Deborah E. Witsken
Definitions of disabilities categorized as low-incidence vary in scope. Broadly defined, low-incidence disabilities refer to a visual impairment or hearing loss, deaf-blindness, and significant cognitive impairment. For children, the definition extends to any impairment that requires individualized intervention services provided by professionals with highly specialized skills and knowledge in order for the child to benefit from his or her education. Thus, this definition includes individuals with autism, traumatic brain injuries, orthopedic impairments, or multiple disabilities. Although these classifications may be useful for data collection or communicating potential needs of clients with a particular disability, individuals within each disability category may be more different than they are alike and will likely require highly individualized services. Even when a very broad definition is used, individuals with low-incidence disabilities compose a small percentage of the population. Nevertheless, it is likely that counselors will encounter clients with low-incidence disabilities in their practice. Individuals with ...