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Definitions of Disabilities

Disabled is defined as any type of physical or mental impairment that substantially limits or restricts one or more major life activities, including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, and working. Primary disability is determined by the disability which has the highest cost for the institution to accommodate.

Click on a term below to learn more about a specific disability.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Disorders characterized by an uneven developmental profile and a pattern of qualitative impairments in social interaction, communication, and the presence of restricted repetitive, and/or stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. These characteristics may manifest in a variety of combinations and range from mild to severe.

Traumatic Brain Injury

An injury to the brain, not of a degenerative or congenital nature but caused by an external force, that may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness, which results in impairment of cognitive ability and/or physical functioning.

Hearing impairment

A hearing loss of 30 decibels or greater, pure tone average of 500, 1000, and 4000 2000 Hz, ANSI, unaided in the better ear. Examples include but are not limited to the following: conductive hearing impairment or deafness, sensorineural hearing impairment or deafness, high or low hearing loss or deafness, acoustic trauma hearing loss, or deafness.

Specific Learning Disabilities

A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological or neurological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. Disorders may be manifested in listening, thinking, reading, writing, spelling, or performing arithmetic calculations. Examples include dyslexia, dysgraphia, dysphasia, dyscalculia, and other specific learning disabilities in the basic psychological or neurological process. Such disorders do not include learning problems which are due primarily to visual, hearing, or motor handicap, to mental retardation, to emotional disturbance, or to an environmental deprivation.

Emotional or Behavioral Disability

Any mental or psychological disorder including but not limited to organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, or attention deficit disorders.

Other health impairment

(Student has a specific disability which is not listed in the others specific categories.)

Physical impairment

(Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, neuromuscular disorders.) Physically disabling conditions which may require an adaptation to one's school environment or curriculum. Examples include but are not limited to the following: cerebral palsy, absence of some body member, clubfoot, nerve damage to the hand and arm, cardiovascular aneurysm (CVA), or head injury, and spinal cord injury.

Speech Impairment

Disorders of language, articulation, fluency, or voice which interfere with communication, pre-academic or academic learning, vocational training, or social adjustment. Examples include but are not limited to the following: Cleft lip and/or palate with speech impairment, stammering, stuttering, laryngectomy, and aphasia.

Visual impairment

Disorders in the structure and function of the eye as manifested by at least one of the following: 1) visual acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye after the best possible correction, 2) a peripheral field so constricted that it affects one's ability to function in an educational setting, 3) a progressive loss of vision which may affect one's ability to function in an educational setting. Examples include but are not limited to the following: cataracts, glaucoma, nystagmus, retinal detachment, retinitis pigmentosa, and strabismus.