An eligibility conference occurs after special education testing (evaluation) is complete. Keep in mind that the school must complete their evaluation even if you have an outside diagnosis. The school's focus is not to diagnose your student, but to see how their disability impacts their education.
The full Team reviews the testing to determine whether the child meets the federal and/or state criteria as a child with a disability and, as such, is eligible for special education services.
If the evaluation shows that your child has a disability or that their disability impacts their education, the next step is for the school to determine whether your child needs special education services. They will make this decision based on their evaluation results.
The IDEA has specific categories for which a student can be considered disabled. The categories are:
- Autism https://youtu.be/r29iOjnbbgA?si=nYIOc6-TgnrqVHkv
- Hearing Impairment
- Intellectual Disability https://youtu.be/zQNASuTNtVw?si=iQp1HU-NY6ibM1AR
- Multiple Disabilities
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impairment https://youtu.be/xnSvLRD1VMo?si=gFDtxvMaBWgoztaT
- Emotional Disability https://youtu.be/wKDjfPMek3k?si=0sXEt1AOOvhXJIWN
- Specific Learning Disability https://youtu.be/KcuXaZGHIDg?si=7GWWZBtn4sR3ipyg
- Speech or Language Impairment https://youtu.be/MNYAb7VimC8?si=us-VrgXGTllNOFrl
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual impairment, including Blindness.
- Developmental Delay Unique to certain States, including Illinois