Disability Glossary

  • Students in special education both have a disability and are in need of specialized instruction. A comprehensive evaluation, conducted by a team from the public school, evaluates and identifies these students. For every student who needs special education services, the team develops a special document called an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP outlines the unique needs of the student and the specialized goals and objectives that will help the student make educational progress. Parents are a critical partner in every phase of identifying a student for special education and in establishing the IEP. There are 13 areas of qualification for students, click on the links below each to see the MN state criteria.
    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    A neurodevelopmental disorder that adversely impacts a student’s educational performance. Core features of autism are persistent deficits in social interaction and communication and restricted, repetitive or stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests or activities.
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    Blind/Visually Impaired (B/VI)
    A disorder in which the student  has a medically documented loss of vision, visual field cut and/or very poor visual acuity even with correction (glasses), which interferes with learner’s performance in schools.  
    Developmental Delay (DD)
    A child up to age seven who is experiencing a measurable delay in development may qualify as DD
    click here for more information (ages birth-2)

    click here for more information (ages3-6)
    Developmental Cognitive Disability (DCD)
    DCD refers to students with intellectual functioning significantly below average and is associated with concurrent deficits in adaptive behavior that require special education and related services.
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    Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH)
    A disorder in which the student  has a medically documented hearing loss which has the potential to affect education, communicative or social functioning that affects a student’s school performance.
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    Deaf Blind (DB)
    A disorder in which a student has medical documentation of both hearing and visual impairments. The combination causes severe communication and other developmental and educational needs.
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    Emotional or Behavioral Disorder (EBD)
    A pupil must demonstrate an established pattern of emotional or behavioral responses across setting that represents a significant difference from peers and interfere with learning and/or relationships in school
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    Other Health Disability (OHD)
    Students with OHD may have a wide range of medically documented chronic or acute health conditions that range from mild to severe which adversely interferes with learning.
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    Physically Impaired (PI)
    Permanent, severe and acute, or chronic physical conditions which greatly interfere with performance at school.
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    Severely Multiply Impaired (SMI)
    Students with severe multiple impairment (SMI) meet the criteria for two or more of six categorical areas: deaf or hard of hearing, physically impaired, developmental cognitive disability (severe/profound), visually impaired, emotional or behavioral disorders and autism spectrum disorders.
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    Specific Learning Disability (SLD):
    1)A discrepancy between a learner’s intellectual ability and her/his achievement in the areas of reading, math, written expression, and/or oral expression; 2)a severe underachievement  in academic work in the area of discrepancy and 3) a severe difficulty in processing information.
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    Speech or Language Impairment( SLI)
    A disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment or a voice impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. 
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    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
    A disorder in which the student  has 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.
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