Asking for Accommodations in Secondary School

asking for accommodationsStudents with LDs should be aware of their learning profiles and encouraged to participate in the IEP process, however, students also need to learn to self-advocate for the accommodations included in their IEPs [1]. Although by law, all teachers are required to be aware of a student’s accommodations listed on the IEP, students may nonetheless have to remind teachers of their needs throughout the school year, including during lessons and assessments.

Explicit Instruction for Requesting Accommodations

In order to assist students in requesting instructional accommodation, Prater et al. developed the mnemonic FESTA. Just as with the SHARE and I PLAN mnemonics, this strategy works best when paired with explicit instruction. Students may need instruction around the vocabulary to use when describing their learning disabilities. Even after explicit instruction, students may feel some discomfort discussing their LDs and accommodations [2]. Therefore, it is recommended that students with LDs receive repeated practice describing their LDs and communicating clearly their required accommodations in order to become more comfortable and confident when discussing them with instructors or service providers. With practice, students can become more confident in their abilities and may even begin participating more frequently in the classroom [3]. 

F - Face the teacher

E - Maintain eye contact

S - State the accommodation they require and the reason they are asking for it

T - Thank the teacher

A - Use the accommodation [4]

asking for accommodations

Click here to access LD@school’s template for the FESTA mnemonic.

[1] Prater et al.  2014

[2]  Durlak, et al., 1994

[3] Prater et al.  2014

[4] Prater et al.  2014