Accommodations or adjustments are changes to teaching and learning environments designed to help equalise access to the curriculum and assessment for students with learning difficulties or disabilities, in comparison to other students.
The most commonly asked question about accommodations, are related to assessment. This can include changes in format, response, setting, timing, or scheduling - without changing in any significant way what the test measures or the comparability of scores.
These affect three areas of testing:
- the administration of tests,
- how students are allowed to respond to the items, and
- how the items are presented to the students on the test instrument
The focus is to ensure an assessment measures the intended construct, not the student’s learning difference/disability.
Accommodations do not alter the content of assignments, give students an unfair advantage or in the case of assessments, change what a test measures. They do make it possible for students with to show what they know without being impeded by their learning differences.