How to Implement Accommodations and Modifications While Teaching Virtually

How to Implement Accommodations and Modifications While Teaching Virtually

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I’ve heard from so many teachers these last few weeks how they are struggling with understanding, organizing, and implementing accommodations and modifications during virtual teaching. In the best of times this can be a herculean task, add in no face to face contact with students or other teachers, and 101 other things to try and figure out and many teachers are ready to throw their hands up and give up. But before you do that, let me give you a few important tips to help you navigate your way through how to implement accommodations and modifications while teaching virtually!

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 of 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

Implementing Accommodations and Modifications While Teaching Virtually

  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 the student.
  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 of your students and everyone is on a huge learning curve! Be patient. 🙂

Grab your FREE cheat sheet on accommodations/modification. 

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