List of Disabilities

AD/HD- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

It is a neurologically-based, developmental disability characterized by deficits in inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, or a combination of the two factors. This diagnosis must be supported by psychological or Neuropsychological testing.

Learning Disabilities

The definition most often used in higher education is that of the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration. This definition reads as follows:

A specific learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the central nervous system processes involved in perceiving, understanding, and/or using concepts through verbal (spoken or written) language or nonverbal means. This disorder manifests itself with a deficit in one or more of the following areas: attention, reasoning, processing, memory, communication, reading, writing, spelling, calculation, coordination, social competence, and emotional maturity.
This diagnosis must be supported by psychological or Neuropsychological testing.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

External events, such as closed head trauma or missile penetrating the brain; or internal events, such as cerebral vascular accident or tumors.

Visual Impairments

Visual impairments are disorders in the function 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 one’s ability to function in an educational setting.
  • A progressive loss of vision which may affect one’s ability to function in an educational setting.

Hearing Impairments

Students with hearing impairments vary greatly in the degree and type of hearing loss they experience. The two main types of hearing loss are:

  • Sensorineural–nerve deafness which involves impairment of the auditory nerve
  • Conductive deafness–usually a dysfunction of a part of the ear mechanism

Other Health and Chronic Medical Disabilities

Chronic health impairments may include cystic fibrosis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancers, AIDS, hemophilia, epilepsy, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis among others. These illnesses can affect cognitive (e.g., concentration, memory) and motor (e.g., mobility) functions and may have acute phases requiring bed rest or hospitalization. Functional abilities and limitations vary widely.

Mobility and Motor Skills Impairments

They may include conditions such as spinal cord injury, paralysis, cerebral palsy, severe forms of arthritis, polio/post-polio, spina bifida, orthopedic injury, amputation, cardiac conditions, cystic fibrosis, later stages of AIDS, stroke, and muscular dystrophy.  The range of disabilities in this category is large. Functional abilities and limitations will vary widely, even within one disability group.

Psychological Disabilities

The term psychological disabilities covers a wide range of conditions and may include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder or other conditions.  A  DSM-IV code must be provided.