Accommodations: Who are they acccommodating?

In this post I discussed accommodations at school; in this one – accommodations at work; in a future post I will discuss accommodations at home. But today, I want to discuss a more general question: Who are they accommodating?

In the ideal world, every accommodation would be designed to accommodate the person with the disability. But this is not the ideal world. All too often, the accommodation is designed to help the person or institution who is providing the accommodation.

This leads in two directions: First, we should try to assure that the need of the disabled person is accommodated; by law if necessary. Second, we should recognize the power of self-accommodation.

The first direction can further be divided. Part of it relies on public advocacy and legal work. The other part depends on being aware of how the accommodating decisions are made: e.g. in schools, IEP meetings are critical, but who decides what accommodations are in the list of choices? Not the teachers or even the principal – often it is some bureaucrat told to cut a budget.

The second direction is much easier for us, as individuals, to do something about in the short term. Who knows what accommodation would work best? Well, often, it’s the person who has the disability. Would extra time help? Perhaps. It would not have helped me, though. Would software help? Possibly. But the writing software that I have seen is almost exactly the opposite of what I need – it is designed to let people use graphical input to create text; that’s not my problem. I am fine with words, but sometimes organization is hard. But visual organizers just make it worse. However, a scribe would have helped me a lot.

If we self-advocate nicely and creatively, we can solve a lot of our problems. And if we brainstorm and share ideas of accommodations that really helped, we can make our self-advocacy more effective.

What has worked for you? Share in the comments


  1. Thanks, Peter. You were my first source of the solution to the puzzle that is my mate. In a few days I’ve read a LOT. It’s taken me nearly four years to understand why a nice graphical interface doesn’t make any sense to my husband. He’s very nostalgic about the good old days when a computer screen was black with green text.

    I hoped that learning as much as I could about adult NLD would help me, but I feel the need to discuss the trials and tribulations, hints and tips with other spouses.

    In this world of middle-aged online dating, verbally proficient NLDers can wind up paired with mates who have no idea what goes on in their minds once their communication becomes all face-to-face. I often feels he has a deeper relationship with his many pen pals that with me.

    I’ve started a blog for spouses to share anonymously. Maybe we’ll help each other and then we’ll all benefit.


Speak Your Mind