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:

Disability Evaluations and Eligibility Resources for Consent received Prior to July 1, 2017

Vision-Hearing Screening & General Education Interventions Prior to Referral DOC PDF

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Re-evaluations and Out of State Transfers Within an RTI² Framework




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.

Contact information:

  • 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.