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Daily Adaptations


The following general adaptations to the lessons and classroom structure will be provided every day, or (in the case of computer-aided, hands-on, and multimedia instruction) as often as possible:

For a student with Spina Bifida:
© University of Wisconsin Green Bay
© University of Wisconsin Green Bay

  • If the student has difficulty moving about the classroom or is wheelchair-, brace- or crutch-bound, make sure the student’s seat is in a place where s/he will not have to move for classroom activities.
  • When classroom activities require movement about the room, have group members move to join the student rather than asking the disabled student to move around the room.
  • If the student has difficulty with motor skills/handwriting, be sure s/he has access to a computer at all times to type notes and assignments, provide a writer, or allow the student to audio record submissions.
  • If a specialized computer is necessary, work with the school make sure this is provided.
  • Provide a screen reader if severe visual impairment is present.
  • Tape record or videotape lessons for student to review to improve retention and accommodate for short-term memory difficulties.
  • When giving directions, watch for the student’s attention. If attention wanders, take subtle corrective action (move closer to student or similar).
  • Use peer or teacher modeling for problem solving to assist with reasoning/problem solving differences; use prompting to help the student transfer solutions from one situation to another (Corish, n.d.).
  • Provide one-on-one instruction as necessary (Corish, n.d.).
  • Verbally repeat and simplify written instructions.
  • Provide ample wait time for the student to answer questions and chunk instructions for activities to simplify completion.
  • Allow extra time for activities as needed.
  • To accommodate for perceptual difficulties, highlight key passages in written materials to assist with comprehension of themes, main ideas, etc. (Corish, n.d.).
  • Find out if the student would like an audio-book copy of each text. If so, provide the audio-books.
  • Model activities both visually and with speech, as the student is likely to have better auditory perception than visual perception (Corish, n.d.).
  • Provide student with opportunities to talk through activities to boost memory storage/retrieval (Corish, n.d.).
  • Assist student with planning and execution of assignments by breaking tasks down into smaller pieces, planning and developing timetables for assignment completion, and providing maps/skeletons for more complicated assignments (Corish, n.d.).
  • Allow student to take breaks as needed (frequent bathroom breaks may be necessary (Job Accommodation Network, n.d.)).

For an ADHD student:
  • Give the student two copies of each text: one to keep in the classroom and one to keep at home.
  • Email homework assignments to personal or parental email account in case they are not written down or they are forgotten.
  • Make sure the student’s seat is in an area with the least distractions.
  • When giving directions, watch for the student’s attention. If attention wanders, take subtle corrective action (move closer to student or similar).
  • Use collaborative and cooperative learning activities.
  • Use hands-on activities.
  • Use computer-aided and A/V instruction.
  • Repeat and simplify instructions, supplement verbal with visual instructions.
  • Allow extra time for activities as needed.

For a student with a developmental reading disorder:
© Jerry Ayres/Birmingham News
© Jerry Ayres/Birmingham News

  • Find out if the student would like an audio-book copy of each text. If so, provide the audio-books.
  • Have classroom documents scanned for use in the Kurzweil reading system located on the classroom’s student computer.
  • Create all learning materials with sans-serif fonts for ease of reading.
  • Print all handouts on colored paper to reduce glare.
  • Incorporate text features in classroom materials (boldface words, italics, underlines, bullets, etc.) to help guide reading.
  • Break information into small, meaningful steps.
  • Tape record or videotape lessons.
  • Provide hands-on experiences like the computer lab and kinetic experiences like changing seats to get into groups.
  • Use multimedia presentations.
  • Allow extra time for activities as needed.

For English Language Learners:
  • Teach key vocabulary and grammar of the lesson first (Grassi & Barker, 2010).
  • Allow time for discussion of content area knowledge in L1 (Grassi & Barker, 2010).
  • Use the three-way model of information presentation (verbal, written, and visual instruction)
  • Incorporate text features in classroom materials (boldface words, italics, underlines, bullets, etc.) to help guide reading.
  • Break information into small, meaningful steps.
  • Allow extra time for activities as needed.

Lesson-Specific Adaptations


The following lesson-specific adaptations will be provided:

Lesson Series 1 – Multiple Intelligences:

In Day 2’s matching game, the student with Spina Bifida will be designated as the “representative” for his/her intelligence and will not be asked to move about the room.

Lesson Series 2 – Socratic Seminar:

If the student with Spina Bifida has difficulty moving around the classroom, he/she will be given a piece of red construction paper that he/she may raise to signify being in the “hot seat.”

Vocabulary Intervention (weekly activity):

During the vocabulary intervention, if the student with Spina Bifida has trouble translating a verbal idea into a visual representation (Corish, n.d.) for the poster, ask other students to model their thinking. The teacher should provide a bit of extra assistance when the student with Spina Bifida is part of the group responsible for placing their word on the word wall.