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Variations, Accommodations, or Modifications

Becoming familiar with the principles of UDL, the diverse needs of their students, and the various accessibility options available is the first step that educators can take to choose fair and accessible assessments — so that ALL students have the opportunity to show what they know and can do.

Whether an educator is considering using variations, accommodations, or modifications in classroom assessments, the choice must be made thoughtfully. The choice should be based on the students’ individual needs. In the case of students in special education with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), the IEP team decides how to make tests accessible to each student. Students who are entitled to variations in state testing (by IEP, 504 Plan, etc.) should also use those variations routinely in the classroom. Assessment-literate educators thoroughly understand the test variations indicated for their students AND are able to carry out these variations in their classroom instruction and assessment.