Disability Areas

In Minnesota, students can receive special education services under thirteen categorical disability areas. A team of qualified professionals, including parent(s), determines whether the student meets criteria in one of the disability areas and is in need of special education services. MN Rule Chapter 3525.2710

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism is a developmental disability with onset usually in the first three years of life. It is a behaviorally defined syndrome characterized by an uneven developmental profile and disturbances in interaction, communication, and perceptional organization. Autism occurs on a continuum from mild to severe. It occurs by itself or in association with other disorders. It may include the diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder. Professionals with experience and expertise in the area of autism will be included on the team determining the disability and educational program.
**Autism: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Deaf/Blind (DB)

Deaf/Blindness means medically verified visual impairment paired with medically verified hearing impairment that, together, interferes with acquiring information or interacting in the environment. Both conditions need to be present and student must meet the criteria for both vision and hearing impairments.
**Deaf/Blind: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Developmentally Delayed (DD)

Developmentally Delayed, formerly known as ECSE, is available to students from birth to seven years of age who have a substantial delay or disorder in development, or have an identifiable sensory, physical, mental, or social/emotional condition or impairment known to impede normal development and need special education. Students are eligible for these services if they meet criteria in 2 or more areas as specifically defined by the Department of Education.
**Developmental Delayed: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Developmental Cognitive Disability (DCD)

Developmental Cognitive Disability refers to significant deficits in general intellectual functioning resulting in or associated with deficits in adaptive behavior that may require special education instruction and related services.
**Developmental Cognitive Disability: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education **

Emotional or Behavioral Disorders (EBD)

EBD means an established pattern characterized by one or more of the following behavior clusters: severely aggressive or impulsive behaviors; severely withdrawn or anxious behaviors, general pervasive unhappiness, depression, or wide mood-swings; severely disordered thought processes manifested by unusual behavior patterns, atypical communication styles, and distorted interpersonal relationships.
**Emotional or Behavioral Disorders: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH)

Hearing impairment is the term used to describe the wide range of hearing loss, whether temporary or permanent, slight or profound. A hearing impairment has the potential to affect educational, communicative, or social functioning that may result in the need for special education instruction and related services.
**Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Other Health Disability (OHD)

Other Health Disability refers to a medically diagnosed chronic or acute health condition that may adversely affect academic functioning and result in the need for special education and related services. Examples of health impairment include, but are not limited to, epilepsy, cancer, traumatic brain injury, Tourette’s syndrome, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and cystic fibrosis.
**Other Health Disabilities: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Physically Impaired (PI)

Physically Impaired refers to a medically diagnosed chronic, physical impairment, either congenital or acquired, that may adversely affect physical or academic functioning and result in the need for special education and related services.
**Physical Impaired: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Severely Multiple Impaired (SMI)

Severely Multiple Impaired refers to students who may meet criteria in 2 or more disability areas.

Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

Specific Learning Disability means a student is functioning at an academic level significantly below grade level peers and is demonstrating a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and actual achievement in one or more of the following areas: Oral expression and listening comprehension; Basic reading skills and reading comprehension; Written expression; Mathematical calculation or mathematics reasoning.
**Specific Learning Disability: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Speech / Language Impairments (S/L)

Speech/language impairments fall into four different areas. 1) A fluency disorder means the intrusion or repetition of sounds, syllables, and words; prolongation of sounds; avoidance of words; silent blocks; or inappropriate inhalation, exhalation, or phonation patterns. These patterns also may be accompanied by facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. 2) voice disorder is displayed when a student’s voice interferes with communication, due to quality, progidy or health factors. 3) An articulation disorder is the absence of or incorrect production of speech sounds that are developmentally appropriate. 4) A language disorder means a breakdown in communication as characterized by problems in expressing needs, ideas, or information that may be accompanied by problems in understanding.
**Speech Language Impairment: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic Brain Injury means 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.
**Traumatic Brain Injury: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**

Visually Impaired (VI)

Visually Impaired means a medically verified visual impairment accompanied by limitations in sight that interfere with acquiring information or interaction with the environment to the extent that special education instruction and related services may be needed. Visual disorders fall into 3 basic categories: visual malfunctions which can be corrected with lenses; visual impairments which adversely affect sight even with corrective lenses; and severe vision impairments which affect sight to such an extent that alternative methods must be used to read and travel.
**Visually Impaired: Click for more information from the Minnesota Department of Education**