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Resources by Eligibility and Disability

Students may be eligible for special education under one of the following eligibility categories:


Contents

  1. 1 Autism
    1. 1.1 Autism Speaks
    2. 1.2 Autism Society of America
    3. 1.3 Autism IEP Considerations
    4. 1.4 Development of IEPs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  2. 2 Deaf-Blindness
    1. 2.1 Deaf-Blindness 
    2. 2.2 Project REACH: Illinois Deaf-Blind Services
    3. 2.3 American Association of the Deaf-Blind
  3. 3 Deafness
    1. 3.1 Deafness 
    2. 3.2 Illinois Service Resource Center
    3. 3.3 Illinois Association of the Deaf
    4. 3.4 National Association of the Deaf
    5. 3.5 American Sign Language
  4. 4 Emotional Disability
    1. 4.1 Emotional Disability 
    2. 4.2 Fact Sheet
    3. 4.3 Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
    4. 4.4 National Alliance on Mental Illness Illinois
  5. 5 Hearing Impairments
    1. 5.1 Hearing Impairments 
    2. 5.2 Illinois Supervisors of Programs for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Individuals
  6. 6 Intellectual Disability
    1. 6.1 Intellectual Disability 
    2. 6.2 Best Buddies Info on Intellectual Disabilities
  7. 7 Multiple Disabilities
    1. 7.1 Multiple Disabilities 
  8. 8 Orthopedic Impairment
    1. 8.1 Orthopedic Impairment 
    2. 8.2 Project IDEAL for Orthopedic Impairments
  9. 9 Other Health Impairment
    1. 9.1 Other Health Impairment 
    2. 9.2 Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
    3. 9.3 National Association of Special Education Teachers - OHI Topics & Resources
  10. 10 Specific Learning Disabilities
    1. 10.1 Specific Learning Disabilities
    2. 10.2 National Center for Learning Disabilities
  11. 11 Speech or Language Impairment
    1. 11.1 Speech or Language Impairment 
    2. 11.2 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    3. 11.3 FAQ's
  12. 12 Traumatic Brain Injury
    1. 12.1 Traumatic Brain Injury 
    2. 12.2 Brain Injury Association in Illinois
  13. 13 Visual Impairment
    1. 13.1 Visual Impairment 
    2. 13.2 Vision loss resource links in IL

Autism

Autism is a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. (A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age 3 could be diagnosed as having autism if the other criteria of this Section are satisfied.) Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance.

Autism now effects 1 in 50. Click here for more information on autism in IL.

Autism Speaks

Autism Society of America

Autism IEP Considerations

Development of IEPs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

 

Deaf-Blindness

Deaf-Blindness 
means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness. 

Project REACH: Illinois Deaf-Blind Services

American Association of the Deaf-Blind


Deafness

Deafness 
means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Illinois Service Resource Center

Illinois Association of the Deaf

National Association of the Deaf

American Sign Language

    

Emotional Disability

Emotional Disability 
(includes schizophrenia but does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance) means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance: 

      • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
      • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
      • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
      • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
      • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems

Fact Sheet

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Alliance on Mental Illness Illinois

Hearing Impairments

Hearing Impairments 
means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness. 

Illinois Supervisors of Programs for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Individuals


Intellectual Disability

Intellectual Disability 
means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Best Buddies Info on Intellectual Disabilities


Multiple Disabilities

Multiple Disabilities 
means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.


Orthopedic Impairment

Orthopedic Impairment 
means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., Poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes ( e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

Project IDEAL for Orthopedic Impairments


Other Health Impairment

Other Health Impairment 
means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened sensitivity to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment that 

    • is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, or sickle cell anemia; and
    • adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

National Association of Special Education Teachers - OHI Topics & Resources

Specific Learning Disabilities

Specific Learning Disabilities
 means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. [105 ILCS 5/14-1.03(a)]

In accordance with 23 Illinois Administrative Code 226.130, beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, Illinois districts are required to use a process that determines how a child responds to scientific, research-based interventions as part of the evaluation procedures to determine special education eligibility under the category of specific learning disability (SLD).  While this requirement is specific to SLD, districts also have the option of using such a process as part of the evaluation procedures for other disability categories.

National Center for Learning Disabilities


Speech or Language Impairment

Speech or Language Impairment 
means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

FAQ's

Traumatic Brain Injury

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. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; psychosocial functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Brain Injury Association in Illinois


Visual Impairment

Visual Impairment 
means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

Vision loss resource links in IL