ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES
We have an accommodations policy in Utah for English language learners, students with disabilities and students on Section 504 plans. It is called Utah’s Assessment Participation and Accommodations Policy. It is updated every year in July. This policy covers the assessments that are required in Utah and accommodations that can be used for instruction and assessment. You can find it at http://www.schools.utah.gov/assessment/documents/Special_Needs_Accommodations_Policy.pdf.
We know that all students must be assessed. Students with disabilities can be assessed on the regular assessment without accommodations, on the regular assessment with accommodations or on Utah’s Alternate Assessment (UAA). Equal access to grade level content is the goal. Classroom instruction should be based on the grade level content standards and classroom assessments should be based on the instruction and therefore, on the grade level content standards. The statewide assessments are definitely based on grade level content standards.
What are accommodations? Accommodations are practices and procedures in the areas of presentation, response, setting, and timing/scheduling that provide equitable instructional and assessment access. Accommodations reduce or eliminate the effects of a student’s disability and do not reduce learning expectations. Some accommodations are appropriate for instruction but not for assessments.
What are modifications? Modifications are changing, lowering, or reducing learning or assessment expectations which may result in implications that could adversely affect a student throughout that individual’s educational career. Examples include reading aloud something that should not be read aloud on a language arts assessment. Modified tests will NOT be counted toward proficiency or PARTICIPATION in AYP.
Some examples of accommodations are use of a calculator on a non-calculator section of an assessment or reading aloud the math or science assessment questions.
Use of Utah’s Assessment Participation and Accommodations Policy will help determine which accommodations may or may not be used on each assessment for students with disabilities, English language learners or students on Section 504 plans.
View a PDF version of this information by clicking here.
Since almost five percent of all students in our nation’s public schools are classified as having specific learning disabilities, every teacher can expect to find students with learning disabilities in the classroom.