Special Needs Categories
Ministry Designation Category A: Physically Dependent
Students who are physically dependent with multiple needs. Dependent on others for meeting all major daily living activities.
Ministry Designation Category B: Deaf/Blind
Students with visual and auditory impairment which results in significant difficulties in developing communication, education, vocation and social skills.
Ministry Designation Category C: Moderate to Profound Intellectual Disability
Students with intellectual functioning greater than 3 standard deviations below the norm (as per C level intellectual functioning assessment), delayed adaptive behaviour and functioning of similar degree as well, usually significant delay in social emotional development.
Ministry Designation Category D: Physical Disabilities or Chronic Health Impairments
A student is considered to have a physical disability or chronic health impairment due to nervous system impairment, musculoskeletal condition, or a chronic health condition when their education is adversely affected by their physical disability or chronic health impairment.
Ministry Designation Category E: Visual Impairment
Visual impairment includes a range of categories: blind, legally blind, partially sighted, low vision, critically visually impaired. A student whose visual acuity is not sufficient to participate with ease in everyday activities and where there is interference with optimal learning and achievement is considered visually impaired.
Ministry Designation Category F: Deaf or Hard of Hearing
A student who has a medically diagnosed hearing loss which results in substantial educational difficulty or a central auditory processing dysfunction must have an additional diagnosis of peripheral hearing loss in order for the student to be considered deaf or hard of hearing.
Ministry Designation Category G: Autism
The diagnosis of autism must be made by an appropriately qualified professional. Autism is a condition characterized by marked communication disorder and severe disturbance of intellectual, emotional and behavioural development. A student with autism exhibits impairment in reciprocal social interaction; verbal and non-verbal communication; imaginative activity; restrictive, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests and activities.
Ministry Designation Category H: Intensive Behaviour Interventions or Students with Serious Mental Illness
Students who exhibit antisocial, extremely disruptive behaviour consistently / persistently over time or with severe mental health conditions which result in profound withdrawal or other internalizing behaviours. These behaviours must be serious enough to be known to the school, district and community agencies and to warrant intensive interventions.
Ministry Designation Category K: Mild Intellectual Disability
Students with intellectually functioning between 2 and 3 standard deviations below the norm, as per C level intellectual functioning assessment, delayed adaptive behaviour and functioning of similar degree as well as possible gross and fine motor, communication, social reasoning, memory, problem solving and conceptual skill acquisition.
Ministry Designation Category P: Gifted
Student who possess demonstrated or potential abilities of an exceptionally high capability with respect to intellect, creativity, or skills associated with specific disciplines. Students who are gifted often demonstrate outstanding abilities in more than one area. They demonstrate extraordinary intensity of focus in their area of talent or interest.
Ministry Designation Category Q: Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities vary considerably in their severity and impact on learning. Students require an educational plan that builds on strengths while remediating or compensating for their disabilities through intense direct instruction and/or instruction in learning and compensatory strategies. Students with learning disabilities meet the following criteria: persistent difficulties in acquisition of pre-academic skills and/or acquisition of reading, writing and/or numeracy skills and/or a significant discrepancy between estimated learning potential and academic achievement as measured by norm-referenced instruments in Gr. 4-12; significant weakness in one or more cognitive processes (perception memory, attention, receptive or expressive language abilities, visual-spacial abilities) relative to overall cognitive functioning; not the result of other disabling conditions.
Ministry Designation Category R: Moderate Behaviour Support or Students with Mental Illness
Students in the moderate behaviour category may exhibit one or more of the following: aggression, negative or undesirable internalized psychological state (anxiety, stress, depression); behaviours related to social problems (delinquency, substance abuse, child abuse or neglect); behaviours related to other disabling conditions like thought disorder, neurological or physiological conditions. The severity and frequency of the behaviour over an extended period of time have a very disruptive effect on classroom learning, social relations or personal adjustment. Students in rehabilitation programs jointly funded by the Ministry for Children and Families are included in this funding category when they meet the above criteria.