Categories and Definitions of Exceptionalities
Ministry of Education Regulation 181/98 requires that all school boards establish one or more Identification, Placement and Review Committees (IPRC’s). The IPRC is composed of at least 3 persons, one of whom must be a principal or supervisory officer of the board. The IPRC meets and decides if a student should be identified as an exceptional pupil, and if so must designate a category of exceptionality according to the categories and definition of exceptionalities established under subsection 8 (3) of the Act. The IPRC must also decide upon a placement for the exceptional student.
Areas of Exceptionality
Emotional Disturbance and/or Social Maladjustment
Definition: A learning disorder characterized by specific behaviour problems over such a period of time, and to such a marked degree, and of such a nature, as to adversely affect educational performance; and that may be accompanied by one or more of the following:
- An inability to build or to maintain interpersonal relationships;
- Excessive fears or anxieties;
- A tendency to compulsive reaction;
- An inability to learn which cannot be traced to intellectual, sensory or other health factors, or any combination thereof
Definition: A severe learning disorder that is characterized by:
- Disturbances in:
- Rate of educational development;
- Ability to relate to the environment;
- Perception, speech, and language;
- Lack of the representational-symbolic behaviour that precedes language
2. Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Definition: An impairment characterized by deficits in language and speech development because of diminished or non-existent auditory response to sound (i.e., hard of hearing, deaf).
3. Language Impairment
Definition: A learning disorder characterized by an impairment in comprehension and/or the use of verbal communication or the written or other symbol system of communication, which may be associated with neurological, psychological, physical, or sensory factors and which may:
- Involve one or more of the form, content, and function of language in communication;
- Include one or more of the following:
- Language delay;
- Voice, and articulation development which may or may not be organically or functionally based
4. Speech Impairment
Definition: A disorder in language formulation that may be associated with neurological, psychological, physical or sensory factors; that involves perceptual motor aspects of transmitting oral messages; and that may be characterized by impairment in articulation, rhythm, and stress.
5. Learning Disability
Definition: A learning disorder evident in both academic and social situations that involves one or more of the processes necessary for the proper use of spoken language or the symbols of communication, and is characterized by a condition that:
- Is not primarily the result of:
- Impairment of vision;
- Impairment of hearing;
- Physical disability;
- Developmental disability;
- Primary emotional disturbance;
- Cultural difference;
- Results in significant discrepancy between academic achievement and assessed intellectual ability, with deficits in one or more of the following:
- Receptive language (listening, reading);
- Language processing (thinking, conceptualizing, integrating);
- Expressive language (talking, spelling, writing);
- Mathematical computations;
- May be associated with one or more conditions diagnosed as:
- A perceptual disability;
- A brain injury;
- Minimal brain dysfunction;
- Developmental aphasia.
Definition: An unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth and breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program to satisfy the level of educational potential indicated.
2. Mild Intellectual Disability
Definition: A learning disorder characterized by:
- An ability to profit educationally within a regular class with the aid of considerable curriculum modification and supportive services;
- An inability to profit educationally within a regular class because of slow intellectual development;
- A potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment, and economic self-support.
3. Developmental Disability
Definition: A severe learning disorder characterized by:
- An inability to profit from a special education program for students with mild intellectual disabilities because of slow intellectual development;
- An ability to profit from a special education program that is designated to accommodate slow intellectual development;
- A limited potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment, and economic self support.
1. Physical Disability
Definition: A condition of such severe physical limitation or deficiency as to require special assistance in learning situations to provide the opportunity for educational achievement equivalent to that of pupils without exceptionalities who are the same age or development level.
2. Blind and Low Vision
Definition: A condition of partial or total impairment of sight or vision that even with correction affects educational performance adversely (i.e., limited vision, blind).
V. Multiple Exceptionalities
Definition: A combination of learning or other disorders, impairments, or physical disabilities, that is of such a nature as to require, for educational achievement, the services of one or more teachers holding qualifications in special education and the provision of support services appropriate for such disorders, impairments, or disabilities.