Accommodations and Modifications can help a child reach their maximum potential.
These are not tools that allow the child to “cheat” the system but rather to level the playing field much like a handicap in golf.
During the IEP process, the IEP Team will consider what Accommodations and Modifications will best suit the individual child to overcome obstacles to learning.
Accommodations and Modifications also ensure that a student with a learning disability has access to appropriate education programs that are critical for their success.
What’s the difference between Accommodations and Modifications?
Accommodations can be anything that helps the student with the required schoolwork. Accommodations are aids. But it’s important to note that Accommodations do NOT change the required schoolwork. If a book report about the pyramids is required for fifth grade, the student must still do the book report.
Examples of Accommodations include:
– Extra time for completing homework
– Additional time for taking tests
– Taking oral tests instead of written tests
– Seating at the front of the classroom
– Having another student or teacher takes notes for them in class
– Books on tape or CDs instead of textbooks
– Shortened homework assignments
Modifications, on the other hand, are actual changes to what the student is required to learn and complete. The curriculum and/or homework are modified to suit the needs of the student’s disability. Modifications DO change the required schoolwork. If a book report about the pyramids is required for fifth grade, the student might make a sculpture of the pyramids instead of the book report.
Examples of Modifications include:
– Using a calculator when taking tests
– Answering fewer or different questions on a test
– Easier vocabulary words for assignments
– Using a lower-level reading book
Accommodations and Modifications are an important part of writing the IEP and are updated every year. Parents are part of the IEP Team and it’s important you understand the differences between Accommodations and Modifications. It’s not so difficult once you understand examples of each and how they can alter or aid in the schoolwork.
Depending on the learning disability, many schools are more lenient with Modifications for younger students but as they get older and progress through the years, schools may try to reduce them. Accommodations more often are carried through to the end of high school.