Types of Disabilities

A Wide range

As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a disability is physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The students we work with have a wide variety of disabilities, including, but not limited to:


ADHD is a neurobiological, genetic disorder, characterized by difficulty sustaining focus and attention, hyperactivity, and /or difficulty controlling behavior. Although ADHD appears in childhood, the disorder is often lifelong.


A hearing impairment describes an impaired ability to hear and/or discriminate sounds.  There may be a decreased ability to hear, no ability to hear at all, or a student may struggle with processing sounds, i.e. (central) auditory processing disorder. Hearing impairments can occur in different areas of the hearing pathway and may be genetic or caused by non-genetic factors.

Learning Disability

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines a specific learning disability to mean “a disorder in 1 or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written…” which may manifest “…in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.” Associated diagnoses include: Reading Disorder, Mathematics Disorder, Disorder of Written Expression, and Learning Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. While the term “learning disability” is not expressly defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, courts have referred to the IDEA definition in cases involving the ADA. Additionally, the ADA expressly lists “learning” as a major life activity.


A condition that is medical in nature and currently impacts at least one major life activity, including learning. Often the impact of a medical disability is unpredictable and can change depending upon external stressors. Treatments for medical conditions are often more disabling than the condition itself.

These conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Cancer 
  • Crohn’s Disease 
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Ulcerative Colitis


A mobility impairment is a broad category that includes any condition that makes it difficult for the student to move about and use upper and/or lower limbs.


Mental or behavioral patterns that may cause significant impairment or distress in several aspects of a student’s life, such as school, relationships, career, etc. These conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • PTSD

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury is an acquired injury to the brain. Brain injuries are complex, the effects of which are often unique and can change over time. Resulting damage may occur in any category of brain function – cognitive, physical, sensory, even psychosocial abilities.


A visual impairment describes vision loss, resulting in either impaired vision or a complete lack of sight.  Visual impairments may be categorized as partially-sighted, low vision, legally blind or completely blind.