Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Aug 20
Profile photo of Doug Goldberg

by Doug Goldberg

Accommodations – Accommodations do not reduce grade level standards but rather help provide access to the curriculum.  Accommodations can include visual presentation, auditory presentation, multi-sensory presentation, response, setting, organization, timing and scheduling.

When choosing accommodations make decisions:

  • Based on individualized needs;
  • That reduce the effect of the disability to access the curriculum;
  • That are specific about the Where, When, Who and How the accommodations will be provided;
  • With input from parents, teachers, student and therapists; and
  • Based on specific needs in each content area.

When choosing accommodations do not make decisions;

  • Assuming certain accommodations are appropriate for every student;
  • Assuming the same accommodations are needed year after year;
  • By checking every accommodation on the list; and
  • By selecting accommodations unrelated to a student’s needs or that give the student an unfair advantage.

Examples of accommodations include:

  • Large print;
  • Braille;
  • Books on tape;
  • Audio amplification devices;
  • Visual cues;
  • Note taker;
  • Reduction in the length of the assignment but not the content of the assignment (i.e. every other problem);
  • Audio recordings;
  • Speech to text;
  • Word processing;
  • Graphic or visual organizer;
  • Extended time;
  • Breaks in assignments or tests;

Modifications – Modifications actually lower learning expectations and should only be used if this is the only way for the child to be successful.  Parents must understand if modifications to grade level standards are being made their child may be at risk for not meeting graduation requirements.

When choosing to modify curriculum make decisions:

  • Based on the child’s abilities;
  • Based on the child’s current skills;
  • Based on the child’s emotional well-being; and
  • To help them be successful.

When choosing to modify curriculum do not make decisions:

  • Based on what is easier for the School, Teacher or Parents;
  • Without proper assessments of current skills and abilities; and
  • Without first trying the use of supplementary aids and services.

Examples of modifications include:

  • Reducing assignments so a student only completes the easiest problems;
  • Altering assignments to make them easier;
  • Requiring a student to learn less materials than are required by the State’s academic content standards;
  • Providing help to a student via hints or clues to the correct answers on assignments and tests
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.8/5 (6 votes cast)
Accommodations and Modifications in an IEP, 3.8 out of 5 based on 6 ratings
Be Sociable, Share!
Create Your FREE Profile

9 Responses to “Accommodations and Modifications in an IEP”

  1. Great list. Many schools try to eliminate or at least reduce modifications as kids progress through school. Even if parents don’t expect their kids to use them, it’s a good idea to write them into the IEP each year so they’re on record in case they need to be implemented at some point in the school year.

    We found out the hard way that it takes longer to make changes to the IEP when some items weren’t written in when the IEP document was created. You can call for a meeting at any time but it’s easier just to write them in and not apply them unless needed.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  2. Excellent list of modifications and accommodations.

    I do believe it is key to explain to parents about when “modifications to grade level standards are being made their child may be at risk for not meeting graduation requirements.”

    It makes IEP conferences go a lot smoother when the parents are not blind sided and know how far below grade level their student really is before the decision has to be made about if their student will graduate with a diploma or not.

    Ensuring the general education teachers & para professionals are aware and using the mods & accomms is another hurtle and another topic for discussion.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  3. Unfortunately our schools are teaching to the masses and not individual children. Parents really need to demand necessary accommodations for their child with a disability. With the help of your excellent article on homework and our psychiatrist’s recommendation, we got a homework reduction for our son at the beginning of this school year. His stress level (and ours!) has been greatly reduced, without him losing any ground at school. So much of homework is just busy work. They need time to decompress and relax after a long day at school, especially those kids with anxiety issues.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
  4. Oops! I should have said the article by Elise Ronan that I read on this same site (I always assume it’s the same writer–sorry!). This was a huge help to our family:


    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 3 votes)
  5. My son (T.S. & ADHD) is in 9th grade, he has a 504 but I want an IEP to add accommodations. Any advice, information etc. Would be GREATLY appreciated. I am beyond frusterated.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
    • You do not need an IEP to have accommodations. If your child has a 504 plan then all accommodations that he currently needs in order to access the curriculum should be identified. Both an IEP and 504 allow for accommodations to be identified. I know it can be very confusing for parents regarding the difference between a 504 plan and an IEP. Just know that you do not need an IEP to have accommodations for your child and that if he has a 504 you should ensure that the school and teachers have addressed what accommodations he needs in order to have access to the curriculum.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: -1 (from 3 votes)
  6. I am a new member from India. My child is 11 years old, studying in class 6 , diagnosed with AHAD and has problems with his peers who bully him and can’t cope up with his homework and assignments. I was on the look out for this IEP which may not be available in India. There should be some way out for people like him who are extremely intelligent but unable to cope up with school/ peer pressure.

    Will I have to move out of India for this IEP program?

    Can someone guide me in this regard?

    Thanks and regards,
    Vani Swaminathan

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)