Accommodations & Modifications

What are they?

They are adaptations made in the classroom to allow students with disabilities “to participate in general education to the maximum extent possible.”

A real concrete example is a kid with vision impairment- Here is a kid that is all there up stairs, but is almost as blind as a bat. The idea is that instead of segregating this kid we make accommodations that allow them to learn in the gen ed environment. Some examples would be to enlarge the text, have them listen to books on tape, have another kid or aide copy stuff off the board ect.  The point is that the kiddo should have the opportunity to learn with his or her peers. The adaptations that are being made are considered “Accommodations”  because they do not alter or lower the standard that the student is being asked to learn and demonstrate….they are still working on standard 10.2.1 (or whatever) in History, we are just accommodating for their disability.

What’s the difference?

Accommodations alter the “How”: How material is presented. How long a student has to do it. How the student gets it done.How the student is assessed. BUT they do not alter the “What” They do not lower the bar on the particular standard that is being taught or assessed.  Think learning styles- if you present info one way to benefit auditory learners and then in another way  a to benefit visual learners – You are altering the presentation  but you are still teaching the same standard. Modifications alter the “What.” They somehow alter (lower) the specific standard you are  working on.

Example: A calculator can be an accommodation is some cases but a modification in others.

Johnny is in your calculus class and has an accommodation of a 4 function calculator. It is an accommodation because he is using it to do basic functions and you are measuring the standard of doing a differential equation.  Now, if Johnny is using that same calculator in his basic math class and they are measuring his ability to add subtract ect, or if Johnny is using a graphing calculator to graph his equations- and you are teaching ‘graphing equations’ then this is a modification and will need to be stated as such. This will effect a lot of things including the credit Johnny receives for the class, state testing and more.