Definition Of Developmental Disability

A developmental disability is defined as a severe, chronic disability that is characterized by all of the following:

  • Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or a combination of mental and physical impairments, other than a mental or physical impairment solely caused by mental illness
  • Is manifested before the person attains age 22
  • Is likely to continue indefinitely
  • Results in one of the following:
    • In the case of a person under age three, at least one developmental delay
    • In the case of a person at least age three, but under age six, at least two developmental delays
    • In the case of a person age six or older, a substantial functional limitation in at least three of the following areas of major life activity, as appropriate for ones age: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and, if the person is age 16 or older, capacity for economic self-sufficiency
  • Causes the person to need a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary, or other type of care, treatment or provision of services for an extended period of time that is individually planned and coordinated for the person


To determine if one is eligible for services, background information may be requested and, if required, an assessment called the Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument (OEDI) is conducted by the Intake Office. Developmental disabilities may result from a number of conditions, such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, head injury, epilepsy or autism.

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