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Special Education Eligibility

Rules for determination of eligibility and areas of impairment can be found in Wisconsin Administrative Code, Section PI 11.36. This covers the areas of autism, intellectual disabilities, emotional behavioral disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, significant developmental delay, speech/language impairments, specific learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, visual impairments, and the need for special education.

Eligibility Worksheets

DPI program consultants have developed eligibility criteria worksheets for each disability areas. When school districts use the eligibility criteria worksheets, the IEP team documentation of eligibility criteria more likely adequately addresses all of the required elements and results in fewer cases of inappropriate identification. Use of the eligibility worksheets will also increase Wisconsin's performance when measured against Indicator #10 of the State Performance Plan related to the disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in specific disability categories.

Worksheets are available in the following disability areas. MS Word and Spanish versions are form-fillable.

Autism PDF Word Spanish Orthopedic Impairment Word
Intellectual Disabilities PDF Word Spanish Coming Soon Other Health Impaired PDF Word Spanish
Hearing Impairments PDF Word Spanish Speech/Language Impairments PDF Word Spanish
Visual Impairments PDF Word Spanish Significant Developmental Delay PDF Word Spanish
Emotional Behavioral Disabilities PDF Word Spanish Traumatic Brain Injury PDF Word Spanish

If a student is determined to meet eligibility criteria in one or more of the impairment areas, the IEP team must then consider whether the student needs special education. A worksheet to assist IEP teams in addressing the "Need for Special Education" is part of model form ER-1, Evaluation Report.

Specific Learning Disabilities Eligibility Forms and Related Forms

Eligibility Evaluation Guides and Resources

Department staff conducted workshops and developed evaluation guides to assist districts in implementing the eligibility criteria. These guides and other resource materials are available on the individual disability webpages:

For questions about this information, contact dpisped@dpi.wi.gov (608) 266-1781