Difference Between Accommodations and Modifications (With Table)

Accommodations and Modifications these are the terms that are used with people with disabilities or who are gifted. They are often heard by students while studying. People get confused between Accommodations and Modifications, even using the terms in place of each other when in reality they mean different things.

They have used the ways that help the person succeed. In layman’s terms, they are some procedures that are followed by the teacher and the student making studying easier for the person.

Accommodations vs Modifications

The difference between Accommodations and Modifications is that Accommodation means changing or updating the way that a student learns or gets things, and Modification means the change in the way how a student learns a subject. They both make it easier for the person having trouble learning to get a hold of the concepts and understanding the study material.

Accommodations mean supporting a student to learn the same curriculum as the rest of the class. For example: When a student is given extra time to complete a task or an exam compared to other students as they are gifted. When the paper or the task is to be graded, the teacher will not cut the particular student’s marks for the extra time.

Modifications mean changing the process of making a particular person learn. The things in the curriculum are changed. If to be taken an example; A student would be given a task or a question paper with the reduced number of questions or activities to be done in an exam or program.

Comparison Table Between Accommodations and Modifications

Parameters of Comparison AccommodationsModifications
DefinitionThe procedure of changing the way how a student learns something.The procedure of changing the subject material altogether.
Grading The grades are marked according to the answers written.The grades are considered in accordance with the child’s limit.
Study Material changesThere are no certain changes in Accommodation. The person learns the same amount of knowledge.In a Modification, the student will get less work or study material to learn.
Extra curricular activitiesClasses like Physical Education, music, and more give extra time to students to complete an activity.In these special classes, the student won’t have to do the task, or the amount of work can be reduced to be completed by the child.
 Examples Extra time granted to students in a test, Sign language interpreter for people who are deaf, etc.Different question papers for the student, alternative project homework for the disabled, etc.

What are Accommodations?

Accommodation is a process that is used by teachers of institutions to make the learning procedure of the student easier. They are used when the person is suffering from any disorder or disability that makes it difficult for an individual to hold off to the study material, whether written or physical. For example: When a student has presented the information in an oral or visual way when he or she is not able to get stuff because of their disability.

In it, the student learns the same thing, reads the same book, and does the same activity as others but just with a little help or extra time allowed by the teachers. Though it is harder than Modification for students to follow, this doesn’t hold back students, and the particular person turns out as knowledgeable as his/her peers. Since the student learns the same thing as the others in a class, the grading is followed in an ordinary manner as well.

What are Modifications?

Modifications are the changes in the process of learning a student’s subject. This is applied by the teachers for their students who are suffering in getting the knowledge together because of a condition or disability. At this particular point, the school and the teachers would allow the person with disabilities to help the person by applying Modification. This means the person would get another test, less homework, or complete different study material in comparison to their peers.

Modifications are applied accordingly. They are different from person to person and are prescribed by looking into the situation and the severity of the problem of the student. Though it is a great advantage for the disabled person, the use of Modifications comes with its own disadvantage as well. That is, The student will learn less than his or her peers because they would get ahead, but since the person gets to grasp things late, it would take extra time for them to learn the same thing or subject.

Main Differences Between Accommodations and Modifications 

  1. The meaning of both words is different; Accommodations mean changing the way a student learns, while Modifications mean changing the subject or modifying it together.
  2. It is said by the experts that parents or teachers should try Accommodations first and then move to Modifications as Modification is a bigger step than Accommodations.
  3. In Accommodations, the student can learn the exact same thing or the same educational material, but in a Modification process, the weight of sturdy material gets light weighted, and the person learns less than the other people.
  4. Modifications are easier in comparison to Accommodations as the workload gets lesser in the Modification Process, but since the number of work materials is the same in Accommodation, the student does the same thing compared to other students, just in a different way or with extra time.
  5. The system while grading a paper is the same in the Accommodation method. That is, the student may get extra time to finish the paper but not extra marks. As opposed to it, in the Modification method, the grading might be different according to the student’s learning needs.


Both of these terms are used in schoolwork as well as in workplaces. The reason why people get confused between the two words as they both mean the changes on how to help a person with disabilities learn. The main difference between the two processes of change is that how the student and teacher handle things or activities in a place.

In an Accommodation, the way of studying gets easier by getting extra attention and time while in a Modification, the course or the program of the student could get easier and less complex by the teacher. Whether Accommodations or Modifications, they both make the process of studying easier for disabled people.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1076217513485584
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4899-1907-6_16
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