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Orthopedic Impairment

Definition in State Rule: Orthopedic Impairment

Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes, but is not limited to, impairments caused by congenital anomaly, such as a clubfoot or absence of some member; impairments caused by disease, such as poliomyelitis or bone tuberculosis; and impairments from other causes, such as cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures. PI 11.36 (2), Wis. Admin. Code

Incidence and Disproportionality

Incidence

For the 2020-2021 school year, 728 students (0.09%) of total public school enrollment (829,935 students) were identified as having an orthopedic impairment. These 728 students with an orthopedic impairment made up 0.6% (less than 1%) of all students with IEPs (117,969). In Wisconsin, IEP teams are not required to identify secondary or tertiary criteria areas and thus the number of students identified as having a secondary or tertiary orthopedic 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 some disability criteria areas compared to others. Although districts rarely demonstrate these patterns in the area of orthopedic impairment, 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.

Orthopedic Impairment Criteria

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


Comprehensive Special Education Evaluation (coming soon)

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