Types of Disabilities

A person with a disability is legally defined as "any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities," a person who "has a record of such an impairment," or a person treated as if he/she has a disability (Rehabilitation Act of 1973). Major life activities include:

  • Walking
  • Seeing
  • Hearing
  • Feeding one's self
  • Working
  • Learning
Most disabilities are included in one of three categories:
  • Physical disorders relate to auditory, visual, orthopedic, chronic illnesses or systemic neurological disorders.
  • Learning disorders typically encompass dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, dysgraphia, and disorders of written expression.
  • Emotional disorders relate to behavioral reactions, affective disorders, and thought disorders.

Some students may have multiple disorders or varying degrees of a disorder which means that accommodations will vary from individual to individual. In turn, we must have documentation to determine how best to serve you.

Adaptive Educational Services (AES) personnel will receive and evaluate your disability documentation, determine the appropriate accommodations, provide some of those services, and/or direct you to offices or units that provide related services.