“Accommodations are intended to reduce or even eliminate the effects of a student’s disability;
they do not reduce learning expectations. Accommodation use should not begin and end in
school. Students who use accommodations will generally need them at home, in the community,
and, as they get older, in postsecondary education and and/or the work place.” Nebraska Department of Education, Accommodations Guidelines, Nov. 2011, 3rd ed.
In other words, accommodations are meant to level the playing field. Giving a student with slower processing speed extra time on a test may mean that he or she has an equal chance of actually finishing the test. Providing a student with hearing loss an amplification system means that they won’t lose out on instruction because they can’t hear their teacher.
Finding out what a student needs comes through assessment, observation over time and a little bit of trial and error. Parents and family need support too. Sometimes that support can be harder to find. Sometimes the information is there but the amount of what we need to know can be staggering. If you are new to this journey, know that there are so many willing and able to share your load.
There are some aspects of having a child with a disability that I’m still learning to navigate. However, I’ve learned a few things along the way. What are some resources you are looking for? Are there community helps that you wish more parents knew about? Please share!