How to Implement Accommodations and Modifications for Virtual Learning

How to Implement Accommodations and Modifications for Virtual Learning

In these last few weeks so many parents have shared with me that their child is struggling with navigating the “all day Zoom classroom. Some of the things I am hearing are:

  1. There is just no way he is going to sit in front of the computer all day.
  2. She cannot focus; every little movement in the house pulls her attention away
  3. He just can’t learn the information this way
  4. It is just so boring…. There is no way she will do this all day/every day
  5. I know teachers are working so hard, but this just isn’t working

Unfortunately, right now there just aren’t many options for learning. Teachers only can do what they can do virtually, students can only adapt as much as they can adapt, and families can only do so much to try and make their home  a school!

There are so many things we don’t have any control over, but the one thing we can do is get accommodations/modifications in place that can help our students learn the best they possibly can during this challenging time!

Here are a few important tips to help you navigate your way through accommodations and modifications for virtual learning environments.

Recognize that Accommodations and Modifications are Different Things


  • Provide students with the same learning expectation
  • Are designed to provide equity
  • Do not fundamentally lower expectations
  • Provide equal access to learning
  • Grading and credit is the same as all students
  • Can be implemented in any setting

Here are just a few ideas for accommodations that may be needed for virtual learning that weren’t needed for face to face learning.

    1. Extra breaks
    2. Movement breaks
    3. Material presented in written form as well as oral presentation
    4. Content broken down into smaller parts
    5. Extra time to complete assignments (time and half)
    6. Option to answer questions in multiple formats (orally, in writing)
    7. Show mastery of skill in alternate ways
    8. Shortened homework assignments


  • Reduce/change learning expectations
  • Provide students meaningful learning expectations based on their individual needs
  • Is NOT just less of the same as others
  • Grading and criteria are not the same as others
  • Can be implemented in any setting

Accommodations and Modifications For Virtual Learning

  1. Accommodations are determined by an IEP (or 504) team and once they are included in an IEP (504), teachers are required to make sure they are used when working with your child. 
  2. Even in a virtual teaching setting, accommodations and modifications need to be in place. They may look different, but they still need to be in place.
  3. Additional or different accommodations may need to be added for virtual learning and if that is the case, an IEP should be held to discuss. 
  4. Remember- Most if not all students will struggle with virtual learning so jumping into making changes in an IEP may not be needed. This is brand new for most kids and everyone is on a huge learning curve! Be patient. 🙂

Grab my FREE resource to help you stay on track with Accommodations and Modifications this fall.

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