Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Accommodations, Modifications and Interventions: Words to Make You Wise

image from:
What are accommodations, interventions, and modifications? What are the differences between these? These words get thrown around during Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings often. I know I have been confused about the differences at times. What about adaptations? What are those and how do they fit in?  Briefly stated, an intervention is defined by the Minnesota Department of Education as: " a proactive strategy for defining, teaching and supporting student behavior resulting in academic and social gains and a positive school environment."
Accommodations are defined as involving changes in instructional methods, including alterations in the format of assignments or tests, without changing content, that allows students with disabilities to do the same work as their typical peers in the classroom.
A modification is a change in the curriculum, for example assignments may be reduced in number. Accommodations and modifications are used in IEPs and 504 plans.
An adaptation is a change in the delivery of the lessons, the kind of accommodation or modification.  These terms are used interchangeably and sometimes incorrectly by both parents and educators.

 Accommodation                        Modification:                    
 No change to curriculum                        Change to curriculum                  
 Change in instructional methods           Alternative or reduced                        

   Intervention:                        Adaptation
    Addition to cirriculum                   Change to delivery of 
    Data collected                                    instruction

Here is a link to a comparison guide:

You want to be familiar with these terms so you can make sure you have them written in the documents that detail your child's education plan. Some things to include may be:

Schoolwork and homework broken down into small steps
Instructions for assignments presented orally and in writing
Written assignments read aloud to student
Graphic organizers used to present material visually
Small group or individual testing assignments
Use word processor for writing assignments
Additional breaks during class
Extended time for assignments

Homework assignments reduced
Focus on functional skills curriculum
Alternate math or reading curriculum at student’s level
Alternate tests will be used
Shortened writing assignments

Social skills group
Reward chart for assignment completion, behavior, etc.
Visual schedule
Access to a counselor, social worker or therapist
Tutoring for specific academic skills
Speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy

Either an accommodation – change in the delivery without changing content,
or a modification – change of content

You can see how the actual help provided may be simple things but they must be documented. If you don't have it written down in an IEP or 504 then the teachers don't have to follow through with the changes to the learning environment needed to help the student get an education.  They may not do this because they don't know how.  This can also be addressed at the IEP meetings and meetings with your child's educators. This is why it is important to know which kind of change is being made and how it effects both the teacher and the student.

image from:

modification info:
accommodations, adaptations, modifications:
useful educational interventions:

Special Thanks to SensiGirl's teacher for checking that I got this right.

1 comment:

  1. wonderful work! the way you discuss the subject i'm very impressed. i'll bookmark this webpage and be back more often to see more updates from you.