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Caring for Our People with Disabilities & Chronic Illness

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When you don't need special education but you still need help

Even More on 504

Types of accommodations. Remember, an accommodation does not change the nature or requirements of a course. There are two types of accommodations. There are accommodations that have nothing to do with the course or what is actually taught. For example, a student has difficulty walking. An accommodation in  a 504 plan might require that all of the student’s classes be held on the first floor of the building. This accommodation does not change the student’s classes in any way. He still has the same assignments, same tests, same expectations. Making this accommodation is required by law.

Curriculum Adaptations which allow the student equal opportunity to obtain access, results, benefits and levels of achievement. These adaptations consist of both modifications and accommodations. For example the student has the right to an accommodation to provide access to participate in the least restrictive environment and an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of performance standards.

 For example, a student with cerebral palsy who is unable to write would be allowed to provide book reports orally or type these on a computer. Making this accommodation is also required by law.

While schools are required to make modifications and accommodations, they are not required to do exactly what the student or parent wants. For example, a parent may want a new computer for her child to use in the classroom to do his math assignments. The school may provide the child a calculator instead, arguing that this is a cheaper solution. If the student can complete his assignments using the calculator and does not need a computer, then that modification is perfectly legal and acceptable.

Modifications in classrooms to help students with disabilities succeed are covered in detail in the next workshop on special education.
There is also a great deal of discussion of classroom modifications in the workshop on early childhood.

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