Virtual Classroom: Orthopedic Impairment Resources and Services

Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2020

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Marci Glessner


orthopedic impairment, google classroom, virtual learning, collaboration


With medical diagnoses and physical disabilities becoming increasingly more common amongst the student-age population, the need to have more information readily available for educators and parents is crucial. Orthopedic Impairment is one of the thirteen eligibility categories under IDEA and is defined by having “a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance” (GaDOE, OI). The term includes impairments caused by “a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease, and impairments from other causes.”

Characteristics of an orthopedic impairment can typically be categorized into “neuromotor impairments, degenerative diseases, and musculoskeletal disorders” (ProjectIDEAL, 2013). A neuromotor impairment will be the result of damage to “the brain, spinal cord, or nervous system,” and therefore will impact any type of “complex motor movement” (Heward, 2013, p. 380). Any degenerative diseases will typically affect “motor development” (ProjectIDEAL, 2013). And musculoskeletal disorders can cause anywhere from minor to major “levels of physical limitations.”

One of the most interesting aspects of serving and working with students that have an orthopedic impairment, is that even if there are two students that have the exact same diagnosis, the level of impact on their physical or cognitive abilities will not be the same (Heward, 2013, p. 395). How the impairment impacts the student’s quality of life, their physical abilities, and their level of cognition will be contingent upon the “disease, its severity, and individual factors” (ProjectIDEAL, 2013; Heward, 2013, p. 396).

This project consisted of a literature review regarding the special education disability area of Orthopedic Impairments (OI) and the creation of a virtual classroom for parents, students and other team members who teach students with OI.

Abstract only: No full text available.