Individual with a Severe Disability [Education] Law and Legal Definition

According to 34 CFR 350.5 [Title 34 – Education; Subtitle B -- Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education; Chapter III -- Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education; Part 350 -- Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program; Subpart A – General] the term individual with a severe disability means --

“(1) (i) An individual with a disability who has a severe physical or mental impairment that seriously limits one or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome;

(ii) Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and

(iii) Who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia, other spinal cord impairments, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment of rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitation; or

(2) An individual with a severe mental or physical impairment whose ability to function independently in the family or community or whose ability to obtain, maintain, or advance in employment is substantially limited and for whom the delivery of independent living services will improve the ability to function, continue functioning, or move towards functioning independently in the family or community or to continue in employment, respectively.”

(Authority: Section 7(15)(C); 29 U.S.C. 706(15)(C))