Continued Early Childhood Education Phone: 866-727-1617


What Are the Qualifying Disability Categories Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?

Laura Ritter, BA, MA

May 11, 2020

Share:

Question

What are the qualifying disability categories under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?

Answer

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Intellectual Disability (ID)
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Emotional Disturbance (ED)
  • Hearing Impairment (HI)
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedic Impairment (OI)
  • Other Health Impairment (OHI)
  • Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Visual Impairment (VI)
    • Includes Blindness

The legal guidelines that the school system follows are classified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). There are 13 qualifying disability categories to identify for special education services and to receive an IEP. Remember we're talking about a child who is three years old or older. The team has decided that the child's going to need continued services or this might be referring to a child that hasn't had services before. If it's a child who hasn't had services yet there would be an initial evaluation and the team would try to determine whether the student meets one of these 13 IDEA categories. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), every child has a legal right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). 

 

This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course, IEP and IFSP 101: Everything You Need to Know - Planning to Implementation, by Laura Ritter, BA, MA.


laura ritter

Laura Ritter, BA, MA

Laura Ritter has worked passionately with individuals with disabilities for over 20 years. She specializes in the field of special education. She has been an instructor and administrator at the elementary school, high school, and post-high school age levels. 

She has served as a special education teacher, homebound educator, tutor, and educational consultant in the Orlando and Indianapolis areas. She works with students, families, and colleagues to develop IEP plans that meet the unique needs of her students.

As a director at an agency for adults with disabilities, located near Indianapolis, she developed Individual Support Plans for numerous participants and supervised case management, behavior management, and classroom instructors. In addition, she developed training sessions for those with disabilities on topics such as life skills, resume building, and job interview preparation.  

She has been a professor at the University of Phoenix for five years, currently teaching a variety of classes in teacher preparation and has served as a student teaching mentor for the education department. Laura looks forward to sharing her knowledge with other educators on the IEP and IFSP process.


Related Courses

IEP and IFSP 101: Everything You Need to Know - Planning to Implementation
Presented by Laura Ritter, BA, MA
Video

Presenter

Laura Ritter, BA, MA
Course: #31441Level: IntroductorySubject Area: Observing and recording children's behavior1 Hour
  'Clear and easy to understand teaching'   Read Reviews
Educators at all levels benefit from learning more on the IEP and IFSP process. This course will review the legal requirements, cover qualifying disabilities, and establish procedures for meetings with students and families.

CDA Credential - Preschool, Part 7
Presented by Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L, Amanda Schwartz, PhD, Liz Moore, MEd, Gina Blume, MA, CCC-SLP, Laura Ritter, BA, MA, Karen Deerwester, EdS, Angèle Sancho Passe, BS, MA, Kathy Lincoln, MA, Lindsey Shafer, BA, MS
Video

Presenters

Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/LAmanda Schwartz, PhDLiz Moore, MEdGina Blume, MA, CCC-SLPLaura Ritter, BA, MAKaren Deerwester, EdSAngèle Sancho Passe, BS, MAKathy Lincoln, MALindsey Shafer, BA, MS
Course: #31706Level: IntroductorySubject Area: Observing and recording children's behavior10 Hours
  'just having video and power point to learn from'   Read Reviews
This course is one of twelve courses that together comprise a 120-hour package of coursework designed for acquiring a new Preschool CDA Credential. Each course includes 10 hours of content. Courses are labeled “CDA Credential - Preschool, Part 1” through “CDA Credential - Preschool, Part 12” and may be completed in any order. This course focuses on topics related to CDA Subject Area 7, Observing and Recording Children’s Behavior.

CDA Credential - Infant and Toddler, Part 7
Presented by Gina Blume, MA, CCC-SLP, Laura Ritter, BA, MA, Karen Deerwester, EdS, Angèle Sancho Passe, BS, MA, Kathy Lincoln, MA, Lindsey Shafer, BA, MS, Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L, Amanda Schwartz, PhD, Liz Moore, MEd
Video

Presenters

Gina Blume, MA, CCC-SLPLaura Ritter, BA, MAKaren Deerwester, EdSAngèle Sancho Passe, BS, MAKathy Lincoln, MALindsey Shafer, BA, MSTara Warwick, MS, OTR/LAmanda Schwartz, PhDLiz Moore, MEd
Course: #31739Level: IntroductorySubject Area: Observing and recording children's behavior10 Hours
  'the teaching strategies'   Read Reviews
This course is one of twelve courses that together comprise a 120-hour package of coursework designed for acquiring a new Infant-Toddler CDA Credential. Each course includes 10 hours of content. Courses are labeled “CDA Credential - Infant-Toddler, Part 1” through “CDA Credential - Infant-Toddler, Part 12” and may be completed in any order. This course focuses on topics related to CDA Subject Area 7, Observing and Recording Children’s Behavior.

CDA Credential - Family Child Care, Part 7
Presented by Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L, Amanda Schwartz, PhD, Liz Moore, MEd, Gina Blume, MA, CCC-SLP, Laura Ritter, BA, MA, Karen Deerwester, EdS, Angèle Sancho Passe, BS, MA, Kathy Lincoln, MA, Lindsey Shafer, BA, MS
Video

Presenters

Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/LAmanda Schwartz, PhDLiz Moore, MEdGina Blume, MA, CCC-SLPLaura Ritter, BA, MAKaren Deerwester, EdSAngèle Sancho Passe, BS, MAKathy Lincoln, MALindsey Shafer, BA, MS
Course: #31742Level: IntroductorySubject Area: Observing and recording children's behavior10 Hours
  'Most of the content is great'   Read Reviews
This course is one of twelve courses that together comprise a 120-hour package of coursework designed for acquiring a new Family Child Care CDA Credential. Each course includes 10 hours of content. Courses are labeled “CDA Credential - Family Child Care, Part 1” through “CDA Credential - Family Child Care, Part 12” and may be completed in any order. This course focuses on topics related to CDA Subject Area 7, Observing and Recording Children’s Behavior.

Teaching Children with Autism: Critical Skills, Writing Goals, and Monitoring Progress
Presented by Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L
Video

Presenter

Tara Warwick, MS, OTR/L
Course: #32072Level: AdvancedSubject Area: Observing and recording children's behavior2 Hours
  'I can’t wait to put some of these new techniques into my own classroom with children on the spectrum'   Read Reviews
Learn the steps involved in teaching young children with autism new skills, including how and what skills to assess, writing goals, strategies for teaching new skills, and how to monitor progress.