The following link is provided by the State of Michigan Department of Education. The MI-SER is designed to combine easy access to IDEA, 34 CFR Part 300, Michigan laws, statutes, administrative rules, and procedural information in a single location. In addition, the MI-SER functionality provides users with immediate access to special education policy resources through its electronic table of contents or through a word and phrase search engine.



13 Recognized Disabilities Through Michigan State Public Education with Listed Resources

Cognitive Imparement- development at a reate approximately two or more standard deviations below the mean as determined through intellectual assessments, scores approximately within the lowest sixth percentile on a standardized test in reading and arithmetic, lack of cognitive development, and impairment of adaptive behavior. the MET team must include a psychologist.

Emotional Impairment- manifestation of behavioral problems primarily in the affective (emotional domain)over an extended period of time that adversely affects education. the behavior includes one or more of the following characteristics-

  • Inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships in school
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings
  • general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
  • tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

The MET team must include a school social worker, and a psychologist or psychiatrist.  The team must document behavior in all settings and the interventions used to address it.

Hearing Impairment- any type or degree of hearing loss that interferes with development or adversely affects educations performance in a regular classroom setting. Refers both to students who are deaf and those who are hard of hearing. the MET team must included an audiologist, and an otolaryngologist or otologist.

Visual Impairment- an impairment that interferes with development or adversely affects educational performance plus one or more of the following characteristics-

  • a central visual acuity for near of far point vision of the 20/70 or less in the better eye after correction
  • a peripheral field of vision restricted to no greater than 20 degrees,
  • a diagnosed progressively deteriorating eye condition

The MET team must included an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Physical Impairment- a severe or orthopedic impairment that adversely affects educational learning and performance. the MET team must include a physician.

 Otherwise Health Impairment- a severe or acute health problem that limits a student’s strength, vitality or alertness, adversely affecting education performance. Examples include Asthma, ADHD, bipolar disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, The MET must include a medical doctor.

Speech and Language Impairment- one of more of the following communication impairments that adversely affects educational performance-

  • articulation impairment, including omissions, substitutions or distortions of sound
  • voice impairment, including inappropriate pitch, loudness, or voice quality
  • fluency impairment, including abnormal rate of speaking, speech interruptions, and repetition of sounds, words, phrases or sentences, that interferes with effective communication
  • one or more language impairments, i.e. phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic use of aura/oral language

a student who ahs a severe speech and language impairment but whose primary difficulty is not speech and language, may still be eligible for speech and language services. the MET team must include a speech and language impairment teacher.

Early Childhood Development Delay- a student through seven years of age, whose primarily impairment cannot be differentiated through existing criteria and who manifests an impairment in one or more areas of development equal to or greater than one-half of the expected development for chronological age as measured by more than one developmental scale and that cannot be resolved by medical or nutritional intervention. the rules do not specify which professionals must be on the MET team.

Specific Learning Disability- a disorder in one or more the back psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or no mathematical calculations. the term includes such conditions as perceptual impairment, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include students who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor impairment, of a cognitive impairment, of an emotional impairment, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Severe Multiple Impairment- a condition where a student is evaluated as having either of the following combinations of characteristics-

  • Development at a rate of two to three standard deviations below the mean and two or more of the following conditions- hearing, physical, visual or health impairments
  • Development at a rate of three or more standard deviations below the mean of students for whom evaluation instruments do not provide a valid measure of cognitive ability and one or more of the following conditions- hearing, visual, physical and health impairments.

the MET team may include a psychologist and other professionals depending upon the nature of the physical disability. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (Aspergers)- a lifelong development disability that adversely affects a student’s educational performance in academics, behavior, or social interaction. Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by qualitative impairments in reciprocal social interactions, qualitative impairments in communication, and restricted range of interests/repetitive behavior. The MET team must include a school social worker, a psychologist or psychiatrist, and a  speech and language provider.

Traumatic Brain Injury- an acquired injury to the brain caused by external physical force, resulting in total or partial brain functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely effects the student’s educational performance. the term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas such as cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgement, problem solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech. the term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth.

Deaf-Blindness-  concomitant hearing impairment and visual impairment, the combination of which causes severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that cannot be accommodated in special education programs without additional supports to address the unique needs specific to deaf-blindness. Deaf-Blindness also means both of the following-

  • Documented hearing and visual losses that, if considered individually, may not meet the requirements for visual impairment or hearing impairment, but the combination of the losses affects educational performance
  • Functional hearing and visual loss, based upon responses to auditory and visual stimuli in the environment, or during vision and hearing evaluation.

the MET team must include a medical specialist, a hearing impairment teacher, and a visual impairment teacher.