A disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).

Students who are diagnosed with one or more of the 13 disabilities covered by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act qualify for special education.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires public schools to provide spewcial education and related services to eligible students. But not every child who struggles in school qualifies. To be covered, a child’s school performance must be “adversely affected” by a disability in one of the 13 categories. Those disabilities include learning disabilities, autism, emotional disturbance, and hearing impairment. Within each disability, there is variance in severity and how the disability reveals itself in a classroom.

Emotional DisturbanceIntellectual DisabilityOrthopedic Impairment
Multiple DisabilitiesSpeech/Language ImpairmentTraumatic Brain Injury
Visual Impairment/BlindnessWritten Expression Disorder

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