Disability Definitions

The following disability definitions are from the Operating Standards for Ohio's Schools Serving Children with Disabilities, Rule 3301-51-01(F).

(F) "Child with a disability" means a child evaluated in accordance with rule 3301-51-06 of the Administrative Code having a cognitive disability (mental retardation), a hearing impairment including deafness, a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment including blindness, emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, an other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities, and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services. "Preschool child with a disability is defined in paragraph (GG) of this rule.

  1. (1) If it is determined through an appropriate evaluation that a child has one of the disabilities identified in paragraph (F)(3) of this  rule, but needs only a related service and not special education, the child is not a child with a disability.
  2. (2) If the related service required by the child is considered special education rather than a related service, the child would be determined to be a child with a disability.
  3. (3) The terms used in this definition are as follows:
    1. a) "Autism" means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
      1. i) Other characteristics often associated with autism are
        1. (a) Engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements;
        2. (b) Resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines; and
        3. (c) Unusual responses to sensory experiences.
      2. (ii) The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined in paragraph (F)(3)(e) of this rule.
      3. (iii) A child who manifests the characteristics of "autism" after age three could be diagnosed as having "autism" if the criteria in (3) (a) of this paragraph are satisfied.
    2. (b) "Cognitive disability" (mental retardation) means significantly sub average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's performance.

      1. (i) "Significantly sub average general intellectual functioning" refers to an intelligence quotient of seventy or below as determined through a measure of cognitive functioning administered by a school psychologist or a qualified psychologist using a test designed for individual administration. Based on a standard error of measurement and clinical judgment, a child may be determined to have a significant sub average general intellectual functioning with an intelligence quotient not to exceed seventy-five.

      2. (ii) "Deficits in adaptive behavior" means deficits in two or more applicable skill areas occurring within the context of the child's environments and typical of the child's chronological age peers.

      3. (iii) A child who was identified by an Ohio school district as having a developmental handicap as of the effective date of this rule shall be considered a child with a disability if the child continues to meet the definition for "developmental handicap" set forth under Rules for the Education of Handicapped Children, effective 1982, and shall be eligible to receive special education and related services in accordance with "Operating Standards for Ohio's Schools Serving Children with Disabilities," effective July 1, 2002.

    3. c) "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.

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

    5. (e) "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:

      1. (i) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;

      2. (ii) An inability to build or maintain  satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;

      3. (iii) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;

      4. (iv) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression;

      5. (v) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that thy have an emotional disturbance.

    6. (f) "Hearing impairment" 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 in this section.

    7. (g) "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.

    8. (h) "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).

    9. (i) "Other Health Impairment" means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness 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, and sickle cell anemia; and adversely affects a child's educational performance.

    10. (j) "Specific learning disability" 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 to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such 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.

    11. (k) "Speech or language impairment" means a  communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

    12. (l) "Traumatic brain injury" means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or by other medical conditions, including but not limited to stroke, anoxia, infectious disease, aneurysm, brain tumors and neurological insults resulting from medical or surgical treatments. The injury results 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, as well as to other medical conditions that result in acquired brain in juries. The injuries result 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; physical 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.

    13. (m) "Visual impairment," including blindness, means impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's  educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. Visual impairment for any child means:

      1. (i) A visual impairment, not primarily perceptual in nature, resulting in a measured visual acuity of 20/70 or  poorer in the better eye with correction; or

      2. (ii) A physical eye condition that affects visual functioning to the extent that special education placement, materials and/or services are required in an educational setting.