SSPS:Orthopedically Impaired Eligibility

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Orthopedic impairment means a severe skeletal, muscular, or neuromuscular impairment. The term includes impairments resulting from congenital anomalies (e.g. including but not limited to skeletal deformity or spina bifida), and impairments resulting from other causes (e.g., including but not limited to cerebral palsy or amputations).

Criteria for Eligibility

  • A student with an orthopedic impairment is eligible for exceptional student education (ESE), if the following criteria are met:
(a) Evidence of an orthopedic impairment that adversely affects the student’s performance in the educational environment in any of the following: ambulation, hand movement, coordination, or daily living skills; and,
(b) The student needs special education.

  • Ages served: 3 - 22. By the age of three (3) the student(s) may be served by a preschool program.

  • Students over the age of eighteen (18) years, who have not met T/IEP goals and/or graduation requirements, will be recommended on an individual basis at the annual T/IEP review/revision conference and considered for placement based on their ability to successfully achieve program goals. Students may continue through the school year in which they turn twenty-two (22) if recommended by the T/IEP committee.

Intervention Requirements

Refer to Referral and Evaluation Procedures as Problem Solving (PS)/Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) procedures must be followed. Evaluation team recommended exceptions to PS/MTSS may be addressed on an individual basis with supervisor involvement.

Procedures for Evaluation

Required Information and Evaluation Data

Required information and evaluation data for determination of eligibility for Orthopedically Impaired services:

1. Documentation of PS/MTSS procedures, including baseline and follow up academic levels, noting interventions applied with integrity and consistency. In some urgent situations and with supervisor involvement, PS/MTSS may occur concurrently with evaluation or may be waived. Parent input and involvement in the process is critical.

NOTE: When considering medical conditions requiring ESE services under the Orthopedically Impaired eligibility, it is suggested that the team discuss the option of providing services through a Section 504 Plan. When the documented interventions and/or the 504 Plan cannot provide the student with the level of support necessary for adequate educational progress, consideration for ESE services is warranted.

2. Vision and hearing screenings Sensory Screenings.

3. A report of a medical examination within the previous twelve-month period, from a licensed Florida physician(s) qualified to assess the student's physical condition, giving a description of the impairment and any medical implications for instruction (Refer to Physical Examination, MIS #818). If the MIS #818 is not returned, schools may send the Sample Follow-up Letter requesting medical documentation for initial consideration of ESE services.

4. An educational evaluation which identifies educational and environmental needs of the student.

5. When determined appropriate by the evaluation team or an ESE administrator: A social history, and/or a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation. This evaluation could include a measure of cognitive ability, standardized achievement tests, and/or measures of executive function, including parent input to focus on early developmental history, chronicity, persistence of symptoms, and evidence of onset and duration.

Evaluation Team

The evaluation team should include one (or more) basic education teacher, an ESE teacher, school psychologist and school nurse. Additional staff may be added, based on identified student needs -- ESOL teacher, literacy coach, math resource, school social worker, graduation enhancement teacher, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech/language pathologist and/or any other itinerant staff.

Procedures for Determining Eligibility and Educational Placements

Refer to Eligibility and Placement Section for information regarding eligibility procedures.

Team Analysis of Data

Download an OI TAD

Download an OI Short TAD

Procedures for Out of State Transfer Students

1. Students who have a current T/IEP indicating eligibility for Orthopedically Impaired may transfer to our district.

  • The OOS Medical Transfer Letter is issued with the Informed Notice of Continued Eligibility for Exceptional Student Education Services (MIS #707) notifying parent(s) of medical documentation requirements for out-of-state transfers.
  • If the required medical documentation is not received, a Follow-up Letter is sent requesting medical documentation for out-of-state transfers.

2. These students must be brought to the ISS team to determine whether additional evaluation is necessary to meet eligibility guidelines for the state of Florida. A medical completed within the past 12 months by a Florida licensed physician is required to consider eligibility. Additional evaluation(s) may be recommended by the T/IEP team. Consent for Evaluation is obtained.

3. If medical and educational evaluation results indicate the need for ESE Services, the student will continue to meet eligibility criteria.

4. If medical and educational evaluation results are incomplete or do not indicate the need for ESE Services, the student will be dismissed from ESE (or discontinued, if eligible for other areas of ESE).

Procedures for Recommending Discontinuation or Dismissal

Refer to Discontinuation and Dismissal Section for information regarding procedures.

Referenced Forms

Physical Examination (MIS #818)

Sample Follow up Letter

Informed Notice of Continued Eligibility for Exceptional Student Education Services (MIS #707)

OOS Medical Transfer Letter

TAD for Orthopedically Impaired