• Orthopedic Impairment

Smiling student in wheel chair
  • Orthopedic impairment is defined as a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

  • Eligibility *

    The current eligibility criteria for Orthopedic Impairment under state law is found in Title 14 Education Delaware Administrative Code Section 925.  If a student is found to have a disability, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must also determine the need for special education and related services (6.0 Determination of Eligibility).

    According to the Delaware Administrative Code, in order for an IEP team to determine eligibility for special education services under the orthopedic impairment category, the following is required:

    • A qualified physician shall document that a child has an orthopedic impairment in order to be considered for special education and related services.
    • The IEP team shall consider the child’s need for special education and related services if the orthopedic impairment substantially limits one or more major activities of daily living and the child has:
      • Muscular or neuromuscular disability(ies) which significantly limit(s) the ability to communicate, move about, sit or manipulate the materials required for learning; or
      • Skeletal deformities or other abnormalities which affect ambulation, posture, and body use necessary for performing educational activities.


    Age of Eligibility
    : The age of eligibility for children with orthopedic impairments shall be from the third birthday until the receipt of a regular high school diploma or the end of the school year in which the student attains the age of twenty-one (21), whichever occurs first.

    * Retrieved from Title 14 Education Delaware Administrative Code.

Last Modified on August 6, 2021