Definitions used to designate functional disabilities


Serious Visual Impairment

Visual impairment is recognized as major when the visual acuity of each eye, after correction with appropriate ophthalmic lenses, with the exception of special optical systems and increases greater than 4.00 diopters, is no more than 6/21, or when the field of vision of each eye is less than 60 degrees in the meridians of 180 degrees and 90 degrees and when in one or the other case, the person is incapable of reading, writing or moving in an unfamiliar environment.


Serious Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment is recognized as major when the ear with the best hearing capacity is affected by an average conductive hearing loss down to at least 70 decibels for sound frequencies of 500, 1000 or 2000 Hz, based on the 1989 S3.6 standard of the American National Standard Institute.


Mobility Impairment

A motor disability is recognized as major when it causes significant and persistent limitations for the person in the course of his or her daily activities: muscular or neurological systems responsible for body movement are affected, resulting in significant and persistent limitations in a person's daily life.


Organic Impairment

An organic impairment or disorder is defined as an abnormality of the internal organs, parts of the cardio-pulmonary, gastro-intestinal and endocrine systems. The disorder is considered to be major when it causes significant and persistent limitations for the person in the course of his or her daily activities r.


Learning Disorders

A learning disorder is a dysfunction that interferes with the ability of the brain to absorb, store and retrieve information. It can cause difficulties in one or more of the following areas: attention, memory, reasoning, communication, writing, reading, spelling and calculation. A learning disorder is not a learning disability.
Learning disorders are not related to intelligence, but to a disability linked to the processing of information. They stem from either genetic neurobiological factors or an injury (such as a head injury) that affect brain function and alter learning processes.
Learning disorders should not be confused with learning difficulties. A learning disorder is usually permanent; a learning difficulty is usually associated with psychological, familial, social or economic factors and can be improved with special remediation and more intensive practice.


Attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD)

ADHD is a neurological disorder resulting in significant and consistent problems in maintaining focus and concentration, controlling impulsivity, a impacts significantly on social, psychological and academic outcomes.
ADHD is a disorder of neurological origin. It is not caused by intellectual or sensory deficits (visual or hearing impairment), nor by social or familial factors (poor parenting). ADHD cannot be correct through will power, nor is it an issue of lack of motivation.

There are three major sub-types of ADHD:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Type
    People with this sub-type of ADHD have trouble concentrating on a single task such as listening in class, doing homework, reading or following a conversation for a long period of time (15 minutes or more). These adults and children are easily distracted by their surrounding environment.
  • Predominantly Hyperactive Impulsive Type
    People with predominantly hyperactive impulsive sub-type ADHD have trouble staying still. They are constantly moving their legs and/or hands and appear restless. They often act or speak without thinking, and work too quickly, without attention to detail.
  • Combined Inattentive and Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
    People with this sub-type of ADHD have both symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.

Mental Health Disorders (MHD)

Students with disorders such as schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolarity disorder must obtain a diagnosis of the mental health problems as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM - IV) or the International Classification of Diseases: tenth revision (ICD-10).