In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 15-761

  • Accommodation school: means either:

    (a) A school that is operated through the county board of supervisors and the county school superintendent and that the county school superintendent administers to serve a military reservation or territory that is not included within the boundaries of a school district. See Arizona Laws 15-101

  • Autism: means a developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction and that adversely affects educational performance. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Charter school: means a public school established by contract with the state board of education, the state board for charter schools, a university under the jurisdiction of the Arizona board of regents, a community college district or a group of community college districts pursuant to article 8 of this chapter to provide learning that will improve pupil achievement. See Arizona Laws 15-101
  • Child with a disability: means a child with a disability as defined in section 15-761. See Arizona Laws 15-101
  • Developmental delay: means performance by a child who is at least three years of age but under ten years of age on a norm-referenced test that measures at least one and one-half, but not more than three, standard deviations below the mean for children of the same chronological age in two or more of the following areas:

    (a) Cognitive development. See Arizona Laws 15-761

  • Emotional disability: means a condition:

    (a) In which 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:

    (i) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors. See Arizona Laws 15-761

  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Hearing impairment: means a loss of hearing acuity, as determined by evaluation pursuant to section 15-766, that interferes with the child's performance in the educational environment and requires the provision of special education and related services. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Home school district: means the school district or charter school that the child last attended or, if the child has not previously attended a public school in this state, the school district in which the person resides who has legal custody of the child, as provided in section 15-824, subsection B. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Impartial administrative law judge: means an administrative law judge of the office of administrative hearings who is knowledgeable in the laws governing special education and administrative hearings. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • including: means not limited to and is not a term of exclusion. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Individualized education program: means a written statement, as defined in 20 United States Code sections 1401 and 1412, for providing special education and related services to a child with a disability. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Intellectual disability: means a significant impairment of general intellectual functioning that exists concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and that adversely affects the child's performance in the educational environment. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Mild intellectual disability: means performance on standard measures of intellectual and adaptive behavior between two and three standard deviations below the mean for children of the same age. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Moderate intellectual disability: means performance on standard measures of intellectual and adaptive behavior between three and four standard deviations below the mean for children of the same age. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Multiple disabilities: means 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. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Multiple disabilities with severe sensory impairment: means multiple disabilities that include at least one of the following:

    (a) Severe visual impairment or severe hearing impairment in combination with another severe disability. See Arizona Laws 15-761

  • Orthopedic impairment: means 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. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Other health impairments: means limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, due to chronic or acute health problems that adversely affect a pupil's educational performance. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Parent: means :

    (a) Either a natural or adoptive parent of a child. See Arizona Laws 15-761

  • person: means an individual, partnership, corporation, association or public or private organization of any kind. See Arizona Laws 15-101
  • Preschool child: means a child who is at least three years of age but who has not reached the required age for kindergarten, subject to section 15-771, subsection G. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Preschool severe delay: means 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:

    (a) Cognitive development. See Arizona Laws 15-761

  • Process: means a citation, writ or summons issued in the course of judicial proceedings. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Public educational agency: means a school district, a charter school, an accommodation school, a state-supported institution or any other political subdivision of this state that is responsible for providing education to children with disabilities. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • public school: means any public institution established for the purposes of offering instruction to pupils in programs for preschool children with disabilities, kindergarten programs or any combination of elementary grades or secondary grades one through twelve. See Arizona Laws 15-101
  • Related services: means those supportive services, as defined in 20 United States Code section 1401, that are required to assist a child with a disability who is eligible to receive special education services in order for the child to benefit from special education. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • School district: means a political subdivision of this state with geographic boundaries organized for the purpose of the administration, support and maintenance of the public schools or an accommodation school. See Arizona Laws 15-101
  • Special education: means specially designed instruction that meets the unique needs of a child with a disability and that is provided without cost to the parents of the child. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Specially designed instruction: means adapting the content, methodology or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of a child with a disability and to ensure that child's access to the general curriculum as identified in the academic standards adopted by the state board of education. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • State educational agency: means the department of education. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • Subject: means a division or field of organized knowledge, such as English or mathematics, or a selection from an organized body of knowledge for a course or teaching unit, such as the English novel or elementary algebra. See Arizona Laws 15-101
  • Surrogate parent: means a person who has been appointed by the court or by the department of education pursuant to section 15-763. See Arizona Laws 15-761
  • United States: includes the District of Columbia and the territories. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Writing: includes printing. See Arizona Laws 1-215

1. "Autism" means 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.

2. "Child with a disability":

(a) Means a child who is at least three years but under twenty-two years of age, who has been evaluated pursuant to section 15-766 and found to have at least one of the following disabilities and who, because of the disability, needs special education and related services:

(i) Autism.

(ii) Developmental delay.

(iii) Emotional disability.

(iv) Hearing impairment.

(v) Other health impairments.

(vi) Specific learning disability.

(vii) Mild, moderate or severe intellectual disability.

(viii) Multiple disabilities.

(ix) Multiple disabilities with severe sensory impairment.

(x) Orthopedic impairment.

(xi) Preschool severe delay.

(xii) Speech/language impairment.

(xiii) Traumatic brain injury.

(xiv) Visual impairment.

(b) Does not include a child for whom the determinant factor for the classification is one or more of the following:

(i) A lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including essential components of reading instruction.

(ii) A lack of appropriate instruction in mathematics.

(iii) Difficulty in writing, speaking or understanding the English language due to an environmental background in which a language other than English is primarily or exclusively used.

3. "Developmental delay" means performance by a child who is at least three years of age but under ten years of age on a norm-referenced test that measures at least one and one-half, but not more than three, standard deviations below the mean for children of the same chronological age in two or more of the following areas:

(a) Cognitive development.

(b) Physical development.

(c) Communication development.

(d) Social or emotional development.

(e) Adaptive development.

The results of the norm-referenced measure must be corroborated by information from a comprehensive development 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.

4. "Due process hearing" means a fair and impartial administrative hearing conducted by the state educational agency by an impartial administrative law judge in accordance with federal and state law.

5. "Educational disadvantage" means a condition that has limited a child’s opportunity for educational experience resulting in a child achieving less than a normal level of learning development.

6. "Eligibility for special education" means the pupil has one of the disabilities in paragraph 2 of this section and requires special education services in order to benefit from an educational program.

7. "Emotional disability" means a condition:

(a) In which 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:

(i) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors.

(ii) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.

(iii) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

(iv) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

(v) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

(b) That 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 as provided in section 15-766.

8. "Hearing impairment" means a loss of hearing acuity, as determined by evaluation pursuant to section 15-766, that interferes with the child’s performance in the educational environment and requires the provision of special education and related services.

9. "Home school district" means the school district or charter school that the child last attended or, if the child has not previously attended a public school in this state, 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 this state and a specific person does not have legal custody of the child or is a ward of this state and the child is enrolled in an accommodation school pursuant to section 15-913, 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.

10. "Impartial administrative law judge" means an administrative law judge of the office of administrative hearings who is knowledgeable in the laws governing special education and administrative hearings.

11. "Individualized education program" means a written statement, as defined in 20 United States Code sections 1401 and 1412, for providing special education and related services to a child with a disability.

12. "Individualized education program team" means a team whose task is to develop an appropriate educational program for the child and has the same meaning prescribed in 20 United States Code section 1414.

13. "Intellectual disability" means a significant impairment of general intellectual functioning that exists concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and that adversely affects the child’s performance in the educational environment.

14. "Mild intellectual disability" means performance on standard measures of intellectual and adaptive behavior between two and three standard deviations below the mean for children of the same age.

15. "Moderate intellectual disability" means performance on standard measures of intellectual and adaptive behavior between three and four standard deviations below the mean for children of the same age.

16. "Multidisciplinary evaluation team" means 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.

17. "Multiple disabilities" means 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:

(i) Hearing impairment.

(ii) Orthopedic impairment.

(iii) Moderate intellectual disability.

(iv) Visual impairment.

(b) A child with a disability listed in subdivision (a) of this paragraph existing concurrently with a condition of mild intellectual disability, emotional disability or specific learning disability.

18. "Multiple disabilities with severe sensory impairment" means 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.

19. "Orthopedic impairment" means 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.

20. "Other health impairments" means limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, due to chronic or acute health problems that adversely affect a pupil’s educational performance.

21. "Out-of-home care" means the placement of a child with a disability outside of the home environment and includes twenty-four-hour residential care, group care or foster care on either a full-time or part-time basis.

22. "Parent" means:

(a) Either a natural or adoptive parent of a child.

(b) A guardian, but not this state if the child is a ward of this state.

(c) A person who is acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent and with whom the child lives or a person who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare.

(d) A surrogate parent.

(e) A foster parent to the extent permitted by state law.

23. "Preschool child" means a child who is at least three years of age but who has not reached the required age for kindergarten, subject to section 15-771, subsection G.

24. "Preschool severe delay" means 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:

(a) Cognitive development.

(b) Physical development.

(c) Communication development.

(d) Social or emotional development.

(e) 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.

25. "Prior written notice" means written prior notice that a public educational agency is required to send to parents whenever the public educational agency proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of a child with a disability or the provision of a free appropriate public education.

26. "Public educational agency" means a school district, a charter school, an accommodation school, a state-supported institution or any other political subdivision of this state that is responsible for providing education to children with disabilities.

27. "Related services" means those supportive services, as defined in 20 United States Code section 1401, that are required to assist a child with a disability who is eligible to receive special education services in order for the child to benefit from special education.

28. "Residential special education placement" means placing a child with a disability in a public or private residential program, as provided in section 15-765, subsection G, in order to provide necessary special education and related services as specified in the child’s individualized education program.

29. "Severe intellectual disability" means performance on standard measures of intellectual and adaptive behavior measures at least four standard deviations below the mean for children of the same age.

30. "Special education" means specially designed instruction that meets the unique needs of a child with a disability and that is provided without cost to the parents of the child.

31. "Special education referral" means 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.

32. "Specially designed instruction" means adapting the content, methodology or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of a child with a disability and to ensure that child’s access to the general curriculum as identified in the academic standards adopted by the state board of education.

33. "Specific learning disability" has the same meaning as defined in 20 United States Code section 1401.

34. "Speech/language impairment":

(a) For a preschool child, means performance 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 for a preschool child under this subdivision is appropriate only when a comprehensive developmental assessment and parental input indicate that the preschool child is not eligible for services under another preschool category or under the developmental delay category. If there is a discrepancy between the measures, the evaluation team shall determine eligibility based on a preponderance of the information presented.

(b) For a child who has reached the required age for kindergarten, means a speech or language impairment as defined in 34 Code of Federal Regulations section 300.8.

35. "State educational agency" means the department of education.

36. "State placing agency" has the same meaning prescribed in section 15-1181.

37. "Surrogate parent" means a person who has been appointed by the court or by the department of education pursuant to section 15-763.01 to represent a child in decisions regarding special education.

38. "Traumatic brain injury":

(a) Means 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.

39. "Visual impairment" has the same meaning prescribed in 34 Code of Federal Regulations section 300.8.

40. "Ward of the state" has the same meaning prescribed in 20 United States Code section 1401.