Accommodations and Modifications in an IEP

Doug Goldberg – Accommodations – Accommodations do not reduce grade level standards but rather help provide access to the curriculum.  Accommodations can include visual presentation, auditory presentation, multi-sensory presentation, response, setting, organization, timing and scheduling.

When choosing accommodations make decisions:

  • Based on individualized needs;
  • That reduce the effect of the disability to access the curriculum;
  • That are specific about the Where, When, Who and How the accommodations will be provided;
  • With input from parents, teachers, student and therapists; and
  • Based on specific needs in each content area.

When choosing accommodations do not make decisions;

  • Assuming certain accommodations are appropriate for every student;
  • Assuming the same accommodations are needed year after year;
  • By checking every accommodation on the list; and
  • By selecting accommodations unrelated to a student’s needs or that give the student an unfair advantage.

Examples of accommodations include:

  • Large print;
  • Braille;
  • Books on tape;
  • Audio amplification devices;
  • Visual cues;
  • Note taker;
  • Reduction in the length of the assignment but not the content of the assignment (i.e. every other problem);
  • Audio recordings;
  • Speech to text;
  • Word processing;
  • Graphic or visual organizer;
  • Extended time;
  • Breaks in assignments or tests;

Modifications – Modifications actually lower learning expectations and should only be used if this is the only way for the child to be successful.  Parents must understand if modifications to grade level standards are being made their child may be at risk for not meeting graduation requirements.

When choosing to modify curriculum make decisions:

  • Based on the child’s abilities;
  • Based on the child’s current skills;
  • Based on the child’s emotional well-being; and
  • To help them be successful.

When choosing to modify curriculum do not make decisions:

  • Based on what is easier for the School, Teacher or Parents;
  • Without proper assessments of current skills and abilities; and
  • Without first trying the use of supplementary aids and services.

Examples of modifications include:

  • Reducing assignments so a student only completes the easiest problems;
  • Altering assignments to make them easier;
  • Requiring a student to learn less materials than are required by the State’s academic content standards;
  • Providing help to a student via hints or clues to the correct answers on assignments and tests

Accommodations and Modifications in an IEP | Special Education & IEP Advisor.

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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