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What are accommodations and modifications for disabled students?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2022 | Education Law |

Education is a fundamental necessity in a child’s life regardless of any perceived and diagnosed limitations they may have. In New York, disabled students have the right to receive an education that suits their needs. Still, there are frequent disagreements between the school, its employees, assessors and parents as to how best to teach children based on their specific needs. That can include gaps regarding accommodations and modifications. Parents confronted with this complex and worrisome issue should be aware of exactly what the terms represent and have assistance with getting their kids the help they need.

What are accommodations vs. modifications for special education?

To help students, there are certain accommodations that schools must provide. The objective is so every student has the same educational opportunity regardless of their challenges or needs. In general, four categories are part of this process: presentation; response; timing/scheduling; and setting.

Examples with presentation might include repeating instructions until the teacher believes the child is understanding them or making certain concessions like having answer sheets with larger bubbles. For timing/scheduling, the child might receive more time to complete tasks than what is normally given.

Modifications are different from accommodations. A modification will alter the level of the curriculum the child is being taught. If a student is behind other students their age in reading comprehension, then their program will be adjusted to a level where they can keep up and thrive.

Having help with special education disputes can be important

Parents could seem overwhelmed if they have a child who needs special education services and that can be compounded if the school is not providing the maximum amount of assistance. Learning disabilities do not mean a child should be left behind or their needs ignored. Even if it seems like a minor issue, it is important to have professional representation. It is imperative to have help if it is a major point of contention and there is no common ground. Consulting with experienced professionals in education law can give guidance and advice with ensuring schools do what is required of them to help every student.