Disability Resource Center

Qualifying for Services

A person with a disability is defined as follows: 

"Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, as compared to the average person in the general population."

There is no "all-inclusive" list.

Consider, however, conditions such as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV, tuberculosis, drug addiction and alcoholism.

This means most conditions which are permanent in nature.

Temporary conditions which may last longer than six months may also qualify.

What are "major life activities?"

Walking Speaking Breathing Interacting with Others
Sitting Standing Reaching Caring for oneself
Lifting Sleeping Eating Controlling body functions
Reading Writing Learning Reproduction
Running Working Concentrating Thinking
Hearing Seeing Child bearing
Activities of daily living Performing manual tasks such as bathing, household chores, etc.


The eligible student is one who has a physical or mental condition which prevents him, or her, from doing any of the things listed above, the same way as the average person is able to do them.