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Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

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  1. Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Eva M. Kubinski, MS Special Education Team Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction 2009 Children Come First Conference November 16, 2009

  2. Acknowledgment: • Much of the information provided in the upcoming slides is based on a document developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers titled Accommodations Manual: How to Select, Administer and Evaluate Use of Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment of Students with Disabilities (August 2005) • WI DPI’s Assessment Matrix is available online http://www.dpi.wi.gov/oea/pdf/accom09.pdf Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  3. Meet your presenter Eva…. • Eva has a processing “problem” • Is both near-sighted and far-sighted • Has trouble seeing objects both near and far away • Sometimes sees two of everything • How does Eva’s difference impact her ability to learn? • She has trouble reading the board • She has trouble reading small print unless held far away • What was the result of an intelligence test administered on the blackboard? • She could not answer basic questions on her own • She appeared to not understand the questions she was asked to read to herself Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  4. Conclusion: • Eva has learning differences that will hinder her ability to be successful. • Eva might not succeed in a regular classroom • Eva may require Special Education Services, including accommodations and/or modifications Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  5. Now if you give her glasses… • What if Eva is allowed to wear her glasses during the test? • She does much better than without! • Is it cheating to allow her to wear her glasses? • Did they make the items easier? • Did they give her an unfair advantage? • Would they give you an unfair advantage? Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  6. Accommodations - Definition • Provide equitable access during instruction and assessments • Reduce or eliminate the effects of a student’s disability • Some that are appropriate for classroom or instructional use are NOT appropriate for assessment • Different from modifications Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  7. Accommodations - Purpose • Equal access to GRADE-LEVEL CONTENT • Allow students with disabilities the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  8. Accommodations in your life: • What do you think are some accommodations you’ve used in your life, work or home? • Share with your neighbor Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  9. Classroom instruction Classroom assessments State & district assessments Content standards Accommodations Applications The use of accommodations is linked through each of these areas Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  10. INCLUDE ALL STUDENTS IN INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENTS • To include all students in standards-based instruction and assessments: • Provide accommodations during instruction and assessment to increase access • Use alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities • Follow state guidelines for decisions about the provision of alternate assessments Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  11. Important Considerations • The use of accommodations, both instructional and assessment/testing… • Are determined by the members of the IEP team • Are identified in the student’s IEP • Are pre-planned both regarding instruction and assessment • Are part of the student’s daily instructional experience • Assessment accommodations are only from the approved assessment accommodations matrix unless a request is submitted in writing and approved by DPI Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  12. Types of Accommodations • Instructional versus assessment • Presentation • Response • Setting • Timing and scheduling Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  13. Instructional Accommodations • Accommodations used during the course of instruction to help students with disabilities access or learn academic content. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  14. Assessment Accommodations • Accommodations used during an assessment or test to help students with disabilities demonstrate or show what they have learned and know. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  15. Presentation Accommodations • These types of accommodations allow students to access information in a different format – e.g., if they can not visually read standard print, they may access the information via auditory, tactile, visual or other multisensory means. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  16. Response Accommodations • Allow students to complete activities, assignments, and assessments in different ways or to solve or organize problems using some type of assistive device or organizer. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  17. Setting Accommodations • Change the location in which a test or assignment is given or the conditions of the assessment setting. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  18. Timing & Scheduling Accommodations • Increase the allowable length of time to complete an assessment or assignment. • Change the way a student’s time is organized Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  19. What about modifications? • Reduce learning expectations. • May be a necessary step to teach a new skill or concept. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  20. How to choose? • Should always be done during the IEP Team process – an IEP Team decision. • Should take into consideration all the available information and data. • What are the student’s learning strengths and needs? • How do the student’s learning needs affect the achievement of grade level content standards? • What has worked or not worked in the past? Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  21. If the accommodations match a student’s needs, consider: • The student’s willingness to learn to use the accommodation • Opportunities to learn how to use the accommodation in classroom settings • Conditions for use on state assessments Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  22. Also – involve the student • Involve students in selecting, using, and evaluating accommodations • The more input students have in selecting their accommodations, the more likely the accommodations will be used • Students should see accommodations as adding value to their daily life—not only in school—but for postsecondary, career, and community life Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  23. Where are accommodations documented on the IEP? • DPI Model Forms I-5 Special Factors • DPI Model Forms I-7 Participation in Statewide Assessments • DPI Model Forms I-9 Summary Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  24. Helping students focus • Organizational aids • Environmental adaptations • Instructional strategies Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  25. Organizational Aides • Use of an agenda or timetable • Extra copy of textbooks that can be kept at home • Checklists that show all the steps in a task (and as student gets older, can help develop checklist) • Graphic organizers for written work • Communication between home and school about progress – e.g., assignment notebook Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  26. Environmental/Classroom Adaptations • Communicate information with the needs of students with auditory issues in mind • Using varying intonation • Using visuals, demonstrations • Summarize key points • Avoid information overload • Provide areas for students in different parts of the room based on noise and activity level • Sound-field amplification • Multiple modes of presenting information Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  27. Instructional strategies • Cooperative learning opportunities (with careful consideration of who is a member of which group) • Hands-on learning opportunities • Use of scaffolding strategies such as graphic organizers with “cues” • Student-directed activities Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  28. Resources • Wisconsin DPI Assessment Accommodations Matrix http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/oea/pdf/accom08.pdf • Council of Chief State School Officers Accommodations Manual • http://www.ccsso.org/content/pdfs/AccommodationsManual.pdf • WI DPI – call 800-441-4563 toll-free • Office of Education Accountability • Special Education Team Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction