Disabled students are students with some physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Usually disabled students have low academic achievement. Many students with disabilities have difficulty remembering information presented visually or auditorially. Most of these students forget spelling words, math facts, vocabulary words, and directions. Disabled students have attention problems. They are unable to screen out extraneous stimuli and are attracted by irrelevant stimuli. Difficulties with social skills can be as debilitating as academic problems to students with disabilities. Frustrated by their learning difficulties, many students with disabilities act disruptively and acquire negative feelings of self-worth. Rather than learning and developing attitudes about tasks they can do, youngsters with disabilities often learn what they can't do. This lack of positive self-regard often results in poor self-concept and self-esteem.
The following is an example of a Federal Statute defining Disabled Student
According to 34 CFR 668.142 [Title 34 – Education; Subtitle B -- Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education; Chapter VI -- Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education; Part 668 -- Student Assistance General Provisions; Subpart J -- Approval of Independently Administered Tests; Specification of Passing Score; Approval of State Process], the term disabled student means “a student who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.”