• Refer to WV State Policy 2419: Regulations for the Education of Students with Exceptionalities for additional information.

    Mercer County Schools serves children, ages 3 through 21, who have one or more of the following diagnosed disabilities, as defined by the REGULATIONS FOR THE EDUCATION OF EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS.


    • Autism is a developmental disability, generally evident before age three, significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, and adversely affecting a student's educational performance.  Other characteristics often associated with autism include, but are not limited to, 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 student's educational performance is affected primarily because the student has a behavior disorder.

    Blindness and Low Vision

    • Blindness and low vision is an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects the student's educational performance. This term includes both partial sight and blindness.


    • Deafblindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combinations of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs designed solely for students with deafness or students who are hard of hearing or partially sighted.


    • Deafness is a hearing impairment that is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, which adversely affects a student's educational performance.

    Developmental Delay

    • Developmental Delay occurs in students, ages three though five, who are functioning at, or lower than, 75% of the normal rate of development in two or more of the following areas: Cognition, Physical development including gross motor and/or fine motor skills, Communication, Social/emotional/affective development, and/or Self-help skills.

    Emotional/Behavioral Disorder

    • An emotional/behavioral disorder is a condition in which a student exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects the student's 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 unhappiness or depression; or
      • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems; or
      • Schizophrenia.


    • Giftedness is exceptional intellectual abilities and potential for achievement that require specially designed instruction and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program for grades 1-8.

    Hard of Hearing

    • Hard of Hearing is an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a student's educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness.

    Intellectual Disability

    • Intellectual disability is defined as significantly sub-average intellectual functioning that exits concurrently with deficits in adaptive skill areas. These deficits are manifested during the developmental period and adversely affect the student’s educational performance.

    Orthopedic Impairment

    • Orthopedic impairments are physical conditions that adversely affect the student's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly (e.g., spina bifida, congenital amputation, osteogenesis imperfecta), an impairment caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), or an impairment from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, fractures or burns that cause contracture). 

    Other Health Impairment

    • Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment that is due to chronic or acute health problems. These health problems may include, but are not limited to, asthma, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, Tourette syndrome, and stroke to such a degree that it affects the student’s educational performance.

    Related Services

    • Related services is a term that refers to transportation and such developmental, corrective and other supportive services required to assist an eligible student to benefit from special education as described in the IEP. These services include, but are not limited to: assistive technology, audiology, speech/language therapy, interpreting services, psychological services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, counseling services, orientation and mobility services, school nursing services, and transportation.

    Specific Learning Disability

    • Specific learning disability (SLD) 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 the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculation, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

    Speech/Language Impairment

    • A Speech/Language impairment is a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a student's educational performance. Speech and Language services cannot be determined on the basis of having a primary language other than English or a language difference.

    Traumatic Brain Injury

    • Traumatic brain injury is 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 student's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory/perceptual/motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.