing instructions spoken aloud

·         Recording a lesson rather than taking notes

·         Working with fewer items per line or page

Response accommodations: These alter the way students complete tests or assignments. Some examples include:

·         Dictating answers to a scribe who types or writes

·         Using a digital spellchecker or spelling dictionary

·         Capturing responses on an audio recorder

·         Using a word processor to give answers or type notes in class

Setting accommodations: These change the learning environment for students. Some examples include:

·         Taking a test or working in a different setting like a quiet room for students with ADHD

·         Using special acoustics or lighting

·         Sitting where students learn best

·         Taking tests in small group settings

Timing and scheduling accommodations: These refer to changes to the time that students take for a task. Some examples include:

·         Having additional time to process spoken directions and information

·         Taking a test over several days or in several timed sessions

·         Taking a test at a certain time of day

·         Taking more time to finish a project

Accommodations in the schools are authorized by three main laws. These include:

Americans with Disabilities Act: The ADA authorizes public accommodations and offers accessibility for students in the community and in schools.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act: This act authorizes necessary accommodations in schools on the basis of the disability and needs of the student.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: The IDEA authorizes accommodations for students who’re in special education. These accommodations let a student have a FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education).

All students, who’re in special education, are automatically eligible for receiving accommodations. However, they don’t qualify for all kinds of accommodations. They’re qualified based on their disability, individual needs, and present levels of performance.

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