This topic explores accommodations, which are changes made to classroom and testing materials and procedures to help students with disabilities learn and participate in tests on a level playing field with students without disabilities.
"Accommodations" are changes made to classroom or testing
materials and procedures that help students with disabilities learn and
participate in tests. An accommodation should not change the standard of
learning nor lower the expectations for performance that have been set for all
students. Instead, accommodations "level the playing field" by
allowing students to bypass (or partially bypass) the effects of a disability in
order to learn and perform at the levels expected of students without
Accommodations include practices such as allowing a student with a
disability extra time to complete an assignment or a test, or providing
amplification equipment for a student with a hearing impairment. Decisions about
the need for accommodations are made by the studentís Individualized
Education Program (IEP) team, and are formally documented in the IEP.
Allowing students with disabilities to use accommodations is more than just
good educational practice. Several federal laws, including the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004, require that accommodations
be provided to students with disabilities who need them in the classroom and on
state and district tests. These practices and requirements ensure that
educators, school districts, and states are accountable for the academic
progress of all students.