Accommodations. The provisions made to allow a student to access and demonstrate learning. Accommodations do not substantially change the instructional level, the content or the performance criteria, but are made in order to provide a student equal access to learning and equal opportunity to demonstrate what is known. Accommodations shall not alter the content of the test or provide inappropriate assistance to the student within the context of the test. (A.C.R. R7-2-401)

Adaptations. Changes made to the environment, curriculum, and instruction or assessment practices in order for a student to be a successful learner. Adaptations include accommodations and modifications. Adaptations are based on an individual student's strengths and needs. (A.C.R. R7-2-401)

Assistive technology device. Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. (20 U.S.C. §1401)
Assistive technology service. Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. The term includes (1) the evaluation of the needs of such child, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child's customary environment; (2) purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by such child; (4) selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing of assistive technology devices; (5) coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs; (6) training or technical assistance for such child, or, where appropriate, the family of such child; and (7) training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of such child. (20 U.S.C. §1401)
Autism. A developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction and that adversely affects educational performance. Characteristics include irregularities and impairments in communication, engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines and unusual responses to sensory experiences. Autism does not include children with characteristics of emotional disability as defined in this section. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Child with a disability. A child with mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance (hereinafter referred to as `emotional disturbance'), orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services. (20 U.S.C. §1401)
Consent. The parent has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in his or her native language, or other mode of communication; the parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his or her consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom; and the parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at anytime. (34 C.F.R. §300.500)

Controlled substance. A drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of part B of this subchapter. The term does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco, as those terms are defined or used in subtitle E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. (21 U.S.C. §802)

Dangerous weapon. A weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, excluding a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length. (18 C.F.R. §930)

Deaf-blindness. Concomitant hearing and visual impairments, 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. (34 C.F.R. §300.7)

Deafness. 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 a child's educational performance. (34 C.F.R. §300.7)
Developmental Delay: (a) The child is at least three years of age but less than ten years of age. (b) The child demonstrates performance on a norm-referenced test that measures at least 1.5 but not more than 3.0 standard deviations below the mean for children of the same age in two or more of the following areas: Cognitive development; Social and emotional development; Physical development; Adaptive development; Communication development. (c) The results of the norm-referenced measure(s) are corroborated by information from other sources including parent input, judgment-based assessments and/or surveys. (d) The child was evaluated in all of the areas of development listed above, which, taken together, comprise a comprehensive developmental assessment. (A.R.S. 15-766)

Doctor of medicine. A person holding a license to practice medicine (medical doctor) or (doctor of osteopathy). (A.C.R. R7-2-401)

Educational disadvantage. A condition which has limited a child's opportunity for educational experience resulting in a child achieving less than a normal level of learning development. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Emotional disability. (a) A condition whereby a child exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects the child's performance in the educational environment: an inability to learn which 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; a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. (b) Includes children who are schizophrenic but does not include children who are socially maladjusted unless they are also determined to have an emotional disability as determined by evaluation. (A.R.S. §15-761)

English learner or limited English proficient student. A child who does not speak English or whose native language is not English, and who is not currently able to perform ordinary classroom work in English. (A.R.S. §15-751)

Evaluator. A qualified person in a field relevant to the child's disability who administers specific and individualized assessment for the purpose of special education evaluation and placement. (A.C.R. R7-2-401)

Free appropriate public education (FAPE). Special education and related services that (1) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; (2) meet the standards of the State educational agency; (3) include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and (4) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program. (20 U.S.C. §1401)

Foster parent. A person who may serve as the parent of a child with disabilities if that person has an ongoing, long-term parental relationship with the child, is willing to make educational decisions for the child and has no personal interest that would conflict with the interests of the child. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Full and individual evaluation. Procedures used in accordance with the IDEA to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs. (A.C.R. R7-2-401)

Hearing impairment. A loss of hearing acuity, as determined by evaluation pursuant to section 15-766, which interferes with the child's performance in the educational environment and requires the provision of special education and related services.
(A.R.S. §15-761)

Home school district. The school district in which the person resides who has legal custody of the child, as provided in section 15-824, subsection B. If the child is a ward of the state and a specific person does not have legal custody of the child, the home school district is the district that the child last attended or, if the child has not previously attended a public school in this state, the school district within which the child currently resides. (A.R.S. §15-761)
Homeless children and youth. Individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and includes (1) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement; (2) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; (3) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and (4) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (1) through (3). (42 U.S.C. §11434)
Illegal drug. A controlled substance, but does not include a substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under that Act or under any other provision of Federal law. (34 C.F.R. §300520)

Independent education evaluation. An evaluation conducted by a qualified evaluator who is not employed by the public agency responsible for the education of the child in question. (A.C.R. R7-2-401)

Individualized education program (IEP). A written statement, as defined in 20 United States Code sections 1401 and 1412, for providing special education services to a child with a disability that includes the pupil's present levels of educational performance, the measurable annual goals and short-term objectives or benchmarks for evaluating progress toward those goals and the specific special education and related services to be provided. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Individualized education program team (IEP team). A team whose task is to develop an appropriate educational program for the child and that includes: the parent; at least one of the child's regular education teachers; one of the child's special education teachers; a representative of the public agency that is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of instruction that is designed specifically for children with disabilities who is knowledgeable about general curriculum and the availability of resources; a person who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results; the child, if appropriate; at the discretion of the parent or the public agency, other persons with knowledge or special expertise about the child. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Individualized family service plan (IFSP). A written plan for providing early intervention services to a child eligible under this part and the child's family.
(34 C.F.R. §303.340)
Intellectual Disability. A significant impairment of general intellectual functioning that exists concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior that adversely affects the child's performance in the educational environment.
Medical services. Services provided by a licensed physician to determine a child's medically related disability that results in the child's need for special education and related services. (34 C.F.R. §300.24)


Mild Intellectual Disability. Performance on standard measures of intellectual and adaptive behavior between two and three standard deviations below the mean for children of the same age.


Moderate Intellectual Disability. Performance on standard measures of intellectual and adaptive behavior between three and four standard deviations below the mean for children of the same age.

Modifications. Substantial changes in what a student is expected to learn and to demonstrate. Changes may be made in the instructional level, the content or the performance criteria. Such changes are made to provide a student with meaningful and productive learning experiences, environments, and assessments based on individual needs and abilities. (A.C.R. R7-2-401)

Multidisciplinary evaluation team (MET). A team of persons including individuals described as the individualized education program team and other qualified professionals who shall determine whether a child is eligible for special education. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Multiple disabilities (MD). Learning and developmental problems resulting from multiple disabilities as determined by evaluation pursuant to section 15-766 that cannot be provided for adequately in a program designed to meet the needs of children with less complex disabilities. Multiple disabilities include any of the following conditions that require the provision of special education and related services: (a) Two or more of the following conditions: hearing impairment, orthopedic impairment, moderate mental retardation, visual impairment. (b) A child with a disability listed in subdivision (a) of this paragraph existing concurrently with a condition of mild mental retardation, emotional disability or specific learning disability. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Multiple disabilities with severe sensory impairment (MDSSI). Multiple disabilities that include at least one of the following: (a) Severe visual impairment or severe hearing impairment in combination with another severe disability. (b) Severe visual impairment and severe hearing impairment. (A.R.S. §15-761)
Native language. When used with respect to an individual of who is limited English proficient, the language normally used by the individual or, in the case of a child, the language normally used by the parents of the child. (20 U.S.C. §1401)
Occupational therapy. Services provided by a qualified occupational therapist that include improving, developing or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation; improving ability to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired or lost; and preventing, through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function. (34 C.F.R. §300.24)

Orientation and mobility training. Services provided to blind or visually impaired students by qualified personnel to enable those students to attain systematic orientation to and safe movement within their environments in school, home, and community. (34 C.F.R. §300.24)

Orthopedic impairment (OI). One or more severe orthopedic impairments and includes those that are caused by congenital anomaly, disease and other causes, such as amputation or cerebral palsy, and that adversely affect a child's performance in the educational environment. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Other health impairments (OHI). Limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, due to chronic or acute health problems which adversely affect a pupil's educational performance. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Parent. Includes a legal guardian; an individual assigned to be a surrogate parent; a natural, adoptive, or foster parent of a child (unless a foster parent is prohibited by State law from serving as a parent); a guardian (but not the State if the child is a ward of the State); an individual acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child's welfare. (20 U.S.C. §1401)
Preschool child. A child who is at least three years of age but who has not reached the required age for kindergarten. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Preschool severe delay. Performance by a preschool child on a norm-referenced test that measures more than three standard deviations below the mean for children of the same chronological age in one or more of the following areas: cognitive development, physical development, communication development, social or emotional development, adaptive development. The results of the norm-referenced measure must be corroborated by information from a comprehensive developmental assessment and from parental input, if available, as measured by a judgment based assessment or survey. If there is a discrepancy between the measures, the evaluation team shall determine eligibility based on a preponderance of the information presented. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Prior written notice. Notice that includes a description of the action proposed or refused by the school, an explanation of why the school proposes or refuses to take the action, a description of any options the school considered and the reasons why those options were rejected, a description of each evaluation procedure, test, record or report the school used as a basis for the proposal or refusal, a description of any other factors that were relevant to the school's proposal or refusal, a full explanation of all of the procedural safeguards available to the parent and a listing of sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the notice. (A.R.S. §15-761)
Related services. Transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services (including speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, social work services, school health services, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, travel training instruction, and medical services, except that such medical services shall be for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. (20 U.S.C. §1401)

Severe mental retardation (SMR). Performance on standard measures of intellectual and adaptive behavior measures at least four standard deviations below the mean for children of the same age. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Special education. Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including (1) instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and (2) instruction in physical education. (20 U.S.C. §1401)

Special education referral. A written request for an evaluation to determine whether a pupil is eligible for special education services that, for referrals not initiated by a parent, includes documentation of appropriate efforts to educate the pupil in the regular education program. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Specially-designed instruction. Adapting, as appropriate to the needs of an eligible child under this part, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability; and to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that he or she can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to all children. (34 C.F.R. §300.26)

Specific learning disability (SLD). A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, 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 a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. (20 U.S.C. §1401)

Speech/language impairment (SLI).  For a preschool-aged child: Performance by a preschool child on a norm-referenced language test that measures at least one and one-half standard deviations below the mean for children of the same chronological age or whose speech, out of context, is unintelligible to a listener who is unfamiliar with the child. Eligibility under this paragraph is appropriate only if a comprehensive developmental assessment or norm-referenced assessment and parental input indicate that the child is not eligible for services under another preschool category. The evaluation team shall determine eligibility based on a preponderance of the information presented. (A.R.S. §15-761)
For a school-aged child: A communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, severe disorders of syntax, semantics or vocabulary, or functional language skills, or a voice impairment, as determined by evaluation pursuant to section 15-766, to the extent that it calls attention to itself, interferes with communication or causes a child to be maladjusted. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Supplementary aids and services. Aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate. (20 U.S.C. §1401)

Surrogate parent. A person who has been appointed by the court pursuant to section 15-763.01 in order to represent a child in decisions regarding special education. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Transition services. A coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that (1) is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation; (2) is based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests; and (3) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. (20 U.S.C. §1401)

Traumatic brain injured (TBI). (a) An acquired injury to the brain that is caused by an external physical force and that results in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects educational performance. (b) Applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in mild, moderate or severe impairments in one or more areas, including cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing and speech. (c) Does not include brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative or brain injuries induced by birth trauma. (A.R.S. §15-761)

Visual impairment. A loss in visual acuity or a loss of visual field, as determined by evaluation pursuant to section 15-766, that interferes with the child's performance in the educational environment and that requires the provision of special education and related services. (A.R.S. §15-761)
Ward of the State.  A child who, as defined by the State where the child resides, is a foster child, a ward of the State or is in the custody of a public child welfare agency. (20 U.S.C. §1401)