At Desert Voices, a lot of accommodations are a given; there’s not much you need to ask for. But going into a public school, I realized that this wasn’t the case.
“I needed to ask for the accommodations I needed, even for the ones I didn’t realize I needed at the time.”
Some accommodations that I have used include:
These accommodations were discovered, added, and used at different times. There are so many other ones that can be used to fit specific needs.
Once I got to middle school, things started getting difficult and then even more so in high school. I had all the accommodations and was using them, but it wasn’t working out. The accommodations that once benefited were no longer helping. My middle school classes became more group and class discussion based rather than lectures from the teachers. Because of this, sitting in the front of the classroom was no longer helpful since I couldn’t see all the students. As a result, I couldn’t identify where in the class they were and couldn’t follow along with all the class comments. Sitting in the front of the classroom was necessary in those earlier years for me, but as I got older and my classes changed, the front of the classroom became the last spot I would choose to sit.
Likewise, using an FM system that was just worn by the teacher and only picked up his/her voice was no longer beneficial. I could only hear the teacher and couldn’t hear the students and their comments/answers to questions. Not being able to follow along with the whole class made it much harder to follow along and learn. This is why I started using the Roger Select instead of a traditional teacher worn FM system.
It’s important to realize that the accommodations you use one year may not be used the next. And the accommodations that work for me may not be the best for you. These accommodations are meant to be tailored to your needs and your specific situations.
I’ve had to fight for some accommodations over the years. The explanation can sometimes be the hardest. For example, around 5th grade, I discovered closed captions at home while watching a movie. I wasn’t asking my family questions and I walked away without missing a detail. This is how we realized I needed captions in school. But when I said I needed captions, the school asked me to identify what I was missing in the videos. How could I tell the school what I was missing when I didn’t know what I was missing?
Sometimes you just have to keep persevering to get the accommodations you need. In the end, know that it is necessary because you are your own best advocate. You know what you need better than anyone else!
What accommodations have you used?