The Massachusetts Department of Education defines sensory impairment as:
- Hearing- the capacity to hear, with amplification, is limited, impaired, or absent and results in one or more of the following: reduced performance in hearing acuity tasks; difficulty with oral communication; and/or difficulty in understanding auditorally-presented information in the education environment. The term in includes students who are deaf and students who are hard-of-hearing.
- Vision- the capacity to see, after correction, is limited, impaired, or absent and results in one or more of the following: reduced performance in visual acuity tasks; difficulty with written communication; and/or difficulty with understanding information presented visually in the education environment. The term includes students who are blind and students with limited vision.
- Deaf-Blind- Concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes severe communication and other developmental and educational needs.
Devices that may assist individuals with these disabilities include hearing aids, sound field systems, phone amplification, TTY devices, alerting devices, magnification, speech output, use of Braille, and optical character recognition.