Accommodations and Modifications
Special education, and related services must be based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable. The admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee must determine needed supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child (34 CFR 300.320(a)(4), 20 USC 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(IV)19, TAC 89.1050(a)(1)).
The ARD committee must determine needed program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided to the child to enable the child to: advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals; be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum, and be afforded an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities including meals, recess periods, counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities; special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the school, referrals to other agencies that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities, and employment of children, including both employment by the school and assistance in making outside employment available (34 CFR 300.117, 34 CFR 300.107, 20 USC 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(IV).
What We Do
An accommodation is a change in the teaching or testing procedures in order to provide students access to information and to create an equal opportunity to demonstrate content knowledge and skills. An instructional accommodation does not change what the student is expected to master; therefore, curriculum content remains intact. In Texas, an accommodation is defined as practices and procedures that are "intended to reduce or even eliminate the effects of student's disability, but do not reduce learning expectations".
A modification is a change in what the student is expected to learn and/or demonstrate. An instructional modification indicates what is being taught the - curriculum content - is altered. As an example, students may not be required to learn all of the course objectives but only targeted objectives. A curriculum modification reduces content and skills the student is required to learn. In Texas, a modification is defined as "practices and procedures that change the nature of the task or target skill".
Accommodations and modifications should be individualized and routinely used during classroom instruction and testing. Data regarding the use of accommodations and modifications, such as observational reports and/or assignment/test scores with/without the use of accommodations should be collected and analyzed on a regular basis to determine (a) if the accommodations are being implemented as specified by the student's ARD Committee and (b) if the student is benefitting from the use of the accommodations and modifications.
Frequency, Duration, and Location of Services:
The student's IEP must include information about the amount of services that will be provided so that the level of services provided is clear to both parents and other ARD Committee members. The ARD Committee is responsible for documenting in the student's IEP the projected date for the beginning of services and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services. Requirements for documenting the provision of related services include:
Frequency: Describes how often the child will receive the service(s), e.g., number of times per day or week. If the services is provided less than daily then the conditions for the provision of services must be clearly specified within the ARD documents using a weekly reference (ex: 1 hour per week, 30 minutes every two weeks)
Duration: Describes how long each "session" will last (number of minutes) and when the services will begin and end (starting and ending dates)
Location: Describes where the services will be provided (in the general education classroom or another setting such as a special education resource room
Students with disabilities must have available an instructional day commensurate with that of students without disabilities. The ARD Committee will determine the appropriate instructional setting and length of day for each student.
Consideration of Special Factors:
The IEP should document consideration of special factors including:
The communication needs of the student,
In the case of a student with limited English proficiency, the language needs of the student as those needs relate to the student's IEP, and
In the case of a student whose behavior impedes his/her learning or that of others, consideration of positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address that behavior.