For example, one student might need breaks after ever 30 minutes of testing, while another student might not be able to test more than 1.5 hours per day.
“Reduced Load” is an accommodation that is wordsmithed like a politician’s speech. It doesn’t matter if your gut reaction to it is good or bad. Either way, you’re left wondering what it really means.
A reduced load is exactly what it sounds like: it is a reduction of the load the student must address.
What’s confusing about that?
Young students might not know their accommodations, while high school-aged students might be embarrassed to request accommodations in class, where their peers can hear them make the request.
In all age groups, the students might struggle with advocacy skills, which result in the student being afraid to ask for accommodations—or in a student feeling it is useless to ask for accommodations, because the school will still do whatever it wants to do.
Imagine one student writes three paragraphs about Chlorine and turns it into the teacher.
Now, imagine the teacher returning the paper back to the student, with red marks noting points taken off and the message, “I expected five sentences per paragraph.”
However, pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the unique needs of students must be addressed.
In other words: Clarity and ensuring the unique needs of the child are met is more important than word count.
The following is an example of an accommodation written into one student’s IEP:
“Student will respond using word prediction software.”
Seems straightforward, but there are too many holes to allow it to stand.
1. The report must be one page in length.
2. The report must focus on a topic she taught in science within the last month.
Did she provide clearly-defined expectations?
The accommodation for clearly-defined expectations should provide exactly what it sound like: clearly-defined expectations.
For the student’s IEP or 504, the accommodation must be written as clearly as it is expected to be implemented.
If your student needs accessible text, ask the questions posed in this article as this accommodation is developed,