For DPI Eligibility Criteria Checklists and Eligibility Guides click here. The links below link to the Wisconsin State's Legislature definitions of disability areas. For information on Disability Related Needs, see DPI overview - Identifying Effects of Disability and Disability Related Needs (pdf)
Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting a child's social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects learning and educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance.
Autism Eligibility Guide ~ Eligibility Criteria Worksheet ~ Intensive Support Team at mmsd.org/IST.
A student may be identified with an intellectual disability if the student has significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects the child's educational performance. PI 11.36(1)(a)
DPI information on Intellectual Disability ~ DPI ID Initial Eligibility Criteria ~ DPI ID Reevaluation Eligibility Criteria
Emotional Behavioral Disability
Emotional Behavioral Disability is defined as social, emotional or behavioral functioning that so departs from generally accepted, age appropriate ethnic or cultural norms that it adversely affects a child's academic progress, social relationships, personal adjustment, classroom adjustment, self-care or vocational skills. PI 11.36(7)(a)
DPI EBD Evaluation Guide ~ Eligibility Criteria Checklist
Hearing impairment. Hearing impairment, including deafness, means a significant impairment in hearing, with or without amplification, whether permanent or chronically fluctuating, that significantly adversely affects a child's educational performance including academic performance, speech perception and production, or language and communication skills. A current evaluation by an audiologist licensed under ch. 459, Stats., shall be one of the components for an initial evaluation of a child with a suspected hearing impairment.
Hearing Impairment Eligibility Criteria Checklist ~ MMSD Deaf & Hard of Hearing Informational Site
Orthopedic impairment. Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes, but is not limited to, impairments caused by congenital anomaly, such as a clubfoot or absence of some member; impairments caused by disease, such as poliomyelitis or bone tuberculosis; and impairments from other causes, such as cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures.
Orthopedic Impairment Eligibility Criteria Checklist
Other Health Impairment
"Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, due to chronic or acute health problems. The term includes but is not limited to a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, diabetes, or acquired injuries to the brain caused by internal occurrences or degenerative conditions, which adversely affects a child's educational performance." PI 11.36 (10)
Other Health Impairment Eligibility Criteria
Specific Learning Disability
The federal definition of SLD is a "a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or perform mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia* and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, motor disabilities, cognitive disabilities, emotional disturbance, cultural factors, environmental, or economic disadvantage."PI 11.36(6) (a).
DPI - Specific Learning Disability ~ SLD Initial Eligibility Criteria ~ SLD Reevaluation Criteria ~ See more on SLD
Significant Developmental Delay
Significant Developmental Delay is a disability area for children ages 3 through 9 who experience major delays in physical, cognitive, social emotional, communicative or adaptive development that is not otherwise specified in another disability area. SDD stands alone as a disability area. Therefore, if a child is determined to have a disability in the area of SDD, then no other area of educational disability would apply concurrent with SDD. (see more on SDD & S&L)
See the DPI definition of SDD for more details ~ SDD Initial Evaluation Criteria ~ SDD Reevaluation Criteria
Speech and Language Impairments
Speech or language impairment means an impairment of speech or sound production, voice, fluency, or language that significantly affects educational performance or social, emotional or vocational development.
Speech and Language Eligibility Criteria ~ MMSD Speech & Language site
Traumatic Brain Injury
"Traumatic brain injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; speech and language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; communication; judgment; problem solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and executive functions, such as organizing, evaluating and carrying out goal-directed activities. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma." PI 11.36(9)(a)
Traumatic Brain Injury ~ Eligibility Criteria ~ Frequently asked TBI Questions
Visual impairment means even after correction a child's visual functioning significantly adversely affects his or her educational performance.
Visual Impairment Eligibililty Criteria