Setting Instructional Accommodations

What are setting instructional accommodations?

Setting accommodations change the location in which a student receives instruction or the conditions of an instructional setting. Students may be allowed to sit in a different location than the majority of students in order to reduce distractions, receive distracting accommodations, or increase physical access.

Some students may need changes in the conditions of an instructional setting. Every classroom setting should have good lighting and ventilation with a comfortable room temperature. Chairs should be comfortable and tables at an appropriate height with sufficient room for learning materials. Staff should check that all needed materials and equipment are available and in good condition.

Who can benefit from setting instructional accommodations?

Changes in instructional location can benefit students who are easily distracted in large group settings and who concentrate best in a small group or individual setting. Changes in location also benefit students who receive accommodations (e.g. reader, scribe, frequent breaks) that might distract other students. Students with physical disabilities might need a more accessible location or specific room conditions.

How are specific setting instructional accommodations administered?

Change location to reduce distractions 
     A setting accommodation to reduce distractions would allow a student to do individual work in a different location, usually in a place with few or no other students. Changes may also be made to a student's location within a room. For example, a student who is easily distracted may not want to sit near windows, doors, or pencil sharpeners. Sitting near the teacher's desk or in the front of a classroom may be helpful for some students. Physically enclosed classrooms (classrooms with four walls) may be more appropriate than open classrooms, and study carrels might also be helpful for students who are easily distracted. Students with low vision may prefer to sit in the part of a room that has the best light. 
     Some students concentrate best while wearing noise buffers such as headphones, earphones, or earplugs.

Change location so student does not distract others 
     Some students use accommodations that may distract other students, such as having a reader or scribe. Also, some students might perform better when they can read and think out loud or make noises that distract other students. These students may benefit from the occasional use of individual learning settings.

Change location to increase physical access 
     Occasionally a setting might be changed to increase access for a student. For example, a student who uses a wheelchair with a specially designed tabletop and assistive technology may not be able to sit in an auditorium with theater seating. Keep aisles cleared, and do not leave doors or cupboards half-open to increase access for students with visual or physical disabilities. Provide space for a guide dog and explain to other students that the dog is working and should be ignored. 
     Some students may need to receive educational services in home or hospital settings.

Change location to access special equipment 
     Some students may need equipment that requires specific locations for learning. For example, a student who uses a computer for word processing might need to complete assignments in a computer lab. Students might use other adaptive equipment or furniture that requires them to work in specific locations. For example, a student who uses large print materials may need to sit at a table rather than at a desk with a small surface area. Another student might benefit from a standing work station. 
     Make sure the school has been certified as accessible for students with mobility impairments. Students should have access to the building, classrooms, restrooms, cafeteria, media center, playground - in essence, they should be able to access any room or space on the school grounds that is used by students in general.