Disabilities and Descriptions

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A definition of a “child with a disability” means the child’s educational performance is adversely affected due to the specific disability. The IDEA (under the definition of a child with a disability), lists and describes the 14 primary disabilities.  These definitions guide how the state determines eligibility for a free public education under special education laws (https://www.disability.gov/resource/categories-of-disability-under-the-individuals-with-disabilities-education-act-idea/).

There are 14 disability categories under the IDEA listed below with more information and links to evidence-based practices.

Are you curious about prevalence rates of disability categories?  Complete this chart to understand the number of students receiving special education services by disability and to understand the concept of high and low-incidence disabilities. IRIS Center Disability Awareness Activity.

Note:  Eligible students diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivty disorder (ADHD) may receive services or accommoddations guaranteed by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or 1973 or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (Learn More)

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