What are Low-Incidence Disabilities?
High-incidence disabilities include—
communication disorders (speech and language impairments)
specific learning disabilities (including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD])
mild/moderate mental retardation
Low-incidence disabilities include—
significant developmental delay
complex health issues
serious physical impairment
emotional or behavioral disorders
None of the disabilities listed under low-incidence disabilities generally exceed 1% of the school-aged population at any given time. The relative rarity of students with these disabilities in public schools often poses significant challenges for local schools struggling to meet their needs. Since they encounter these students so infrequently, most local schools have little if any knowledge of how to best educate these students, of what technologies are available to assist them, and of how to obtain needed and appropriate support services from outside agencies. All students with low-incidence disabilities thus experience a commonality: they are difficult to serve in current local public school programs.