Step 7: Inform Students and Parents About the Adaptation

Adaptations are more likely to be successful when they are offered and introduced to the student or to the whole class at the beginning of the year. Students should be taught explicit strategies to use any adaptation effectively, as well as how to process the information received through the adaptation. For example, simply providing an audio or video recording of information to a student who cannot read may be an ineffective adaptation of materials.

Research has shown that simply listening to audiotaped text does not compensate for poor learning strategies, poorly organized text, or limited background experiences. As students progress, they should be taught how to recognize the need for material adaptations and feel comfortable requesting them. Since adaptations can promote dependence, students should learn to become as independent as possible in profiting from the adaptation.

Parents also should be informed of the types of adaptations that will be provided at the beginning of the year and how they will be implemented. They should be informed of any role that they might play in terms of helping the student use the adaptation. A one-page policy and implementation sheet can inform parents about how they might become involved. Parents can also be informed about adaptations at IEP meetings and parent-teacher conferences.

Decisions about content adaptations resulting in the use of alternative curricula should always be made at an IEP meeting. Decisions about format adaptations may be made more informally, but parents will need to be reassured that the content is not being altered and that standards are being met.

More on Adapting L.A., S.S., and Science Materials for the Inclusive Classroom.

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