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April 2017 | Volume 74 | Number 7
Differences, Not Disabilities
Lee Ann Jung
What's the difference between accommodations and modifications, and why is the distinction important?
Every teacher faces the challenge of how to support students who fall below grade level. Some of these students qualify for special services on the basis of standardized test results or medical diagnoses. However, many others don't qualify for IEPs—students who have had interrupted formal education, fewer resources or exposure to literacy, are English language learners, and who are behind for undetermined reasons. Whether any of these students qualify for special education is irrelevant to their need for support.
To improve the power of core instruction for all students and to minimize the need for intensive intervention, schools are placing an increased focus on Universal Design for Learning, co-teaching, and Response to Instruction and Intervention in the general education setting. Students who are behind grade level are not automatically sent for special education evaluation or intervention in a segregated setting as they have been in past years.
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Copyright © 2017 by Lee Ann Jung
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