Orthopedic Impairment

Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, spina bifida, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

In Montana: 48 students ages 6-21 officially received special education services based on a classification of orthopedic impairment during the 2011-2012 school year.

Nationally: The U.S. Department of Education reports 6,429,431 students received special education services during the 2011-2012 school year. Of that number, roughly 1.1%, or 52,052 students, received special education services based on a classification of orthopedic impairments.

Administrative Rules of Montana
Criteria for Identification of Student as Having Orthopedic Impairment


Cerebral Palsy Fact Sheet- National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

Orthopedic Impairments- National Association of Special Education Teachers
This site provides more detailed information and resources for a variety of orthopedic impairments including spinal muscular atrophies, spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, poliomyelitis, muscular dystrophy, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, brachial plexus (Erb's Palsy), and a number of bone diseases.

Project Ideal: Informing and Designing Education For All Learners
This website includes basic background information on the different types of orthopedic impairments, teaching strategies, and links to other resources.

Science for Students with Orthopedic Disabilities- National Science Teachers Association
This site provides information for science teachers to help them better understand different orthopedic impairments and strategies to accommodate students with different level of impairment.