Learning Disabilities Definitions Used by State Education Departments

Cecil D. Mercer, Charles A. Hughes, Ann R. Mercer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This article features the results of a survey of the 50 State Departments of Education regarding their definitions of learning disabilities, identification criteria, and operationalization procedures. A conceptual framework consisting of 10 components is presented for analyzing the data in terms of definition and identification criteria. Results show a significant impact of the 1977 federal definition and criteria while revealing variations in state definitions and criteria. To determine current trends the data are compared with those from a similar survey conducted in 1976. Survey findings are discussed in terms of trends, heterogeneity of LD, and the NJCLD definition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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