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Educational Accommodations, Modifications, and Curriculum

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Overview

Accommodations and modifications are put in place via an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to help ensure that a student can access the curriculum and make progress throughout the school year. Check out these resources to learn about what kinds of accommodations and modifications are available, the differences between them, how they may affect a student's ability to work toward a diploma, how they can help make a classroom more inclusive, and more.

How are accommodations and modifications different?

An accommodation adjusts how a student learns, while a modification adjusts what they learn. An accommodation can address how a student is provided with information, how much time they’re given to complete work, how they will show content mastery, and what supports they will use to access content (for example, an audio version of written material). Conversely, “adjusting expectations on the grade level content standards and assignments to have less breadth, depth, or complexity would be considered a modification,” explains Ricki Sabia, J.D. You can read more about accommodations vs. modifications in this article.

Contents


Overview

How are accommodations and modifications different?

When do accommodations or modifications affect my child’s ability to get a diploma?

What are some common examples of accommodations and modifications?

Who is responsible for creating an alternate curriculum?

Related Parent Questions

What does it mean when a student is on a certificate track?
Students working toward a certificate have significant cognitive impairments, take alternative assessments, and are unable to demonstrate subject matter competence in diploma track classes, even with accommodations and modifications.
Is it possible to be in general education if you need curriculum modifications?
It is possible to be in a general education class with a modified curriculum. Experts recommend that the student have an inclusion specialist (or a special education teacher) to help ensure that the student has the modifications and accommodations they need to be successful.
Can my child opt out of standardized testing?
Generally speaking, if a student with significant cognitive impairment meets eligibility requirements to take alternate state assessments, districts are likely to recommend they do so.
How can I make sure my child is given all opportunities to work toward a diploma?
If a student is able to pass a required class to obtain a diploma — with or without accommodations — they will be eligible for a passing grade. If the student receives modifications in the class, they may pass as long as the modification does not significantly alter what is being taught.
What are Core Content Connectors and Essential Understandings?
Core Content Connectors and Essential Understandings were created for children who are using Alternate Assessments and need a modified curriculum. All students can benefit from learning complicated subjects in smaller, bite-sized pieces.
Will modifications affect my child’s assessments or placement?
By law, a child with a disability cannot be removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general education curriculum. The law also states that children with disabilities should get the supports they need to be successful.

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