• Tiffany T. Lam


Your child has qualified for an IEP or a 504 Plan and the team keeps talking about accommodations. You're not quite sure what that means but the team is including a lot of them into the plan. Everything they're saying sounds good so far, so you trust that they know what they're doing. After all, educators should know what to include in an educational plan, right?

Hmmm.... first, let's start off by talking about what an accommodation is. An accommodation in the school setting is a tool or change that allows students to have equal access to learning opportunities as their peers. Accommodations do not change the standards or level of expectation a student is required to meet. They support the learning for educational success.

Accommodations in society look like this:

  • Ramps around buildings for people with mobility difficulties

  • Closed captioning for people who are hard of hearing

  • Public transportation for people who can't drive

  • Glasses for people who are visually impaired

These accommodations help a person function in society, so accommodations in the school setting help a student to function in that environment successfully.

Examples of accommodations in the school setting:

  • Special paper for students who have difficulty with handwriting

  • Calculator for higher level algebraic thinking

  • Bookmark to help students keep their place while reading

  • Extra time to complete work or a test

While accommodations are written into IEPs and 504 Plans, these accommodations are not set in stone and can be changed at any time. The IEP and 504 Plan should be reviewed regularly to ensure that accommodations are working and are effective.

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