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Empowering You to Reach Your Full Potential

Posted by admin On February - 28 - 2012

Q: How do you convince a teacher that providing the child with reasonable accommodations is not giving the student an advantage, but merely leveling the playing field?

A: This question is one of my favorites to answer. If I were to run across a teacher—general education or otherwise—who believed that providing a child with an IEP (Individualized Education Program) or Section 504 Plan (designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance) is an advantage, I would ask that teacher the following question: “Do you think that a child wearing glasses or hearing aids; having cochlear implants, a cane, wheelchair or walker; or being assisted by a guide dog, has been given an advantage against a healthy, neuro-typical child?” The answer would be, “Of course not.” I would then go on to add, “Then why do you feel that a child with a learning disability, and in need of accommodations that are allowed and required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act, is being given an advantage?

Educators need to understand that accommodations such as extended time on tests, quizzes, and assignments, simply act to aid in allowing a child to receive a meaningful education, and to reach his/her potential, just as we want all children to do. Sometimes, it is as simple as pointing out the eye-glasses on the face of the teacher questioning accommodations that have either been requested, or are already in an Individualized Education Program or Section 504 Plan.

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