Classroom accommodations can assist learners with a variety of needs. Accommodations are changes to the routines, equipment or procedures that can help the student be more successful. Many special needs students receive accommodations, but students in the general population may benefit as well. Some accommodations are very simple, such as alterations of seating charts or classroom routines. Others require changes to teaching styles, assignments or testing methods. A few accommodations require investment in specialized equipment or materials.

Attention Problems

Students who have difficulty paying attention to classroom lessons may be helped with accommodations focused on grouping material and tasks. Presenting information in short segments while teaching will improve the student's focus. Decreasing the length of homework assignments makes compliance more likely. If the number of homework problems cannot be decreased, try masking the page so only a few problems show at one time or making a checklist of substeps to complete a complex task.


Disabled readers can be accommodated by minimizing the reading load required for the class. Recordings or having a peer or mentor read assignments to the student can ensure that information from text is learned more effectively. Oral testing offers an alternative to printed assessments. Using interesting text with simple vocabulary following the lesson topic can encourage disabled readers to participate in reading times with nondisabled peers.

Visual Impairment

Visually impaired students can be helped by using large-print text and magnification systems and by providing adequate lighting. Duplicated materials must be of the highest quality. High visual contrast on print-outs can make reading easier, as can colored filters to change the level of contrast.

General Learning Difficulties

Lessons and assignments can be planned with attention to visual, auditory and kinesthetic input. For example, lectures and discussions, visual aids and movement or game activities can be used to emphasize concepts. Be sure that lessons are highly structured and organized. Cover small numbers of steps or concepts in a highly sequential manner. Offer extra practice options and alternative routes to score points or demonstrate learning. Organize peer tutoring, mentoring or small group activities to accommodate students who are having difficulty with the material being covered. Use small, frequent evaluation tools rather than large tests and projects as much as possible.