Accommodations don’t lower the expectations of what kids learn.
Instead, they provide support to even the playing field for them to show you what they have learned.
- instructional adaptations.
- allows a student to demonstrate what they know without fundamentally changing the skill.
- does not reduce learning or performance expectations.
- changes the “how” of things that are presented, not the “what” that is presented.
- allows students to respond in the manner that works best for them.
- instructional or test adaptations that allow a student to demonstrate what he or she knows, but the target skill is reduced in some way.
- change the performance expectation by lessening the complexity of the items or the task required.
When discussing accommodations…
- Remember that we look at each child individually to consider their needs rather than just giving all students the same accommodations.
- Always start with the accommodations that are already in place and discuss with educational team if they are working or if they need to be adjusted or even taken away if not needed.
- Share the student’s areas of strengths and weakness to see what accommodations could support the student.
- Ask the student for their input on their accommodations - what do they feel they need help with?
- Encourage students to advocate for what they need and take ownership of their accommodations.
In addition to the types of accommodations and examples listed, devices and strategies that help students to organize their time and their work can sometimes be helpful. Some examples are listed:
- Timers to keep track of time
- Highlighters to mark text
- Planners for tracking assignments
- Graph paper to organize math problems on paper
- Color Coding (e.g., subject areas, categorization within notes)
- Visualization- Imagining what you are reading
- Retelling as soon as possible after a lecture
- Putting new learning into own words as soon as possible after class—talking about learning
- Organizing a study group for discussion (practice)
- Use of graph paper for lining up math problems
- Read word problems aloud and assist with tricky wording
- Use of math manipulatives and colored markers
- Provide the use of a calculator or a multiplication chart
- Encourage student to draw a picture of the problem
- Supply the use of a computer with a spell check or a hand-held spell check.
- Do not penalize for incorrect spelling on classroom writing and tests.
- Offer a spelling/word bank
- Offer a reduced weekly spelling list or work with Dyslexia Teacher
- Offer alternative testing with plastic letters for kinetic connection
- A copy of the teacher’s or another student’s notes
- Notes can be provided with blanks for students to fill in
- Shorten writing assignments
- Use verbal responses in lieu of written responses
- Provide a computer for written assignments and tests
- Provide assistive technology such as speech to text, word prediction, spell checkers and grammar checkers
- Limit the amount that the student has to copy information
- When needing to copy, have the copy near the student rather than posted on a wall or on the board when possible
Technology Based Accommodations:
Because we are asking students to complete their work and submit assignments using technology more and more, there are some specific accommodations using technology that can be used:
- Speech-to-text options to create written responses
- Reading pens
- Snap and Read app to convert worksheets into word documents
The Talking Book Program (TBP) provides free library services for Texans of any age who are blind or have a visual, physical, or reading disability. Materials and playback machines are mailed to your door, completely free of charge—you do not have to pay for postage when you return them. Eligible Texas residents who cannot read standard print material in the usual manner can complete an application and return it by mail.
Learning Ally is a reading app with over 80,000 audiobooks for struggling readers that can be downloaded through ClassLink. Please contact Laura Petro for username and password. firstname.lastname@example.org
Testing Accommodations to Consider:
- Extra time
- Oral administration
- Spelling assistance
- Content and Language Supports
- Speech to text for writing
- Small Group