Special Education Accommodations

If you have not had a chance to read our recent blog about the IEP (Individual Education Plan), you can find it here http://bit.ly/hKNAPQ. As promised, this blog will discuss some common accommodations and teaching strategies which can be used to help students in a special education program achieve the learning expectations for a course. Accommodations are generally available in three areas: instruction, assessment/evaluation and learning environment.

Instructional accommodations are those that occur during the actual teaching/learning experience. They can include:

  • paired groupings (peer support)
  • graphic organizers
  • access to computer and digital technologies or other learning tools
  • additional time for classroom assignments
  • copies of board notes
  • clarification and repetition of lessons
  • enrichment opportunities
  • chapter summaries

 

Assessment and evaluation accommodations are intended to support a student in demonstrating the learning expectations in a manner that is best suited to her strengths or needs. Some assessment and evaluation accommodations are:

  • additional time for tests and assignments
  • the option to write tests in a quiet space
  • allowing students to complete tasks or present information in alternative ways (i.e. oral response, dramatizations, role play etc)
  • the use of scribes for tests
  • access to computer and digital technologies for tests and assignments
  • access to longer, more complex test questions before the test
  • opportunity to use study/sheets or essay outlines for tests/quizzes

 

Environmental accommodations are available to students who benefit from adaptations within the learning environment. These can include:

  • preferential seating (i.e. seating at the front of the class)
  • limiting distracting stimuli
  • increased distance between desks
  • reduction of noise
  • alternative work spaces

 

Accommodations do not alter what a student learns, or what a test or assignment is intended to measure. Rather, they provide students in special education programs opportunities to demonstrate the same essential learning, or to complete the same assignment or test as other students, by changing the format, timing, scheduling, presentation, response, or setting of instruction, assessment and evaluation.

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