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Accommodations

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.


Introduction

"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 disabilities.

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.

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This page was last updated on November 29, 2017.