Special Education Eligibility
Eligibility guidelines provide IEP teams with criteria to determine if a child meets the eligibility requirements for having a disability under federal and state special education laws and regulations. Each eligibility category is prefaced with the legal requirements for establishing eligibility for special education. Determinations of eligibility, placement and services are an Individual Education Program (IEP) team decision, based upon the results of a multi-disciplinary team evaluation. Eligibility categories addressed by these guidelines include the following:
Autism (AUT) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(1)(i-ii): a developmental disability significantly affecting 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.
Deafness(Deaf) - P.L. 101-476 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(3): a hearing impairment which is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, which adversely affects educational performance.
Deaf/Blindness - P.L. 105-107 (IDEA), Title 34, CRF, 300.7(c)(2): concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for with deafness or children with blindness.
Emotional Disturbance (ED) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), CFR, 300.7(c)(4):
a. The term means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, that adversely affects educational performance:
(1) An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
(2) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
(3) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
(4) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
(5) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
b. The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not include children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.
Hard of Hearing (HH) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), CFR, 300.7(c)(5): an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Intellectual Disabilities (ID) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), CFR 300.7(c)(6): significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Multiple Disabilities (MD) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CRF 300.7(c)(7): concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mentally retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.
Orthopedic Impairment (OI) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(8): a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
Other Health Impairment (OHI) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR 300.7(c)(9): having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that -
(i) Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia; and
(ii) Adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Specific Learning Disability (SLD) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR, 300.7(c)(10): 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, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
Speech and Language Impairment (SLI) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR 300.7(c)(11): a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - P.L. 105-17 (IDEA), Title 34, CFR 300.7(c)(12): an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability 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 to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
Visual Impairment including Blindness (VI) - P.L. 101476 (IDEA), CFR, 300.5(b)(11): an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.