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Disability: WISEdata

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Reporting Disability is indicated in the pupil’s individualized education program (IEP) or individualized service plan (ISP). Only one primary reportable disability can be submitted to WISEdata. The impairment that is most disabling shall be reported as the primary reportable disability.


USES: Primary Disability codes are used for disaggregated reporting and accountability purposes, including WISEdash, ESSA Report Card, Adequate Yearly Progress, Wisconsin School Performance Report, and the Wisconsin Continuous Improvement and Focused Monitoring System. Primary disability codes are also used in annual data reports required under IDEA, which are, in turn, used in reports to Congress and in state-by-state comparisons.

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Demographic, All    *Note, all data elements flow into WISEdata at all times, not only during specified collection snapshots. 


FAQs, Details, and Points to Note


  1. Primary Disability: As defined by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), primary disability is the disability condition that best describes an IDEA-eligible student's impairment; the impairment that is most disabling. Students who are not IDEA-eligible or have no disability should be assigned a primary disability code of N. Primary Disability=No if one of the following applies:
    • Student is 21 or older prior to the school term begin date.
    • Student is not yet three on the count date.
    • Student is not yet three on the exit date or school term end date, whichever occurs first.
  2. Disability Code Descriptions/Notes: 
    • A: Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting a child's social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects learning and educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined in sub. (7). [Wis. Admin. Code , s. PI 11.36(8)]
    • DB: Deaf-Blind means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness. [34 CFR 300.8(c)(2)]
    • EBD: Emotional behavioral disability, pursuant to s. 115.76(5)(a)5., Stats., means social, emotional or behavioral functioning that so departs from generally accepted, age-appropriate ethnic or cultural norms that it adversely affects a child's academic progress, social relationships, personal adjustment, classroom adjustment, self-care, or vocational skills. [Wis. Admin. Code PI 11.36(7)]
    • H: Hearing Impairment, including deafness, means a significant impairment in hearing, with or without amplification, whether permanent or chronically fluctuating, that significantly adversely affects a child's educational performance including academic performance, speech perception and production, or language and communication skills. [Wis. Admin. Code PI 11.36(4)]
    • ID (formerly CD): 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. [Wis. Admin. Code, s. PI 11.36(1)]
    • LD: Specific learning disability, pursuant to s. 115.76(5)(a)10., Stats., means a severe learning problem due to a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in acquiring, organizing or expressing information that manifests itself in school as an impaired ability to listen, reason, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations, despite appropriate instruction in the general education curriculum. Specific learning disability may include conditions such as perceptual disability, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. [Wis. Admin. Code PI 11.36(6)]
    • OHI: Other Health Impairment means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems. The term includes, but is not limited to, a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, diabetes, or acquired injuries to the brain caused by internal occurrences or degenerative conditions which adversely affect a child's educational performance. [Wis. Admin. Code PI 11.36(10)]
    • OI: 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 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. [Wis. Admin. Code PI 11.36(2)]
    • SL: Speech or Language Impairment means an impairment of speech or sound production, voice, fluency, or language that significantly affects educational performance or social, emotional, or vocational development. [Wis. Admin. Code PI 11.36(5)]
    • TBI: Traumatic Brain Injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; speech and language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; communication; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and executive functions, such as organizing, evaluating, and carrying out goal-directed activities. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or brain injuries induced by birth trauma. [Wis. Admin. Code PI 11.36(9)]
    • V: Visual Impairment means even after correction, a child's visual functioning significantly adversely affects his or her educational performance. [Wis. Admin. Code PI 11.36(3)]
    • SDD: Significant Developmental Delay means children ages three through nine years of age who are experiencing significant delays in two or more of the areas of physical, cognition, communication, social-emotional, or adaptive development. All other suspected impairments under this section shall be considered before identifying a child's primary impairment as significant developmental delay. [Wis. Admin. Code PI 11.36(11)]
      • A student may be identified with a disability of Significant Developmental Delay through age nine. A student with a disability of Significant Developmental Delay must be reevaluated prior to the student’s tenth birthday to determine whether the student has an educational disability under one of the other disability categories and continues to have a need for special education services.
    • N: No known disability
  3. Code Changes: The maximum age for Significant Developmental Delay (SDD) increased to age range six through age nine beginning July 1, 2015, for 2015-16 records and beyond. Beginning July 1, 2015, Cognitive Disability (CD) was replaced with Intellectual Disability (ID).
  4. IDEA Eligibility: An "IDEA-Eligible" student must meet ALL of the following requirements:
    • Be a child age 3-21 years of age who has not graduated with a diploma from high school,
    • Be a child with an impairment(s), who because of that impairment(s) needs special education and related services as determined by a current evaluation and a current individualized education program (IEP) or a services plan for parentally-placed private school children,
    • The student is attending and receiving all of the services specified in the IEP/service plan, and
    • The student is receiving a free appropriate public education (FAPE) or is a parentally-placed private school student receiving special education or related services that meet state standards under a service plan (34 CFR 300.452--300.462).
  5. Not IDEA-Eligible: A non-IDEA-eligible student would include:
    • A student between the ages of birth and three or age 22 and older who is receiving services from the school district
    • A student without a current evaluation or IEP
    • A student who is not receiving special education and related services, as specified in the IEP
    • A student who is not attending school, except for an excused absence or illness, e.g., a student whose whereabouts is unknown but who has not exited
    • A student who is in the process of expulsion and is not being served
    • A student who has received a high school diploma but is still receiving services
  6. IDEA Eligibility for Choice Students: Students must have been IDEA eligible prior to attending a choice school to be reported by choice schools. Even if the students have a 504, if they have never had IDEA eligibility, they cannot be reported. If the student was covered, enter the appropriate information regarding the disability. If the student was not, remove the disability submission. No choice school students are IDEA eligible unless previously considered so in a public school, so choice schools cannot take accountability for Oct. 1 counts. If PPP choice students receive special education services in a public school, then the public school claims them for Oct. 1 and receives credit for that child count. If the student is 

    not actively receiving services from a public school in the current year and  no evidence has been submitted in prior years of having been IDEA eligible, these students cannot be reported as having a disability at the Choice school. 

  7. Criteria Dates: The above criteria are applied as of a specific date based on the most current data available. For WISEdata count date records, the count dates are the Third Friday of September and October 1, as well as a Current (present day) value. WISEdata records should reflect the appropriate disability status as of these specific dates. Whichever disability is listed for the student during the period covering the count dates or current date will be documented as the disability value for the appropriate, coordinating dates.
  8. FAPE: According to Sec. 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, the term 'free appropriate public education' means special education and related services that (A) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; (B) meet the standards of the State educational agency; (C) include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and (D) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program required under section 614(d).
  9. Disability Codes: Primary and Other Disability cannot be the same.
  10. Code Combinations: Neither ID/LD nor LD/ID can be used as a Primary/Other Disability combination.
  11. Code N: Students identified as eligible for protection under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (34 CFR 104) but who are not IDEA-eligible should be assigned a primary disability code of N.
  12. Special Education Graduates: When a student with disabilities graduates, the student's special education record must show that special education services continued until at least the exit date. Even if the student graduates prior to the last school year day, as seniors often do, the student will be documented properly as graduating with a disability so long as services continue through the exit date and the exit type is marked as High School Completion.
  13. Homeschooled Special Education Students: There is no legal obligation for a district to provide special education services to a child who is homeschooled if the parent has withdrawn the child from the public school. There are, however, homebound students with disabilities who are receiving special education services or in the case of a preschooler, receiving services in the home. Homeschooled Special Education Students are not be eligible for special education services through a Services Plan or an IEP and should not be reported to WISEdata.
  14. Roster Reporting: If a student is receiving only Speech and Language services or has significant disabilities and receives only therapy and/or social interaction and no appropriate course code for course work can be identified, then these students should not be submitted in 2016-17 and 2017-18 Roster data.
  15. Last Evaluation Date: If your SIS has multiple evaluation fields, use the Evaluation Completion date, NOT the Evaluation Start Date.


See also:

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004

Title 34, Part 300 (IDEA regulations)


Questions about disability data should be directed to the DPI Special Education Team. Email:         Phone: 1 (608) 266-1781

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