Understanding Accommodations & Modifications

Just like everything else, your paraprofessionals most likely have not received any formal training about what accommodations and modifications are.  I truly believe that providing intentional training on this topic is a must for any special education program.  

Make time to sit down with your paras and explain the differences between the two.  Provide them with a visual of examples for different settings and subjects.  Below you will find information to help guide you with your training.


First of all...what is the difference?
Accommodations change HOW a student learns the material. Accommodations can help kids learn the same material as their peers and allow them to meet the same expectations.
An accommodation is a change to the environment; e.g., a private room for testing, a change in testing format, the use of assistive technology, etc.  
Modifications change WHAT the student is taught or expected to learn. 
Kids who are significantly behind their peers (academically, physically, mentally) may need changes to the curriculum they’re learning. A modification is a change to the content or the testing, or a change to how much the student is expected to learn; e.g., fewer questions on a test, shorter assignments, or how test results are interpreted, alternate test.
This form gives specific examples to help explain the differences between them.
 Here is a breakdown of accommodations & modifications by type
Here are some accommodations and modification by subject.
Bottom line is...you HAVE to train your paraprofessionals on the specific accommodations and/or modifications each child has and how to ensure that they are being provided in the general education classroom.
If you would like the complete script I use when training my paras, check out my course The Ultimate Paraprofessional Training Guide. Through this training you will receive access to my editable para handbook that is packed full of how to prepare your paraprofessionals to be successful in their role.


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P.S.  Need help learning how to build a relationship with your paraprofessionals? Get the free 10 Steps to Building a Cohesive Special Education Department

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