What are Accommodations?
Accommodations make it possible for students with dyslexia to demonstrate their learning without being hindered by their differences. The purpose of accommodations is to ensure equal access to education for students with dyslexia or other learning differences. The term “accommodation” may be used to describe an alteration of the environment, curriculum format, or equipment that allows an individual with a learning difference to gain access to content and/or complete assigned tasks. Accommodations do not change the content of instruction, do not give students an unfair advantage, and do not change the skills or knowledge that a test measures.
Note: The term “accommodation” is different from the term “modification”. Modifications change what a child is taught or expected to do in school. Accommodations change how a child learns or accesses the curriculum.
Accommodations and IEP/504 Plans
According to No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, students with disabilities (those covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) must be provided the appropriate accommodation necessary to access grade-level instruction and full participation in state/district assessments. Accommodations are a critical component of developing a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan. The IEP/504 team must engage in a thoughtful process to determine the necessary accommodations to support the student with accessing the grade-level curriculum. Students also need to have opportunities to learn to advocate and use accommodations in everyday classroom environments. Parents and teachers need to support a student’s self-advocacy for lifelong success.