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Accommodations and modifications each serve a unique purpose and if understood and used correctly can greatly impact the success of a student's educational program.

Accommodations

Accommodations are changes to the instructional materials, procedures, or techniques that allow a student with a disability to participate meaningfully in grade level instruction. Accommodations are intended to reduce or even eliminate the effects of a student’s disability, but do not reduce learning expectations or the standards the student is expected to master. 

Examples:

  • Braille text
  • Oral administration
  • Shortened assignments (same TEKS)

Non-Examples:

  • Change TEKS verb (list rather than evaluate)
  • Colored pens
  • Alternative level of mastery

Modifications

Modifications are changes to the level of instruction provided or tested. They are practices and procedures that change the nature of the task or target skill. Modifications create a different standard as compared to the grade level standard for the student receiving the modification and change what the student is expected to master.

Examples:

  • Single step instead of multistep math problem
  • Reduce complexity
  • Alternative level of mastery

Non-Examples:

  • Preferential seating
  • Oral administration
  • Cooperative learning

Accommodations & Testing

There are some accommodations that are necessary to enable a student to access classroom instruction, but are not appropriate or allowed on state assessments. This is because they may affect the validity of the content and compromise the security of the sate assessment. For more information on accommodations and testing see the TEA Educator Guide to Accessibility within the STAAR Program. The 2018 Accessibility page on the TEA website includes a list of accessibility features and designated supports allowed on the 2018 STAAR tests. Decisions about testing accommodations are made by the appropriate committee or team and should consider the needs of the student as well as if the student is using the accommodation routinely, independently, and effectively in the classroom.