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Intellectual Disability

Definition in State Rule: Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability means significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects the child's educational performance. PI 11.36 (1)(a), Wis. Admin. Code

Incidence and Disproportionality

Incidence

For the 2020-2021 school year, 6,295 students (0.8%) of total public school enrollment (829,935 students) were identified as having an intellectual disability. The 6,295 students with an intellectual disability made up 5.3% of all students with IEPs (117,969). In Wisconsin, IEP teams are not required to identify secondary or tertiary impairment areas and thus the number of students identified as having a secondary or tertiary intellectual disability impairment is not reflected in this data. To view additional data including district level information, go to the WI DPI public WISEdash portal.

Disproportionality

In Wisconsin, like many other states, we see district data demonstrating race-based patterns of identification for intellectual disability. Specifically, districts have identified black students more than their peers with having an intellectual disability. As an equity issue, we strongly encourage all districts to disaggregate their special education data to ensure evaluation practices and procedures are culturally responsive and address bias when conducting and analyzing assessments used to make eligibility decisions. Go to the DPI Culturally Responsive Problem Solving web page for more information.

Intellectual Disability Criteria

Intellectual Disability Criteria

§300.304 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) outlines two purpose of special education evaluations (i) Whether the child is a child with a disability; and (ii) The content of the child’s IEP, including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities). The disability category criteria worksheets only assist IEP teams with (i) and are not sufficient in completing an evaluation and developing a student’s IEP. To ensure compliance with implementing a full, individual, and comprehensive evaluation, go to the WI DPI Comprehensive Special Education Evaluation web page.

Worksheets and Guidelines

Other Special Education Resources


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