Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services
Essentially, to qualify for special education and related services under Part B of the IDEA, a student must be between the ages of 3 and 21 and must satisfy both parts of a two-part test. First, the student must meet the definition of one or more of the categories of disabilities specified under the IDEA, which are set out in the 2006 regulations or, if a state and school district so elect, the student may qualify by meeting the criteria described as developmentally delayed. Second, the student must be shown to be in need of special education and related services as a result of his/her disability or disabilities. An evaluation is the process used to determine if a student needs special education and related services as a result of his disability or disabilities.
The specific disabling conditions are: mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), emotional disturbance (also called serious emotional disturbance), orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, specific learning disabilities, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities.