Step 6: Determine Adaptations That Will Allow the Student to Meet the Demand
Once the materials have been evaluated and potential problem areas have been identified, the type of format adaptation must be selected. Format adaptations can be made by:
- Altering existing materials Sometimes materials are appropriate but must be modified to make them more accessible or more
sensitive to learning needs. In this type of adaptation, the teacher
rewrites, reorganizes, adds to, or recasts the information in alternate
ways so that the student can access regular curriculum material
independently. For example, the teacher may prepare an audiotape
and a study guide for the student to use while other students read the text material.
- Mediating existing materials When learning problems require more
support than mere alteration of the existing materials, the teacher
can provide additional instructional support, guidance, and direction to the student in the use of existing materials. The teacher alters
his or her instruction to mediate the barriers presented by the
design of the materials. The teacher directly leads the student to
respond to and interact with existing materials in different ways.
For example, the teacher can direct students to survey the reading
material to collaboratively preview the text and then have them create an outline of the reading material as a reading and study guide.
- Selecting alternate materials Sometimes the existing materials are so poorly designed that too much time and too many resources would be required to alter or mediate existing materials. When this level of frustration is reached, the format of the existing curriculum may be inappropriate, and a new set of curriculum materials should be selected materials that are more sensitive to the needs of students with disabilities or that are inherently designed to compensate for many student learning problems. For example, a teacher may use an interactive computer program in science that cues critical ideas, reads text, inserts graphic organizers, defines and illustrates words, presents and reinforces learning in smaller increments, and provides more opportunities for practice and cumulative review in short, universally designed curricular materials.
Most of the examples described here refer to instructional adaptations, but the same principles apply when making adaptations to written tests. For example:
- Audiotape an existing test or break it down into chunks.
(Adapting existing materials)
- Lead students through an existing test by helping them organize
their time, rephrasing test questions, or allowing them to ask
questions about test questions. (Mediating existing materials)
- Obtain interactive CD-ROM software that tests the student
through an interactive process and provides feedback on an
ongoing basis. (Selecting alternate materials)
- Inquire about the types of adaptations that are appropriate for standardized tests used by the school district. Test publishers often provide information about the types of adaptations that were included in the norming of the test and that are allowed.
Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.
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