How do teachers meet the academic needs of youth in juvenile corrections settings?

Page 9: Provide Accommodations

girl resting her head in her hand

Even when teachers use EBPs and other effective strategies, some students, particularly those with disabilities, will need accommodations—that is, changes made to the delivery of classroom instruction or to the accompanying materials or assessments. Students with disabilities who use accommodations are required to learn the same content at the same level of proficiency as their peers who do not use accommodations. Accommodations do not change the expectations for learning and do not reduce the requirements of the task. For example, a student who lacks the fine-motor skills needed to physically write a required report could satisfy the grade standard by using an accommodation like speech-recognition software. The student would dictate the report, and the computer would “write” it.

Instructional and testing accommodations are generally grouped into four categories: presentation, response, timing and scheduling, and setting. Each type of accommodation is designed to help the student demonstrate his or her knowledge while removing a barrier of some kind. Accommodations should be individualized and not based on a specific disability category and should be included in the student’s IEP. Additionally, some of these accommodations can be bundled—or used in combination—depending on a student’s individual needs.

Type Definition Examples
Presentation Presentation accommodations allow a student with a disability to access information in ways other than standard visual or auditory means (e.g., by reading or listening). These accommodations change the way that instruction, directions, and information are presented to students.
  • Graphic organizers
  • Manipulatives
  • Computer accessibility settings that allow content to be read aloud

For more examples of presentation accommodations, click here.

Response Response accommodations allow students with disabilities to complete instructional assignments or assessments through ways other than typical verbal or written responses.
  • Allowed to write answers in a test booklet rather than on a separate answer sheet
  • Spell checker or grammar checker
  • Use a calculator

For more examples or response accommodations, click here.

Setting Setting accommodations allow for a change in the environment or in how the environment is structured.
  • Seating in area with less noise and distractions
  • Small-group instructional setting

For more examples of setting accommodations, click here.

Timing and scheduling Timing and scheduling accommodations allow students extra time to complete an activity or test. When teachers adjust the timing and scheduling of instructional tasks and tests, they can support students by reducing their fatigue or stress.
  • Breaks, as needed
  • Break large assignments into smaller tasks
  • More time to take tests or assessments

For more examples of timing and scheduling accommodations, click here.

Accommodations might be especially helpful for youth in JC facilities who take online credit recovery courses and high school equivalency exam preparation courses. Not all students, and especially those with disabilities, will be able to access the information in the provided format. For example, students with poor reading skills will not be able to independently read the material on the screen. In this case, the student might benefit from computer software that reads the information on the screen to them. This minor accommodation allows the student to access the information without changing the instructional expectations. The following short video demonstrates an electronic reader in action. A computerized voice reads a section of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (time: 0:43).

Assistive technology (AT) is likewise often helpful in providing accommodations. AT is any device or service that helps a student with a disability to meet his or her IEP goals and to participate in classroom activities to the greatest possible extent. Students can utilize assistive technology to:

  • Communicate
  • Perform academic tasks
  • Use proper seating and positioning
  • Access materials

A sample of AT devices

Pencil grips

Raised-line paper

Highlighting pens and tape

Digital recorders




Audio books

Alternative keyboard

Word processing software

Word prediction software


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This toolbox lists and describes additional resources related to the information presented on this page. These resources are provided for informational purposes only for those who wish to learn more about the topic(s). It is not necessary for those viewing this Module to read or refer to all of these additional resources to understand the content.

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