The focus of state and federal legislation is aimed at accountability and the inclusion of all students in grade-level content standards. Research indicates that providing accommodations during instruction and assessment helps promote access to grade-level content and learning materials by all students. The purpose of accommodations is to reduce or eliminate the effects of a student's disability, and in in the case of a student who is identified as an English language learner (ELL), to eliminate barriers to the academic standards caused by language barriers.
Accommodations are practices and procedures in the areas of presentation, response, setting, and timing/scheduling that provide the access to materials.
Description of Accommodation Categories
(Minnesota Manual of Accommodations – Page 12)
Explanations of four accommodations categories used for instruction:
• Presentation Accommodations—
changes to how an assignment or assessment is given to a student. These include alternate modes of access which may be auditory, multisensory, tactile or visual.• Response Accommodations—
allow students to complete assignments, assessments, and activities in different ways (alternate format or procedure) or use of some type of assistive device or organizer.• Setting Accommodations—
changes to the location in which an assignment or assessment is given or the conditions of the setting.• Timing/Scheduling Accommodations—
increase the allowable length of time to complete an assignment or assessment, or change the way the time is organized for an assignment or assessment.
Note: For Minnesota state assessments the Setting and Timing/Scheduling accommodations are not identified as accommodations because they are considered general practices that are available to all students.
Accommodations do not reduce learning expectations. They provide access and allow for options in demonstrating mastery of concepts and curriculum content.
Examples of accommodations include:
- allowing a student to complete an alternative assignment/assessment to demonstrate mastery of concepts
- such as:
- complete a power point presentation instead of a 3-D model
- completion of a computer generated map, graph or chart
- dictation of answers on a test
- reducing the quantity of problems in an assignment or assessment - specifically those that are extra practice or duplication
- revising assignments or assessments to make them easier to complete or produce - the content material must not be changed
- such as:
- use of a highlighter pen to mark answers to questions rather than needing to re-write answers
- use of word processing with writing tools enabled, for the completion of writing assignments
- use of a calculator to complete math functions, rather than a requirement to "show work"
Modifications refer to practices that change, lower, or reduce learning expectations. Modifications can at times, increase the gap between the achievement of students with disabilities and expectations for proficiency at a particular grade level. Using modifications may result in implications that affect students throughout their educational career.
Examples of modifications include:
- requiring a student to learn less materials
- such as:
- fewer objectives
- shorter units or lessons
- fewer pages or problems
- reducing assignments and assessments so the student needs only to complete the easiest problems or items
- revised assignments or assessments to make them easier
- such as:
- crossing out half of the problems on a math assignment so the student has to work on only a subset of skills
- giving verbal hints or clues to correct responses on assignments and tests
- crossing out some of the answer options on a multiple choice test
Last modified: Wednesday, 18 August 2010, 10:59 AM