Orthopedic Impairment Eligibility

  • Guiding Principles

    As with any eligibility decision, the question of eligibility for special education under the category of Orthopedic Impairment is an important one. Special education can provide much needed supports and insight for students with disabilities. At the same time, the identification for special education can impact the ways a student experiences school, and the mindset of the learner and those around them.

    Orthopedic Impairment means a motor disability that adversely affects the child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by an anomaly , disease or other conditions (e.g., cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy or traumatic injury).

    Procedural Guidance

    If a child is suspected of having an orthopedic impairment, the evaluation must include

    • A medical or health assessment statement indicating a diagnosis of an orthopedic or neuromotor impairment or a description of the motor impairment; and
    • A standardized motor assessment, including the areas of fine motor, gross motor and self-help, when appropriate, by a specialist knowledgeable about orthopedic or neuromotor development

    Additional assessments are conducted as necessary to determine the impact of the suspected disability.

    Contact the Columbia Regional Program (CRP) to assist in the evaluation and eligibility process.


    Link to Columbia Regional Orthopedic Impairment page

    Columbia Regional Referral Form


    What does Specially Designed Instruction look like for a student with an orthopedic impairment (in addition to accommodations)?