What types of accommodations are commonly used for students with disabilities?
Page 7: Setting Accommodations
In general, instructional or testing environments should be well lit with a comfortable temperature, good ventilation, and minimal extraneous noise or other interruptions. Even under ideal conditions, however, some aspects of the environment or setting might present barriers for certain students. These students might benefit from setting accommodations, which allow for a change in the environment or in how the environment is structured. They provide support that allows students with disabilities to access the same instructional opportunities as students without disabilities; however, keep in mind that setting 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 offers examples, though not an exhaustive list, of setting accommodations that address common barriers or challenges students experience when they access or demonstrate learning.
|Common Barrier||Example Accommodations|
|Staying focused or maintaining attention||
|Regulating behavior (e.g., is disruptive, distracts other students)||
|Seeing text or illustrations (e.g., too far from whiteboard, glare from windows)||
|Physically accessing resources or needed equipment/assistive technology||
|Organization of materials||
Following are examples of setting accommodations teachers can use to help students access or demonstrate learning.
Disability: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
When assigned independent work, Kaden is often distracted by noise and movement within the classroom. To address this challenge, his teacher gives him a collapsible study carrel (e.g., a cardboard tri-fold) to put on his desk during independent seatwork.
Disability: learning disability (LD)
Rae struggles to organize her instructional materials. The special education teacher helps Rae color-code her binders to help organize necessary materials (e.g., notes, class assignments) for each class.
Disability: autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Cierra is highly sensitive to noise. The teacher gives her a set of noise-reducing headphones during independent seatwork to help her focus on her assignments.
Setting Accommodations in Action
Ms. Harbison is a kindergarten teacher. One of her students, Emma, has difficulty paying attention and staying focused in the classroom. She is easily distracted by other students and the activities around her. Ms. Harbison describes Emma as always on the go and needing to move constantly.
Listen as Ms. Harbison discusses some setting accommodations she has provided in her classroom to help Emma be more successful in participating in learning activities and in completing her work in a timely manner (time: 2:03).