These accommodations were collected and organized from IEP/504 plans to identify common support needed for kids who struggle with dyslexia and attention.

Top 10 accommodations found on IEP/504 plans

  1. Preferential seating
  2. Extended time
  3. Access to assistive technology
  4. Regular teacher check-ins to clarify directions and expectations
  5. Provide a quiet space to work and to take assessments
  6. Provide alternative opportunities to demonstrate mastery
  7. Provide teacher notes and all content digitally
  8. Organize content visually with graphic organizers
  9. Shorten, simplify, chunk assignments
  10. Allow frequent breaks and movement

Accommodations defined and explained

  • Preferential seating
    • A space or location in the room with close proximity to peers or teachers for support, provide opportunities for flexible seating to provide movement during work time, ie) standing desk
  • Extended time
    • Allow for extended time and flexible deadlines to complete assignments, with no grade penalty
    • Note: Extended time is necessary but instructor also needs to consider workload, a proper balance between workload and extended time to complete complete assignments will work to keep the student feeling successful and independent
  • Access to assistive technology, including but not limiting:
    • The audio version of books for all reading assignments, provided to student before starting the assignment
    • Speech-to-text for all writing assignments
    • Text-to-speech (such as the use of an Optical reader or Google Read & Write Premium/TextHelp) for reading texts or worksheets 
    • Microphone for voice typing
    • Word prediction software
    • Note-taking assistive technology 
    • Word processing software
  • Regular teacher check-ins
    • Clarify directions, instructions, and expectations for assignments and assessments
    • Allow for teacher read directions and test questions, ie) complex reading passages to be read aloud with help
    • Note: Most kids who struggle with dyslexia also have attention deficits and they will miss a lot in class, clarifying and regular teacher check-ins are extremely important to keep a student motivated and confident in the classroom. Some kids will have inattentive type of inability to focus, which is harder to observe as an instructor; however, these kids will be daydreamers and will not be focusing on the information. It is recommended to recap what is being asked when called on and a “cold call” is never advised.
  • Provide a quiet space to work
    • Allow test-taking and classwork in a quiet room with minimal distractions
    • Consider having the questions read to student or allow student to answer verbally with a case manager or record their answers
    • Note: Most kids will use text-to-speech for all writing assignments but will feel uncomfortable with doing this in the classroom because of peer-to-peer influences. It is vital that they utilize the time in school with support from instructor to complete assignments so there has to be a place for them to use this assistive technology.
  • Provide alternative opportunities to demonstrate mastery
    • Be creative, the following are ideas to demonstrate mastery: turn their notes into a summative assessment, allow for an oral presentation, podcasts, drawing, verbal processing, dissecting images, organized notes, small projects, formative work that shows progress and any opportunity to express visually or hands on.
  • Provide teacher notes, including but not limiting:
    • Math and science formulas
    • Multiplication chart or calculator
    • Class notes of lectures
    • Note: Providing notes ahead of time allows for front-loaded key information and vocabulary, including things like study guides that help the student to see the main idea, big picture, and key ideas.
    • Allow student to use teacher notes to study with and to use on tests
  • Organize content visually with graphic organizers
    • Provide guided note-taking, graphic organizers, rubrics and other templates to assist with writing organization, note-taking, and production
    • Pair verbal information with visual supports
  • Access to all content
    • Provide all worksheets, textbooks, assignments in hard copy and in digital format
    • Note: This access is providing equal opportunity for kids who struggle with organizing and reading, when content is offered in digital format, the student is able to have the content read to them, increasing their comprehension of the material. When the student is offered content ahead of class, it will allow the student to front-load key information and vocabulary. This will help students who struggle with working memory and note-taking.
  • Shorten, simplify, chunk assignments
    • With no grade penalty
  • Allow frequent breaks and movement
    • Pressure pass to take a break when needed

Additional Accommodations to Consider


Academic

  • Work will not be marked off for spelling error
  • Continue to front-load vocabulary for identified content areas when available, appropriate, and/or needed
  • Access to earbuds for music when appropriate to help with focus 
  • Encourage small group interaction when teaching new content.
  • Provide extra opportunities to connect with the teacher, especially when getting to know a new teacher.
  • Provide a hard copy of the document or notes
  • Give the option to read out loud or not
  • When given an already graded/corrected test, review with case manager/teacher the incorrect answers and show student where correct information can be found and reflect on identifying strategies for next time.
  • Allow typewritten or computer-printed assignments
  • Selective scheduling if possible for attention difficulties (assign more difficult classes to the morning when attention is better)

Organizational

  • Allow carrying of a backpack
  • Limit the need for locker use, key access to a locker as needed
  • Use of individual locker close to ASC classroom
  • Provide access to electronic graphic organizers for all written work
  • Provide access to an electronic rubric for assignments and projects
  • Give consistent feedback on grades and scores
  • Encourage use a planner to track assignments

Social/Behavioral

  • Social problem solving with adult support
  • Allow sensory supports as needed, ie) a fidget toy or gum as needed
  • Provide peer support for unfamiliar tasks as needed (such as delivering library books)
  • Prompting for brevity
  • Provide a predictable routine
  • Allow the student to work in small groups or quiet space or give him the option of working independently
  • Monitor mood and anxiety level
  • Using a rating scale, identify how the student is feeling about school:
    • On a scale of 1 (never) – 10 (almost always), rate the following:
      I feel successful in school.
      I feel organized in school.
      I feel like I understand what my teachers expect from me.

We are collecting data from parents who have kids in BVSD with either a 504 Plan or an IEP. We would like to know which accommodations are working for your child and why.
Are there any other topics you would like to learn more about?