Accessibility Resource Center

Accommodations vs. Modifications

For students (and parents) it is important to understand the differences between modifications that are available to students with an IEP in K-12 and accommodations that are available to students in the college environment.

Modifications – Fundamental changes to what is being taught to or expected from students with disabilities. In some cases, a skill that would normally be taught at a certain grade level is changed, eliminated or postponed. Modifications are only required and appropriate in K-12. Key point – Students with disabilities in K-12 are often not required to meet the same academic standards as their peers. 

Accommodations – Policies or procedures that provide students with disabilities equal access to the same opportunities available to their peers. Accommodations are not required to fundamentally alter the nature of what is being taught or how a student is being assessed. Key point – Students with disabilities in college are required to meet the same academic standards as their peers.