In the 2003–2004 school year, the federal government reported that more than 6.6 million youth with disabilities were served by federally funded programs in public schools. These youth include individuals with learning disabilities, speech/language impairments, developmental and intellectual disabilities, emotional disturbance, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, visual impairments, deafness, blindness, autism, traumatic brain injury, developmental delay, and multiple disabilities. This entry discusses perspectives on disability and the intersection of disability and educational contexts, including pertinent legislation and issues related to the diagnosis and education of youth with disabilities.

Perspectives on Disability

Disability has been conceptualized in terms of type, function, and social construction. Most commonly, perhaps, disability has been construed as a type of limitation with particular characteristics. The four major types are: (1) physical ...

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