Disability Resource Center

Disability Categories

Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, writing, reading, reasoning, or mathematical abilities or of social skills.

Examples include dyslexia, dysgraphia, dysphasia, dyscalculia, and other LDs in the basic psychological or neurological process. Such disorders do not include learning problems which are due to primary visual, hearing, or motor impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or an environmental deprivation.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or AD/HD, is a neurobiological disorder characterized by problems with attention, impulsivity, and overactivity which often results in problems with limited alertness, and can adversely affect educational performance. Science recognizes three subtypes of AD/HD (inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined). A diagnosis of one type or another depends on the specific symptoms (i.e. the "diagnostic criteria") that exhibited by the individual.

Hearing Impairments

A hearing loss of 30 decibels or greater, pure tone average of 500, 1000, 2000 Hz ANSI, unaided, in the better ear.

Examples include but are not limited to conductive hearing impairment or deafness, sensorineural hearing impairment or deafness, high or low tone hearing loss or deafness, and acoustic trauma hearing loss or deafness.

Visual Impairments

Included in this category are disorders in the structure and functions of the eye as manifested by at least one of the following:

  • visual acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye after the best possible correction,
  • a peripheral field so constricted that it affects the student's ability to function in an educational setting,
  • a progressive loss of vision which may effect the ability to function in an educational setting.

Examples of visual impairments include, but are not limited to: cataracts, glaucoma, nystagmus, retinal detachment, retinitis pigmentosa, and strabismus.

Physical Disabilities

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, as well as neuromuscular disorders, are physically disabling conditions which may require adaptation of the physical environment or curriculum.

Examples include, but are not limited to:.

Cerebral Palsy

Multiple Sclerosis

Thrombosis (stroke)

Arthritis and Rheumatism


Head and/or Spinal Cord Injury

Absence of Some
Body Member


Congenital Malformation of Brain Cellular Tissue

Nerve Damage


Parkinson's Disease


and physical disorders pertaining to muscles and nerves, usually as a
result of disease or birth defect, including but not limited to
Muscular Dystrophy and congenital muscle disorders.

Speech Impairments

These impairments include disorders of language, articulation, fluency, or voice which interfere with communication, pre-academic or academic learning, vocational training, or social adjustment.

Examples include but are not limited to cleft lip and/or palate with speech impairment, stammering, stuttering, laryngectomy and aphasia.

Other Impairments

Not limited to conditions listed below.

  • Cardiovascular and Circulatory Conditions:
    • Include, but not limited to, congenital heart disease, rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart disease, arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart disease, other diseases or conditions of the heart, other hypertensive diseases, varicose veins and hemorrhoids, and other conditions of the circulatory system.
  • Mental, Psychoneurotic or Personality Disorders:
    • Any emotional or behavioral neurosis that creates an unstable condition in the individual's actions. Examples include psychotic disorders, psychoneurotic disorders, alcoholism, drug dependence and other character, personality and behavior disorders.
  • Blood Serum Disorders:
    • Hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS and disorders where the cause is unknown.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury :
    • A neurobiological disorder that occurs as the result of accident or injury, the effects being a combination of cognitive, behavioral and physical disabilities. Cognitive disabilities can include varying degrees of short term memory loss, difficulty in concentrating, problems in processing abstract information, decreased self-awareness and insight, poor retrieval of stored information, impairment of abstract reasoning, and impaired processing. Physical and sensory disabilities can include impairments in speech, vision, hearing, motor skills, and balance.
  • Respiratory Disorders:
    • Debilitating disorders which may include, but are not limited to, asthma, tuberculosis of the respiratory system, emphysema, pneumoniosis, and asbestoses, bronchiecatasis, chronic bronchitis and sinusitis, other diseases of the respiratory system.
  • Diabetes, Epilepsy, and Other Conditions:
    • That require an administrative or academic adjustments and do not fit into any of the above categories may also qualify. Contact Disability Services for consideration of services for disabilities not listed here.