• Qualifying Disabilities
     
    Orthopedic Impairment
    A student who has been determined by a licensed physician to have a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance including impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g. poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.) and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, fractures, burns etc. that cause contractures).
     
    Other Health Impairment
    A student who has been determined by a licensed physician to have limited strength, vitality or alertness, due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
     
    Auditory Impairment
    A student that has been determined to have a serious hearing loss even after corrective medical treatment or use of amplification. This determination shall have been made by a ontological examination performed by an otologist, or, with documentation that an otologist is not reasonably available, by a licensed medical doctor. An audiological evaluation by a certified audiologist shall also be conducted. This evaluation shall include a description of the implications of the hearing loss for the student's hearing in a variety of circumstances with or without recommended amplification.
     
    Visual Impairment
    A student who has a visual impairment is one who:
    • Has been determined by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist to have no vision or to have a serious visual loss after correction. The visual loss should be stated in exact measures of visual field and corrected visual acuity at distance and near in each eye. The report should also include prognosis whenever possible. If exact measures cannot be obtained, the eye specialist must so state and give best estimates.
    • Has been determined by the following assessments to have a need for special services:
      • A functional vision evaluation by a professional certified in the education of students with visual impairments or a certified orientation and mobility instructor. The evaluation must include the performance of tasks in a variety of environments requiring the use of both near and distance vision and recommendations concerning the need for a clinical low vision evaluation and an orientation and mobility evaluation.
      • A learning media assessment by a professional certified in the education of students with visual impairments. The assessment must include recommendations concerning which specific visual, tactual, and/or auditory learning media are appropriate for the student and whether or not there is a need for ongoing assessment in this area.
    • Is functionally blind if, based on the preceding assessments, the student will use tactual media (which includes Braille) as a primary tool for learning to be able to communicate in both reading and writing at the same level of proficiency as other students of comparable ability.
     
    Deaf-Blind
    A student who has a combination of severe hearing and visual losses after best correction and is determined to be eligible as auditory impaired and as visually impaired according to the specific eligibility criteria for each of these disabilities. If an eligible student with a visual impairment has a suspected hearing loss that cannot be demonstrated conclusively, and if a speech/language evaluation performed by a certified speech and hearing therapist, certified speech and language therapist, or licensed speech language pathologist indicates there is no speech at an age when speech would normally be expected, the student may be eligible for services as deaf-blind.
     
    Intellectual Disability
    A student who has been determined to be functioning two or more standard deviations below the mean on individually administered scales of verbal ability, and either performance or nonverbal ability, and who concurrently exhibits deficits in adaptive behavior.
     
    Emotional Disturbance
    A student exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's performance:
    • An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
    • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers
    • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances
    • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
    • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

    A student with an emotional disturbance is one who has been determined to meet the criteria as defined in 34 CFR 300.7(b)(9). The team's written report of evaluation shall include specific recommendations for behavior management.

     
    Learning Disability
    A student with a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. This includes:
    • A student with a learning disability is one who has been determined by a multidisciplinary assessment team to meet the criteria as defined in 34 CFR,§300.7(b)(10), and in whom the team has determined whether a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability exists in accordance with the provisions in 34CFR, §§300.540-300.543.
    • A severe discrepancy exists when the student's assessed intellectual ability is above the mentally retarded range, but the student's assessed educational achievement in areas specified in 34CFR, §300.541, is more than one standard deviation below the student's intellectual ability.
    • If the multidisciplinary assessment team cannot establish the existence of a severe discrepancy in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection because of the lack of appropriate assessment instruments, or if the student does not meet the criteria in paragraph (2) of this subsection but the team believes a severe discrepancy exists, the team must document in its written report the areas identified under paragraph (2) of this subsection and the basis for determining that the student has a severe discrepancy. The report shall include a statement of the degree of the discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement.
     
    Speech Impairment
    A student who has been determined by a certified speech and hearing therapist, certified speech and language therapist, or licensed speech language pathologist to meet the criteria as defined in 34 CFR, §300.7(b)(11) as having a disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects the child's educational performance.
     
    Multiple Disabilities
    A student with multiple disabilities is one who has a combination of disabilities included in this section and who meets all of the following conditions:
    • The student's disability is expected to continue indefinitely.The disabilities severely impaired performance in two or more of the following areas:
      • psychomotor skills
      • self-care skills
      • communication
      • social and emotional development
      • cognition
    • Students who have more than one of the disabilities defined in this section but who do not meet the criteria in paragraph one of this subsection shall not be classified or reported as having multiple disabilities.
     
    Non Categorical Disability
    A student age 3-5 experiencing developmental delays as defined by the State and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following areas and who needs special education and related services.
    • physical development
    • cognitive development
    • communication development
    • social or emotional development
    • adaptive development
     
    Autism
    A student with evidences the criteria for autism as stated in 34 CFR, §300.7(b)(1) including significantly affected verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has a serious emotional disturbance. Students with pervasive developmental disorders are included under this category. The team's written report of evaluation shall include specific recommendations for behavior management.
     
    Traumatic Brain Injury
    A student with traumatic brain injury is one who has been determined by a licensed physician to have an injury to the brain caused by an external physical force resulting in total or partial functional disability and/or psychosocial impairment or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
    Assessment to determine educational need is performed by district personnel qualified to assess those areas identified in 34 CFR, §300.7(b)(12), that are suspected to adversely affect the student's educational performance.