Main Content Region

Categories of Disabilities

Disability Eligibility by Category

The California State University system has established the following broad disability categories that students may qualify for services.



Significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities


Challenges in locomotion or motor functions

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

A hearing disability refers to limitations in the process of hearing



Blindness or partial sight that affects educational processes

Mental Health

A chronic and persistent psychiatric or psychological disability as characterized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V)


Challenges with focus, attention, impulsivity, organizing and regulation

Brain Injury

Trauma to the brain affecting cognition, mood or mobility


Challenges in speech, hearing an communication processes that affect learning

Functional Limitations

Any other dysfunction such as a dysfunction of a body part or a neurological disability that necessitates accommodations and does not fall within the categories listed above.


A transitory impairment of six months or less including broken bones, torn ligaments, post-surgical recovery, and more including pregnancy in some, but not all, cases. Temporary disability is decided on a case-by-case basis