Thursday, October 23, 2014

Accommodations & Modifications: Is There a Difference?

 If you are the parent of a child with an IEP you are probably already familiar with the terms, "accommodations and modifications."  You may wonder what the difference is between the two. NICHCY has created a great resource that explains both accommodations and modifications and the differences.


Accommodations and Modifications: Wait, they’re not the same?
 by Kori Hamilton and Elizabeth Kessler, professional special educator and NICHCY advisor
originally posted on
Being able to provide ample opportunities for success to all students requires a clear understanding of the needs of each individual student. Every student has a unique learning style, and some students require more help than others. Students who receive special education services have a plan in place to identify the type of support(s) that’s needed.
One type of support is an accommodation, which is a change that helps a student overcome or work around the disability. A modification, which is a change in what is being taught to or expected from the student, is another type of support a student with an IEP may receive. Some adaptations might be very simple, like sitting a student in the front of the classroom to ensure the board is easy to see. Others might be more complex, like changing the criteria for an essay to make it achievable for the student.

Supports, accommodations, modifications, oh my! It is not uncommon for these terms to be misused interchangeably; so here is opportunity for clarification. Supports describe both modifications and accommodations. So, what’s the difference between providing a modification and an accommodation?

An easy way to remember the difference between the two is to think of an accommodation as leveling the playing field for students by changing “how” they work through the general education curriculum. Modifications go beyond that, and alter the field (game) entirely. Modifications change “what” is learned and therefore change the content of the grade -specific curriculum.

To read more, please click here....




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