Disabilities in the Schools
The key to receiving special education is not having a disability, but having a disability that affects your ability to learn. Children who have physical or health impairments that do not affect their ability to learn do not receive special education services. They may still receive other services under a '504 plan', which we discuss in the laws and legal rights module in this workshop.
For children three years of age and older, federal law identifies thirteen types of disabilities that require special education. These are listed below.
- Mental retardation, is defined as below normal intelligence AND deficits in adaptive behavior.
- Learning Disabilities - is defined as a problem with succeeding in the regular classroom, despite normal intelligence. Disability Access focuses on how to enable people with learning disabilities to succeed.
- Emotional Disturbance , is shown by students who have difficulty with behavior or relationships with fellow students or teachers that have a negative effect on their ability to learn.
- Orthopedic impairment – impairment of movement, speech, vision, and muscle use caused by birth defects, injuries or illnesses.
- Visual Impairment, students partially sighted, low vision, legally blind, and totally blind are used in the schools to describe students with visual impairment that requires special education.
- Hearing impairment - (hearing impairment and deafness are both discussed briefly in this workshop under hearing impairment and deafness , )
- Speech or language disorders,
- Other health impairments - cover a variety of diseases and disorders. This refers to people who have limited strength, energy or alertness that affects their ability to learn in a normal classroom.
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Multiple Disabilities
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