DEFINITION OF AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY
Under these laws, a person with a disability is described as having (1)
physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person's
major life activities, (2) having a record of such an impairment, or (3) being regarded
as having such an impairment.
Physical impairment is defined as any physiological disorder or
condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the body's
systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, sensory organs, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive,
digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.
Mental impairment is defined as any mental or psychological disorder,
such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, mental illness, or specific learning
Substantially limits is defined as being unable to perform or
being significantly limited in ability to perform a major life activity when compared to
the average person in the general population.
Major life activities are defined as functions such as caring
for one's self, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and participating
in community activities.
Examples of disabling conditions include previous disabilities
identified in K-12 special education programs (e.g., learning disabilities, mental retardation,
serious emotional disturbance), AIDS, cancer, alcohol or drug addiction (so long as the
student is not a current user), environmental illness, attention disorder, diabetes, asthma,
physical disabilities, psychological disorders, etc… The condition must substantially limit
a major life activity.
Otherwise qualified means any person with a disability who, with
or without reasonable accommodation, meets the same requisite standards and criteria as
required of any person, including academic, technical, professional, and behavioral standards.