Disabilities

A student with a disability (an impairment that substantially affects one or more major life activities) is an individual who has reached the age of 5 years on or before October 15, has neither graduated from a secondary school program nor reached 20 years at the start of the school year. If this disability adversely affects the student’s educational performance, special education services are provided in order that the student may benefit from an elementary or secondary educational program.

1. Intellectual Disability (ID): The student exhibits significantly sub-average intellectual functioning concurrent with deficits in adaptive behaviors which adversely affects his/her educational performance (the student demonstrates significant sub-average intelligence of approximately minus 2.0 standard deviations or lower, and demonstrates deficits in adaptive behavior).

2. Hearing Impairment (HI): The student exhibits a hearing loss of approximately 25-90 db in the better ear which is either permanent or fluctuating, and which adversely affects the his/her educational performance.

3. Deafness: The student has a hearing impairment of approximately 90 db in the better ear which is so severe that with or without amplification, he/she is unable to process language through hearing and which adversely affects the student’s educational performance.

4. Speech and Language Impairment (S/L): The student exhibits impairment in speech and/or language such as impaired articulation, fluency, voice impairment, or a receptive or expressive verbal language handicap that adversely affects his/her educational performance.

5. Visual Impairment including Blindness (VI): The student who has, after the best possible correction, a limitation of vision which adversely affects his/her educational performance (the term includes both partially sighted and blind students).

6. Emotional Disturbance (ED): The student who exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects his/her educational performance:
a. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
b. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
c. Inappropriate types of behaviors of feelings under normal circumstances;
d. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression;
e. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

7. Orthopedic Impairment (OI): The student who has impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, spina bifida, etc.), caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures). Physical characteristics may include paralysis, unsteady gait, poor muscle control, loss of limb, etc., any of which adversely affects his/her educational performance.

8. Other Health Impairment (OHI): The student who exhibits limited strength, vitality or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems, that adversely affects his/her educational performance.

9. Specific Learning Disability (SLD): The student who exhibits difficulties with listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling and doing mathematical calculations. This disability includes disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, and includes minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia, and which adversely affects his/her educational performance.

10. Deaf/Blindness: The student who exhibits concomitant visual and hearing impairments which cause severe social, communication, educational and/or developmental deficits which adversely affect his/her educational performance.

11. Multiple Disabilities: The student who exhibits concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation and behavioral impairments, orthopedically impaired and deaf, etc.) resulting in severe social, communication, educational, and/or developmental deficits which adversely affect his/her educational performance (does not include students who are deaf/blind).

13. Autism: The student who significantly exhibits difficulty in verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, which adversely affects his/her educational performance. Characteristics of autism include irregularities and impairments in communication, engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences (does not include students with characteristics of a behavioral impairment). Intervention typically occurs in three areas, but programming is not limited to these three: Developmental Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. 

14. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): The student who has had an injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or by an internal occurrence such as stroke or aneurysm, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial maladjustment that adversely affects his/her educational performance. This includes open or closed head injuries resulting in mild, moderate or severe impairments in one or more areas, including cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking/judgment, problem-solving, sensory/perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech; this does not include brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

15.  Developmental Delay (kindergarten only): The student whose development, as measured by appropriate diagnostic tests and procedures, lags behind peers in one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development, and who, because of such delays, needs special education and related services.

NOTE: AttentionDeficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD): A student with ADD or ADHD may be eligible for special education under Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, and/or EmotionalDisability if the ADD/ADHD condition adversely affects educational performance.


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