Special Education Evaluation & Eligibility
The State Board of Education has approved the revised disability definitions and standards (i.e., the required evaluation procedures and evaluation participants). The changes are now effective as of July 1, 2017. The “Disability Evaluation and Eligibility” section below provides links to past and updated definitions and standards. A comparison document of disability standards can be found here.
For initial evaluations, if consent is obtained on or after July 1, the school district must follow the new evaluation standards. For students who are being re-evaluated, the team should not automatically assume a comprehensive re-evaluation is needed due to a change in disability standards. The student’s previous eligibility should be honored, and the team should follow the normal re-evaluation procedures for determining assessment needs.
Department guidance document regarding Emergency SBE Rule related to initial evaluation timelines:
- Developmental Delay
- Emotional Disturbance
- Functional Delay
- Hearing Impairment
- Intellectual Disability
- Intellectually Gifted
- Multiple Disabilities
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disabilities
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual Impairment
- Medical Information Form
- Notice and Consent for Initial Assessment (revised 8/08)
- Notice of Procedural Safeguards
- Prior Written Notice (revised 8/2020)
- Release of Information
- Student Referral for Special Education DOC PDF
- Instructions - Student Referral DOC PDF
- TN Assessment Instrument Selection Form
- Considerations for Ruling Out Lack of Instruction
- Ethnographic Interview for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
- 60 Calendar Day Initial Evaluation Timeline Rule Change and Timeline Extension Requests
- End of Year Report for Gifted (Table 7) and Gifted Screenings
- IDEA Eligibility Determinations for Students with Suspected Cognitive Impairments
- Timeline Requirements for Children Referred by Part C (TEIS)
- Transfer Process for Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
- Transfer Student Flowchart
- Considerations for Ruling Out Lack of Instruction for Specific Learning Disability(SLD) Evaluation and Identification
The Tennessee School for the Deaf in Knoxville (TSD), the West Tennessee School for the Deaf (WTSD) in Jackson and the Tennessee School for The Blind in Nashville (TSB) are making resources, personnel expertise, and facilities available to assist local school systems in evaluating students with complex or severe hearing and/or vision disabilities. Evaluation and consultation services are available for LEAs that lack appropriate specialists to provide adequate evaluations and/or that require assistance in providing appropriate intervention.
There is no charge for the evaluation or consultation services to the local school system. Evaluations must be requested by the supervisor of special education or the superintendent of the local school system. Cottages are available at each campus for housing when overnight stays are required.
The scope of the evaluation will be determined by an agreement between the State Special School and the local school system. The evaluation will pertain to visual and/or auditory disabilities and may include orientation and mobility, functional vision and/or hearing, recommendations for assistive services and devices, general health or specific medical examinations, and other areas as warranted.
- TN School for the Blind Phone - (615) 231-7300 Fax (615) 871-9312.
- TN School for the Deaf Phone - (865 ) 579-2441 Fax (865) 579-2484.
- West TN School for the Deaf Phone - (731) 423-5705 Fax (731) 423-6470.