• The Difference Between IEP Accommodations and Modifications

    When a student has an  (IEP) or a , you’ll likely hear the word accommodation. You may also hear school staff members say modification. While the two words sound similar, they mean different things. An accommodation changes how a student learns the material. A modification changes what a student is taught or expected to learn. Here is a chart that explains the differences.

    Link to Accommodations for students by disability

    Here are some common accommodations and modifications for students with IEPs and 504 Plans:
    Presentation Accommodations:
    • Listen to audio recordings instead of reading text

    • Learn content from audiobooks, movies, videos, and digital media instead of reading print versions

    • Work with fewer items per page or line

    • Work with text in a larger print size

    • Have a “designated reader”—someone who reads test questions aloud to students

    • Hear instructions spoken aloud

    • Record a lesson, instead of taking notes

    • Get class notes from another student

    • See an outline of a lesson

    • Use visual presentations of verbal material, such as word webs

    • Get a written list of instructions

    Response Accommodations:

    • Give responses in a form (spoken or written) that’s easier for them

    • Dictate answers to a scribe who writes or types

    • Capture responses on an audio recorder

    • Use a spelling dictionary or digital spell-checker

    • Use a word processor to type notes or give answers in class

    • Use a calculator or table of “math facts”

    Setting Accommodations:

    • Work or take a test in a different setting, such as a quiet room with few distractions

    • Sit where they learn best (for example, near the teacher)

    • Use special lighting or acoustics

    • Take a test in a small group setting

    • Use sensory tools such as an exercise band that can be looped around a chair’s legs (so fidgety kids can kick it and quietly get their energy out)

    Timing Accomodations:

    • Take more time to complete a task or a test

    • Have extra time to process spoken information and directions

    • Take frequent breaks, such as after completing a worksheet

     Scheduling Accommodations:
    • Take more time to complete a project

    • Take a test in several timed sessions or over several days

    • Take sections of a test in a different order

    • Take a test at a specific time of day

    Organization Skills Accommodations:

    • Use an alarm to help with time management

    • Mark texts with a highlighter

    • Use a planner or organizer to help coordinate assignments

    • Receive study skills instruction

    Assignment Modifications

    •  Complete different homework problems than peers
    • Answer different test questions

    • Create alternate projects or assignments

     Curriculum modifications
    •  Learn different material (such as continuing to work on multiplication while classmates move on to fractions)
    • Get graded or assessed using a different standard than other students

    • Be excused from particular projects