Notice of Education Services for Children with Disabilities

  • Public school divisions are committed to providing a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to all children found eligible for special education services from ages two through twenty-one (inclusive).  Each public school division also has the responsibility to identify, through the Child Find process, children residing in this jurisdiction, who qualify for special education and related services.  According to the Virginia Department of Education, students may be found eligible for services in compliance with the regulations who meet the criteria for the following disabilities:

    Autism- means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to change and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

    Deafness- means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects the child’s educational performance.

    Deaf-Blindness- means hearing and visual impairments occurring at the same time, 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.

    Developmental Delay- means a disability affecting a child, ages two through eight, who is experiencing developmental delays as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following areas:  physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development and/or adaptive development.

    Emotional Disability- means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, that adversely affects educational performance:  an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors; an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers; inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; a general pervasive mood of happiness or depression or a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

    Hearing Impairments- means impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but is not included under the definition of deafness in this section.

    Intellectual Disability -means significantly sub average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

    Learning Disabilities- means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.  The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, of mental retardation; or emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

    Multiple Disabilities- means two or more impairments at the same time, the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments.  The term does not include deaf-blindness.

    Other Health Impairment- means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that result in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that (i) is due to chronic or acute  health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, arthritis, asthma, sickle-cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, attention deficit disorder, and diabetes; and (ii) adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

    Orthopedic Impairment- means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.  The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g. club foot, absence of some member), impairments caused by disease (e.g. poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g. cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

    Speech/Language Impairment- means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

    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.

    Visual Impairment- including blindness- means an impairment in vision that, even with correction adversely affects a child’s educational performance.  The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

    Special Education and related services are provided to students who are evaluated and meet eligibility criteria.  Related services, which may include speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological services and school counseling services are provided as needed to help the student benefit from special education

    Roanoke County Schools adhere to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA ‘04) and Virginia’s Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (Jan. 2010). Roanoke County Schools supports the rights of students with disabilities to have decisions regarding their special educational programming to be made by an individual education program (IEP) team. 

    The contact person for Roanoke County Schools is Beth Harman, Director of Special Education & Pupil Personnel Services.  If you have any questions, or concerns, you may reach her at (540) 562-3900, extension 10186, or via email at