What is an Educational Accommodation?

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  • Accommodations are changes that remove barriers to learning

  • Accommodations change how kids learn, not what they learn

  • Your child can get accommodations through the teacher, or a 504 plan

How to Get Accommodations for your Child

If you think accommodations may help your child, talk to her teacher. Often, the teacher may agree to informal supports. These simple changes don’t require paperwork. It doesn’t take much, for example, for the teacher to move your child’s seat away from a noisy classroom door that’s distracting.

 

If your child needs bigger changes, however, you may want to seek formal accommodations. Under federal law, kids with DYSLEXIA (Reading), DYSGRAPHIA (Writing), DYSCALCULIA (Math) or other deficits or disabilities have the right to equal access to learning. This means accommodations for their deficiencies, which can include learning and attention issues. To exercise this right, you must have your child evaluated.

 

The evaluation can lead to a 504 plan for your child. You and the school decide together what accommodations to write into the plan. By law, this must also cover any accommodations on state tests, such as MAP, STAAR, SAT and ACT. Just because a 504 plan lists accommodations, however, doesn’t mean they’re always followed in the classroom. It’s still important to check in with the teacher. And it’s important to talk with your child about how the accommodations are working.

 

Schools are usually open to providing accommodations. The bigger challenge is choosing the right accommodations and keeping track of which ones are most helpful.

 

If an accommodation is in place, but your child isn’t using it, find out why. Also, if your child gets accommodations on state tests, it’s important for her to use them regularly in class. This helps her get familiar with the accommodations.

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