Most educators think of accommodations when it comes to taking a test. They want to make sure that students can show what they know and can do on the test. Testing accommodations are important, but in fact, it is also important to make sure that students are using accommodations regularly in the classroom.
In fact, for many students, the process of being diagnosed with a learning disability will involve the Response to Intervention model (RTI). This model can vary depending on how it is implemented, but the basic idea here is that all students should receive a certain level of intervention in the classroom. This is usually some degree of individualized attention and differentiated instruction. When a student still is not performing well in the classroom, the student would receive some additional interventions that are not available to all students, but to that group of students who need them. This might be a pull out reading group, for example. Finally, if the student is still struggling, then a school may want to assess the student for special education services and if the student qualifies, he or she will get another level of support. But, throughout all of this, teachers and parents may be providing some level of accommodation to the student. In fact, the law says that students do not need to have an IEP to receive accommodations, but that teachers must provide them if a disability is suspected or perceived.