INTELLECTUAL
 DISABILITY / IMPAIRMENT

Developmental disabilities that may also include an intellectual disability are briefly described below. Intellectual  disabilities can also be caused by a head injury, stroke or illness.

For some no cause is found. Intellectual disabilities will vary in degree and effect from person to person,just as individual  Capabilities vary considerably among people who do not have an intellectual disability.

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RPwD ACT 2016

 

Intellectual Disability is a term used to describe mental and learning impairments or disabilities that impact the day to day functioning of the affected person. A person with below-average intelligence or mental ability to perform simple tasks is said to have Intellectual Disability. RPwD ACT gives more holistic view of disabilities with social aspects and impact as parameters to provide support. A person with an intellectual disability may have significant limitations in the skills needed to live and work in the community which include difficulties with communication, self-care, social skills, safety and self-direction. For more information please read RPwD Act 2016 under ASK T.I.N.A.

 

A person with below-average intelligence or mental ability to perform simple tasks is said to have Intellectual Disability. This however does not mean that the affected people cannot learn the skills to perform the said tasks of everyday life. They can learn but the process will be slower and take a longer duration than other people without Intellectual Disabilities.

 

Intellectual disability can be present in various ways and severity. Some signs that can be detected in children are as follows:

  • Slow development and growth as compared to other children of the same age.

  • Memory related issues.

  • Late talking or communication.

  • Behavior issues.

  • Reasoning, thinking and logic related issues.

People should not make generalizations about the needs of persons with intellectual disabilities. In some instances an intellectual disability will not be obvious from a person's appearance, nor will it be accompanied by a physical disability.

Persons with intellectual disabilities successfully perform a wide range of jobs, and can be dependable workers.

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Autism

Individuals with disabilities on the autism spectrum may have complex developmental disabilities that typically appear during the first three years of life. These disabilities are the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with disabilities on the autism spectrum typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and play or leisure activities. http://www.autism-society.org

Cerebral Palsy

It is a condition, sometimes thought of as a group of disorders, that can involve brain and nervous system functions such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. Cerebral palsy is caused by injuries or abnormalities of the brain. Most of these problems occur as the baby grows in the womb, but they can happen at any time during the first two years of life, while the baby's brain is still developing. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/guide/

Note: Cerebral palsy is included under locomotor disabilities under RPwD ACT of 2016.

Birth asphyxia is one of the major causes of cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy was found to be associated with premature births.Cerebral palsy and mental retardation may overlap however there are many children with cerebral palsy with normal intelligence. It is important for accurate early diagnosis by doctors to ensure they get need based interventions.

Down  Syndrome

It is a genetic disorder that causes  lifelong intellectual disabilities, developmental delays  and other complications. Down syndrome varies in severity, so developmental problems range from moderate to serious. Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of severe intellectual disabilities in children. Individuals with Down syndrome have a higher incidence of heart defects, leukemia, sleep apnea, and dementia later in life. http://www.TheArc.org

 

Accommodating Students with Intellectual Impairment

People with intellectual or cognitive impairments may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with intellectual or cognitive impairments will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.

 

Questions to Consider:

  1. What limitations is the student experiencing?

  2. How do these limitations affect the student and the student’s job performance?

  3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?

  4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?

  5. Has the student been consulted regarding possible accommodations?

  6. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the student to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?

  7. Do supervisory personnel and students need training?

Accommodation Ideas














 

 

By Limitations

Executive Functioning Deficits
 
  • Apps for Concentration

  •  Apps for Memory

  •  Checklists

  •  Color Coded System

  •  Cubicle Doors, Shields, and Shades

  •  Environmental Sound Machines / Tinnitus Maskers / White Noise Machines

  • Extra Time

  • Flexible Schedule

  • Form Generating Software

  • Full Spectrum or Natural Lighting Products

  • Job Coaches

  •  Job Restructuring

  • Marginal Functions

  • Memory Software

  • ​Modified Break Schedule

  • Noise Canceling Earbuds

  • Noise Canceling Headsets

  • On-site Mentoring

  • Recorded Directives, Messages, Materials

  • Reminders

  • Sound Absorption and Sound Proof Panels

  • Speech Recognition Software

  • Sun Boxes and Lights

  • Sun Simulating Desk Lamps

  • Timers and Watches

  • Wall Calendars and Planners

  • Written Instructions

Mathematics
 
  • Construction Calculators

  • Counting/Measuring Aids

  • Fractional, Decimal, Statistical, or Scientific Calculators

  • Large Display Calculators or Adding Machines

  • Large Display Thermometers

  • Mathematics Software

  • Talking Calculators

  • Talking Scales

  • Talking Tape Measures

  • Talking Thermometers

  • Talking Watches

Organizing / Planning / Prioritizing
 
  • Task analysis Applications (apps)

  • Apps for Organization/ Time Management

  • Color-coded Manuals, Outlines, and Maps

  • Electronic Organizers

  • Ergonomic Equipment

  • Job Coaches

  • Job Restructuring

  • On-site Mentoring

  • Organization Software

  • Personal On-Site Paging Devices

  • Professional Organizer

  • Reminders

  • Supervisory Methods

  • Task Identification

  • Task Separation

  • Timers and Watches

  • Visual Schedulers

  • Wall Calendars and Planners

  • Written Instructions

  • Social reward

  • Prompting

  • Shaping

  • Discrimination and generalization

  • ABC analysis

  • Task analysis Applications (apps)

  • Apps for Organization/ Time Management

  • Color-coded Manuals, Outlines, and Maps

  • Electronic Organizers

  • Ergonomic Equipment

  • Job Coaches

  • Job Restructuring

  • On-site Mentoring

  • Organization Software

  • Personal On-Site Paging Devices

  • Professional Organizers

  • Reminders

  • Supervisory Methods

  • Task Identification

  • Task Separation

  • Timers and Watches

  • Visual Schedulers

  • Wall Calendars and Planners

  • Written Instructions

  • Social reward

  • Prompting

  • Shaping

  • Discrimination and generalization

  • ABC analysis

Managing Time
 
  • Applications (apps)

  • Apps for Organization/ Time Management

  • Checklists

  • Color Coded System

  • Electronic Organizers

  • Marginal Functions

  • PDAs, Notetakers, and Laptops

  • Personal On-Site Paging Devices

  • Reminders

  • Task Separation

  • Timers and Watches

  • Wall Calendars and Planners

  • Written Instructions

Memory Loss
 
  • Additional Training Time / Training Refreshers

  • Apps for Memory

  • Electronic Organizers

  • Job Coaches

  • Memory Software

  • Professional Organizers

  • Recorded Directives, Messages, Materials

  • Reminders

  • Social Skill Builders

  • Support Person

  • Verbal Cues

  • Visual Schedulers

  • Wall Calendars and Planners

  • Written Instructions

Writing / Spelling
 
  • Electronic Dictionaries 

  • Form Generating Software

  • Line Guides

  • Literacy Skills Development

  • PDAs, Notetakers, and Laptops

  • Proof reading/ Copy editing Assistance

  • Reference Books

  • Screen Reading Software and Training

  • Speech Recognition Software

  • Verbal Responses

  • Word Prediction/Completion and Macro Software

  • Word Processing Software

  • Writing Aids

  • Writing/Editing Software

  • Written Forms and Prompts

By Work Related Function

Cognitive Function
 
  • Additional Training Time / Training Refreshers

  • Aide/Assistant/Attendant

  • Color Coded System

  • Counting/Measuring Aids

  • Electronic Dictionaries

  • Electronic Organizers

  • Extra Time

  • Fractional, Decimal, Statistical, or Scientific Calculators

  • Job Coaches

  • Line Guides

  • Marginal Functions

  • Modified Break Schedule

  • On-site Mentoring

  • Personal On-Site Paging Devices

  • Professional Organizers

  • Reassignment

  • Reminders

  • Service Animal

  • Social Skill Builders

  • Support Person

  • Training Modifications

  • Uninterrupted Work Time

Work Station Access
 
  • Accessories for Scooters

  • Adjustable and Ergonomic School Desks and Equipment

  • Adjustable Desk Top Workstations for Office Settings

  • Adjustable Workstations for Industrial Settings

  • All-Terrain Scooters

  • Anti-fatigue Matting

  • Articulating Keyboard Trays

  • Assist Lift Cushions

  • Chair Mats

  • Chairs for Little People

  • Chairs for People who are Tall

  • Dual Monitors

  • Elevating Lift and Office Chairs

  • Ergonomic and Adjustable Office Chairs

  • Ergonomic Equipment

  • Examination and Procedures Chair

  • Expanded Keyboards

  • ​Forearm Supports

  • Forward Leaning Chairs

  • Head Support for Wheelchairs

  • Large-Rated Chairs

  • Low Task Chair

  • Monitor Mirrors

  • Monitor Risers

  • Mousing Surfaces

  • Stair Assists

  • Stand-lean Stools

  • Supine Workstations

  • Van Conversion

  • Wheelchair Accessible Scales

  • Wheelchair Carts/Trailers

  • Wheelchair Mounts

  • Wheelchairs

  • Work Platforms

  • Zero Gravity (reclining) Chairs

Work Site Access
 
  • Accessible Toilets and Toilet Seats

  • Accessories for Scooters

  • Adjustable Workstations for Industrial Settings

  • Adjustable Workstations for Office Settings

  • All-Terrain Scooters

  • Anti-fatigue Matting

  • Automatic Door Openers

  • Boat Access

  • Braille and/or ADA Signage

  • Door Knob Grips and Handles

  • Examination and Procedures Chair

  • Flexible Schedule

  • Head Support for Wheelchairs

  • High Visibility Floor Tape and Paint

  • Low Task Chair

  • Portable Ramps

  • ​Ramps

  • Scooters

  • Service Animal

  • Smart Locks/Keyless Entry Locks

  • Stair Assists

  • Stair Tread/Textured Tape

  • Support Animal

  • Telework, Work from Home, Working Remotely

  • Van Conversion

  • Walkers

  • Wearable Anti-fatigue Matting

  • Wheelchair Accessible Scales

  • Wheelchair Carts/Trailers

  • Wheelchair Lifts

  • Wheelchair Mounts

  • Wheelchairs

  • Worksite Redesign / Modified Workspace

Situations & Solutions

  1. A student with an intellectual impairment and cerebral palsy had difficulty grasping a pencil or plastic bottle to accurately apply an adhesive label.

    • We suggest making a wooden jig, which secured the bottle, thus allowing the student to use both hands when applying the label.

  2. A student had difficulty stocking returned video games to the shelf.

    • We suggest the school/college make picture labels for the cases that matched shelf display boxes. This allows the student to match pictures, not words, when returning books/games to the shelf.

  3. A student with a cognitive impairment could not remember to wear all parts of his/her uniform.

    • We suggest taking a picture of the student in full uniform and providing the picture to use as a reference when preparing for college.