ACCOMMODATIONS V. MODIFICATIONS

Helping Hand

It is quite a common occurrence to hear the words Accommodations and Modifications used interchangeably in meetings, but the fact is they are two very different things.  To use them together is to confusing to everyone involved, so it is necessary to have a very clear understanding of what these two words mean and what role they can play in what you advocate for regarding your child's needs.

Accommodations

Accommodations are tools that are utilized to assist your child in accessing the curriculum.  This can be a wide variety of tools from a calculator to a graphic organizer to more time on an exam.  Here within this site we have a robust list of possible accommodations.  We recommend you peruse this list and discuss them at length with your child (if they're old enough) and decide which of these tools will best assist your child in their education.  Remember too that accommodations may need to change with time.  Be cognizant of evolving expectations and potential new areas of need as new content is introduced.

Modifications

Modification means to modify the curriculum, for example, a math test may have 100 questions, but given the circumstances for your child, 100 questions may be too many.  It may be entirely possible to measure the child's grasp of the content with 20 questions versus 100.  The grading structure needs to be balanced to make the modification fair, but the point is that the curriculum is adjusted, aka modified, to make it more accessible and suitable to the child's needs.

So you see, two very different things.  We hope this explanation has helped break down the differences.  If you have any questions on the explanation here, please reach out to us.