Disability Categories

In order to qualify for special education under the regulations that implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a child needs to be a child with a disability, meaning that the child has been evaluated as having a qualifying disability, and by reason thereof needs special education. [See 34 C.F.R. § 300.8(a)]

  • The child must have a qualifying disability as defined by the IDEA regulations;
  • The disability must have an adverse effect on the child’s educational performance;
  • The child must need specially designed instruction in order to access and make progress in the general education curriculum.

The disability categories under the IDEA are listed below: