Students with an identified learning disorder - such as Dyslexia - often require accommodations throughout their schooling and beyond.


Students who are adversely affected by learning disorders are entitled under the Disability Discrimination act, 1992 (DDA) to both a differentiated curricula and differentiated assessment. The aim of the DDA is to ensure that all students are provided with access to the curriculum and are given the opportunity to demonstate their skills, knowledge and understandings, on the same basis as their peers. The Australian Disability Standards for Education (2005) provides guidance to teachers, school administrators and parents on their rights and responsibilities with respect to the DDA.

Accommodations are simply adjustments that are made to the curriculum, instructional components, environmental elements or the requirements and expectations of students. These adjustments are part of what teachers do to meet the needs of diverse learners and allow equal opportunity for students to access the curriculum and achieve results in the least restrictive manner.

Accommodations include adaptations and modifications.

 


Adaptations


Adaptations are changes that are made that do not fundamentally alter the performance standards, instructional level or content of what the student is expected to learn. Adpatations involve alternative assessment procedures, which incorporate the individual student's needs and reflect the concept of universal design.

Examples of adaptations include the following:
  • Providing students with more time to complete tasks
  • Changing the location of testing to reduce potential distractions
  • Providing additional support or scaffolding
  • Note-taking assistance or scribing for a student
  • Allowing access to a computer and assistive technology
  • Preferential seating
  • Reducing the length of an assignment
  • Allowing students to answer tests orally instead of through writing.


Modifications


Modifications are provisions that alter or change in some way what the student is learning. Modifications also change to some degree the performance standards or expectations of a student, when compared to their peers.

Examples of modifications include the following:
  • Providing an alternative assignment or assessment task
  • Working with instructional material at a lower level
  • Reducing the number of words a student needs to learn for a spelling test
  • Modifying the student's class schedule (e.g. instead of LOTE, allowing an extra study period or additional intervention)
  • Providing an alternative form of a test to the student (e.g. short answers instead of an essay)


 


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