SDIs in Virtual Learning Environments: Common SDIs (Post #2)

By Cassie Brusch – Project Consultant

SDIs in VE 2 FI

Accommodation and Modification

Specially designed instruction (SDIs) are both accommodations (meet the specific instruction and assessments needs of the student) and modifications (change, lower, or reduce the learning expectations). 

There is often confusion about the difference between accommodations and modifications. PaTTAN breaks this down by defining accommodations as actions that will level the playing fields, while modifications are defined as a change to the playing field. The following table provides us with an example of how an accommodation and a modification can be made on the same assignment. 


As students have entered into more virtual environments, it’s important that our IEPs reflect the SDIs that are being implemented. Even as students have headed back into more traditional environments, there continue to be virtual environments, such as the LMS and other platforms. PaTTAN has compiled this resource to support case managers as they write and implement IEPs for this new educational landscape. 

Here are some common SDIs and how they might be applied in the virtual classroom with tools that could support it. While there may be less classes regularly occurring over Zoom, Meet, or Teams, there are still opportunities to be able to use these tools in a traditional classroom setting. A teacher may model a strategy to the class or small group, but also use a digital tool to record the modeling so students can access the teacher modeling when needed. Here is a snippet of the chart they compiled.


This series will continue with various SDIs in virtual environments. We will dive deeper into Social/Beachioral SDIs, Instructional SDIs, Student Work SDIs, Physical SDIs, and finally we will wrap this series up with Executive Functioning SDIs. 

For more information see the full resource here.

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