What types of accommodations are commonly used for students with disabilities?
Page 6: Response Accommodations
Response accommodations allow students with disabilities to demonstrate their learning by completing instructional assignments or assessments through ways other than typical verbal or written responses. They offer support that allows students with disabilities to access the same instructional opportunities as students without disabilities; however, keep in mind that response accommodations:
- Do not change the expectations for learning
- Do not reduce the requirements of the task
- Do not change what the student is required to learn
The table below provides examples, though not an exhaustive list, of response accommodations that address common barriers or challenges students experience when they demonstrate their learning.
|Common Barrier||Example Accommodations|
|Written expression (e.g., putting thoughts on paper, organizing information)||
|Oral expression (e.g., articulation, finding words) or speaking in front of a group||
|Spelling, grammar, and punctuation
|Dexterity or muscle control (e.g., difficulty holding a pencil, difficulty keeping papers in place)||
As in the case of presentation accommodations, some response accommodations are also instructional strategies or interventions—for example, the graphic organizers listed in the table above. How can teachers tell the difference between the two when they plan instruction for an individual student? As outlined in the table below, one key difference is the purpose for which each is used.
|Accommodation||Instructional Strategy or Intervention|
|Definition||Adaptation or change in practices or educational environments (e.g., the way in which a student is allowed to demonstrate learning)||Instructional strategy or intervention (e.g., a writing strategy)|
Allows students with disabilities to access learning opportunities equivalent to those of students without disabilities (i.e., levels the playing field)
Improves the performance of most students with or without disabilities
|Example: Graphic Organizer||Baylor, a 15-year-old student with a learning disability, has difficulty organizing information. When she writes a paper, Baylor struggles to put her thoughts down on paper. To address this barrier, her teacher gives her a graphic organizer to use before she begins writing. This helps her to identify main ideas and details to include in her paper.||Mr. Haywood, a 4th-grade teacher, is beginning to teach his students how to write an expository essay. To scaffold this process, he gives his students graphic organizers to help them to organize information before they begin writing.|
Following are examples of response accommodations teachers can use to help students demonstrate their learning.
Disability: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
When Kaden is assigned independent work, his impulsivity causes him to begin a task before reading the directions. Because he does not know what to do, he completes the work incorrectly or not at all. To address the barrier presented by this impulsive behavior, Kaden’s teacher requires him to restate the directions to a partner before he begins working. In this way, the teacher and Kaden can monitor his understanding of directions before he starts a task.
Disability: learning disability (LD)
When Rae is assigned to write a research paper, she struggles to organize her main ideas and structure her thoughts. As a result, her papers contain a lot of loosely connected facts arranged in a disorganized manner. The teacher addresses these barriers by providing Rae with a template for writing a research paper.
Disability: autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Cierra has difficulty expressing herself orally. During circle time, the teacher asks the students questions about the calendar. Instead of requiring her to respond orally, Cierra’s teacher allows her to use a board with pre-selected pictures or words related to the current calendar (i.e., an alternate method of response).