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Training for ECEA Eligibility Categories

House Bill 11-1277 amended the Exceptional Children’s Education Act (ECEA) to align Colorado’s eligibility categories with corresponding federal terms and requirements and/or terminology used in the field. The legislation was passed in May 2011.

The State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the definition changes into ECEA Rules on September 12, 2012. The new disability category and eligibility language went into effect on October 30, 2012. The disability category and eligibility language specific to "Child with Developmental Delay" involved separate legislation and went into effect on March 2, 2013. At this time, each Colorado administrative unit (AU) can begin the process of adopting the revised definitions. The new eligibility categories, definitions and criteria must be adopted in full by July 1, 2016.

The following training documents are designed to support Colorado administrative units in their work to adopt the new eligibility categories, definitions, and criteria. You will find the PowerPoint slides in each topic area below to use for your training purposes, as well as a PDF version (the PDF version is posted to document CDE's guidance as of March 2013).

The training tools below are designed to be reviewed with a copy(ies) of the Eligibility Checklists for each disability category. The Eligibility Checklists, which detail each disability category and its corresponding eligibility criteria can be found with the IEP Forms.


Overview Training: Guidance on All Eligibility Categories

The following documents provide a comprehensive overview of the HB11-1277 history/next steps/timelines, the context of Multi-Tiered System of Supports, information specific to twice exceptional learners, and the definition/eligibility criteria for each of the disability categories.


Training: Guidance on Individual Eligibility Categories

The following documents provide a self-standing overview on the eligibility criteria for each specific ECEA disability category. Please feel free to download and use these items for your training purposes. It is recommended that if these training sections are used instead of the Comprehensive Overview PowerPoint, they be supplemented with the three self-standing sections specific to an Overview of HB11-1277, Overview on Multi-Tiered System of Supports, and Overview on Twice Exceptional Learners to bring context to the guidance on the separate eligibility categories.

Overview of HB11-1277


Overview of Multi-Tiered System of Supports


Overview of Twice Exceptional Learners


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

For more information about Autism Spectrum Disorder



For more information about Deaf-Blindness


Developmental Delay

For more information about Developmental Delay: Child Find and Preschool Special Ed.


Hearing Impairment, Including Deafness

For more information about Hearing Impairment, Including Deafness


Infant/Toddler with Disabilities

For more information about Infants/Toddlers with Disabilities


Intellectual Disability

For more information about Intellectual Disability


Multiple Disabilities

For more information about Multiple Disabilities


Orthopedic Impairment

For more information about Orthopedic Impairment


Other Health Impairment

For more information about Other Health Impairment


Serious Emotional Disability

For more information about Serious Emotional Disability


Specific Learning Disability

This Specific Learning Disability eligibility category does not have any substantive changes. There were slight changes in the definition and eligibility criteria to ensure an alignment with changed disability category labels and compacting of the criteria language.

For more information about Specific Learning Disability


Speech or Language Impairment

This Speech or Language Impairment eligibility category does not have any substantive changes. There were slight changes to ensure alignment of key working in the other changed disability category labels and to include more guidance around considerations for culturally, linguistically diverse population when determining Speech or Language Impairment. The PowerPoint below does not reflect a change in past CDE training guidance on eligibility with the exception of more information specific to primary language considerations.

For more information about Speech or Language Impairment


Traumatic Brain Injury

For more information about Traumatic Brain Injury


Visual Impairment, Including Blindness

For more information about Visual Impairment, Including Blindness

If you have questions about this training guidance, please Email Tanni Anthony

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