SCHOOL SUPPORT SERVICES AND ACCOMMODATIONS/MODIFICATIONS
“Fairness is not equal, identical treatment; rather fairness means that every student receives what he/she needs.” -Richard Lavoie-
There are three statutes in Colorado used to provide children with school support services. A student may have one or the other but not more that one at the same time. It is important that you as a parent know what these are and what they are used for. One of the best resources can be found at Wrightslaw.
IEP (Individualized Education Program) - IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) is designed to meet the unique educational needs of your child once they qualify. Remediation for dyslexic students are services such as specialized classes, modifications to education, additional support and accommodations. An IEP is accompanied by federal funds to help offset the cost of the additional needs of these students.
Section 504 -Section of the Americans with Disabilities Act that ensures a child with a disability has equal access to an education thus leveling the playing field. It may be used in cases where students do not qualify for school services (IEP). A 504 is not accompanied by additional federal funds.
Some common effective accommodations for dyslexic students are:
· Provide students extra time to complete assignments and tests
· Provide a quiet workspace or preferential seating
· Provide a glossary or vocabulary list in content areas prior to introducing new materials
· Provide an extra set of textbooks at home
· Provide help with note taking through peer notes or teacher copies
· Allow or provide books-on-tape
· Provide allowances for oral testing
· Allow the use of Assistive Technology
· Absolving the student from having to read out loud in class
These are a few common accommodations taken from a comprehensive list by the International Dyslexia Association. We suggest you choose the 4-5 that will best serve your child and encourage your child to be a part of the selection process (if age appropriate). Perhaps you can start by asking your child what he or she is struggling with and then look at creative accommodations to help. You also need to consider what the accommodation will look like in the classroom and be prepared to help work out the details in applying it to your student’s learning environment. Over time, accommodations change as the school’s expectations change and your son or daughter grows in their learning. Expect to review and revise them annually at your 504 or IEP meeting.
RtI (Response to Intervention) - Response to Intervention (RtI) is a multi-tiered approach to help struggling learners. Students' progress is closely monitored at each stage of intervention to determine the need for further research-based instruction and/or intervention in general education, in special education, or both. Here is the link to a good informational website - RtI Action Network. Many schools will put a struggling student into RtI in order to evaluate and establish the best teaching method for that student. At any point during the RtI process, a parent may request Special Education testing.
The READ Act (Colorado) - The Colorado Reading To Ensure Academic Development Act (Colorado READ Act) was passed by the Colorado Legislature during the 2012 legislative session. The READ Act repeals the Colorado Basic Literacy Act (CBLA) as of July 1, 2013, keeping many of the elements of CBLA such as a focus on K-3 literacy, assessment, and individual plans for students reading below grade level. The READ Act differs from CBLA by focusing on students identified as having a significant reading deficiency, delineating requirements for parent communication, and providing funding to support intervention. Other components of the Colorado READ Act include a competitive Early Literacy Grant and a resource bank of assessments, instructional programming, and professional development.