Other Special Education Services

Some other programs, services, and aids that may be recommended on a student’s IEP are:

Accommodations and Modifications


Tools and procedures that give students with disabilities equal access to instruction and assessment. They are designed to level the playing field for students with disabilities, and are generally grouped into the following categories:


This includes having the teacher or students:

  • Repeat directions
  • Read aloud
  • Use larger bubbles on answer sheets


Students with disabilities may need more than one way to respond--both in class or on homework, such as:

  • Marking answers in book
  • Using reference aids
  • Pointing
  • Using a computer


This can include:

  • Extended time
  • Frequent breaks


Students with disabilities may need a different setting from their peers. This can include:

  • Study carrel
  • Special lighting
  • Separate room

For more information visit the Testing Accommodations page.


Modifications change the content and/or the instructional level of the curriculum. Modifications are made for students with disabilities who are unable to understand the content an instructor is teaching. An example of modification is redesigning the size or focus of the assignment.

What's the Difference?

  • Accommodations are changes in formats or procedures
  • Modifications change the difficulty level and/or quantity of the content being taught

Accessible Education Materials

Accessible Education Materials (AEM) are textbooks and instructional materials that have been converted into a format that is accessible to a student who is unable to use standard printed materials. These formats include:

  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio
  • Digital text

If you believe your child requires AEM, reach out to your school. School staff can determine which, if any, format would benefit your child.

If your child requires AEM, the materials will be provided in school at the DOE’s expense. Families may also want to explore Bookshare, which provides free accounts for home use to eligible children.

Adaptive Equipment

Devices used to assist students with:

  • Daily living activities
  • Participation in the school environment

Physical and occupational therapists work with students to determine if these devices are needed. Some examples of adaptive equipment are:

  • Standers
  • gait trainers
  • adaptive chairs
  • feeding or toileting equipment

Adapted Physical Education

Adapted Physical Education (APE) is a specialized physical education program of:

  • Developmental activities
  • Games
  • Sports
  • Rhythms

The IEP team will recommend APE if your child cannot safely or successfully participate in the regular physical education program. APE teachers will adapt and modify a physical activity so that it is appropriate for the individual student.

Alternate Assessment

Used to evaluate the performance and progress of students who are unable to take part in standard assessments, even with testing accommodations. These measures of achievement:

  • Provide eligible students with an alternative way to demonstrate their knowledge and skills
  • Measure students’ progress towards achieving academic goals
  • Support teachers and specialists in adapting instructional strategies and supports
  • Are used by schools as part of their usual classroom assessment practices

The NY State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) is part of the annual State testing process for all eligible students in grades 3-8 and in high school. The IEP must specify that your child is eligible for alternate assessments.

Declassification Services

Students who no longer need special education services are declassified after a reevaluation. Students who have been declassified will not have an IEP, but may receive the following services to ease the transition to general education:

  • Instructional support
  • Instructional modifications
  • Testing accommodations
  • Related services

These services may continue for up to one year after your child has been declassified.

Students who are declassified in grades 8-12 may be eligible for Safety Net diploma options if noted in the last IEP. To learn more about graduation options, visit the page on Graduation Requirements.

Extended School Year Services

Extended School Year (ESY) services are different from general education summer school. These services are recommended for students with disabilities who require special education over the summer to prevent substantial regression.

Children with an IEP recommendation for ESY may: 

  • Receive the same program and services in July – August as in September – June; or
  • Receive less intense services in July – August.

Paraprofessional Services

A paraprofessional is an aide who provides assistance to students. It may be to an entire class or to an individual student. It can be for all, or part, of a school day.

You child’s IEP may recommend the support of a paraprofessional in:

  • Behavior support
  • Health
  • Transportation
  • Orientation and mobility
  • Toileting

If your child has been recommended for a bilingual Integrated Co-Teaching or special class, but that class is not available, your child may receive support from a paraprofessional. If this happens, the paraprofessional will be bilingual in English and the recommended language of instruction for your child.

Travel Training

Eligible students age 14 and above may receive travel training services. These services help students use public transportation and navigate different environments independently. To learn more about Travel Training, call 212-802-1625.