People with disabilities may need support to participate fully in their school, workplace, or community. Supports can be provided to students, families, educators, and employers. These supports, or adaptations, can be achieved by having appropriate accommodations or modifications in place. The accommodations and/or modifications needed are tailored to the individual and their unique strengths and needs.
Accommodations change how the individual accesses material, but they do not change the expectations for learning or reduce requirements of a task. In the school setting, this can include text-to-speech software, extended time, or taking a test in a separate room. In a workplace environment, this can include reduced hours or consistent hours, increased breaks, supervisor check-ins to monitor progress, natural supports and adjusting the workplace environment.
Modifications change the expectations for the individual. In a school environment, this can include providing alternative curriculum that is adjusted in content and complexity and tailored to the learning needs of the student (example: learning 5 essential vocabulary words in a science class rather than 25). In a workplace environment, this can include customizing the job and adjusting tasks within a position to meet employee strengths, interests, and ideal work conditions (example: an employee in a clothing store may stock or fold items, but not do cashier or sales-related tasks).