Accommodations and modifications need to be individualized for students, based upon their needs, and their personal learning styles, and interests.  It is not always obvious what adaptations, accommodations, or modifications would be beneficial for a particular student, or how changes to the curriculum, its presentation, the classroom setting, or student evaluation might be made.

     The term “accommodation” may be used to describe an alteration of environment, curriculum format, or equipment that allows an individual with a disability to gain access to content and/or complete assigned tasks. They allow students with disabilities to pursue a regular course of study. Since accommodations do not alter what is being taught, instructors should be able to implement the same grading scale for students with disabilities as they do for students without disabilities. Examples of accommodations include:

·         sign language interpreters for students who are deaf;

·         computer text-to-speech computer-based systems for students with visual impairments or Dyslexia;

·         extended time for students with fine motor limitations, visual impairments, or learning disabilities;

·         large-print books and worksheets for students with visual impairments; and

·         trackballs and alternative keyboards for students who operate standard mice and keyboards.

·         IPAD and Apps—beg, borrow, fund raise but get an IPAD

     The term “modification” may be used to describe a change in the curriculum. Modifications are made for students with disabilities who are unable to comprehend all of the content an instructor is teaching. For example, assignments might be reduced in number and modified significantly for an elementary school student with cognitive impairments that limit his/her ability to understand the content in general education class in which they are included.

     Sean’s curriculum was highly modified and accommodated. One of the biggest misunderstandings of inclusive education is to think that a student with Special Educational Needs must comprehend and be able to keep up with the regular education students.  That is not true at all.  While in High School Sean learned about the government, he didn’t write term papers, he circled the answers on modified worksheets. But he still learned about the government.

     Behavior interventions can be included as a modification.  When Sean was in junior high the district designated a BICM—Behavior Intervention Case Manager for Sean.  This is a person who has received formal training on functional analysis assessment and the development and implementation of Positive Behavioral Intervention Plans.  The formal training includes a review of the regulations pertaining to behavioral interventions and their implementation, conducting all aspects of functional analysis assessment, and developing positive behavior intervention plans based on the functional relationship between the problem behavior, it’s maintaining variables, and alternative replacement behaviors.

     Inclusion without accommodations, modifications and support services is otherwise known as DUMPING.  When a student with special educational needs simply is put into a regular education class with nothing else being supplied is a sin of the greatest proportion.  That is the fastest way for the district to prove that a students should be in special education and not included….by setting them up for failure.  

Here’s a link to a list of possible Accommodations and Modifications, but it is nowhere near a complete list of everything that can be implemented.

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