A List of Accommodations to Support Student Success

A classroom full of students reading

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Individualized accommodations are put in place to help learners at risk and students with special needs to have success in their IEP or academic program. Typically, accommodations are listed in the student's IEP. Here is a list of suggestions for accommodations for a variety of disabilities:

  • Try cross ability grouping. Create a group of typical peers who can support the student with the special education. 
  • Provide photocopied notes (or a study guide) to eliminate the students' with IEP's frustration and difficulty with hand-eye coordination, requiring copying from the board. 
  • Make use of Graphic Organizers.
  • Provide organization tips and meet with parents to show them how to use the strategies to support their students at home.
  • Simplify and declutter. If your classroom is cluttered, it creates distractions that create barriers to students success. They find disorienting. So, declutter and help students keep their work areas or desks organized. 
  • Provide time management tips and skills. Sometimes it helps to have sticky notes on the student's desk to remind the student of how much time they have to complete tasks.
  • Tracking sheets. Provide a tracking sheet of agenda where students will write expected assignments for the week/day.
  • Keep lessons concrete. Use visual and concrete materials as much as possible.
  • Use assistive technology when available.
  • Find students buddies and model for them how to support the student with disabilities without over functioning for the student. 
  • Keep instructions and directions 'chunked'. Provide one step at a time, don't overload the student on too many pieces of information at once.
  • Color code items. For instance, put some red tape on a math textbook along with red tape on the math notebook. Color code items that help the child with organization tips and that provide information about what is needed.
  • Make sure there are visual clues around the room to prompt appropriate behavior and academic activities. 
  • Provide extra time for the processing of information.
  • Larger size font is sometimes helpful.
  • Provide auditory supports to limit the amount of text the student is required to read. 
  • Give repetition and clarification regularly.
  • Provide close proximity to the teacher.
  • Seat the child away from distractions whenever possible. Think critically about seating arrangements.
  • Provide reminders on the desk - taped 100s charts, number lines, vocabulary lists, word bank lists taped alphabets for printing or writing etc.
  • Provide a study carrel or alternate place to work for specific tasks.
  • Provide scribing or a peer for scribing when necessary or utilize the speech to text software applications.
  • Give ongoing feedback.
  • Pay close attention to lighting, sometimes preferential lighting can make a world of difference.
  • Provide a 'chillax' area, a quiet location to enable the student to 'chill out or relax'.
  • Provide headphones to remove extraneous noises.
  • Let the child provide oral responses instead of written where appropriate to demonstrate an understanding of the concept.
  • Provide time extensions as necessary.

Be selective when determining the accommodations that will best help the student. If the accommodations don't work after a specified period of time, try something else. Remember, the IEP is a working document and its success will depend on how closely the contents are implemented, monitored and revised to meet the student's needs.