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Hello everyone,


I am the Orthopedic Impairment Specialist for the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District (grades K-12+).


What is an orthopedic impairment?

According to IDEA 2004, a severe orthopedic impairment adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures). Other common health conditions/diagnoses include Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, etc.


LAW: (Title 5 California Code of Regulations CCR § 80048.7) A child with a low incidence (LI) disability must be instructed by an individual who holds a credential or added authorization in the specific LI disability area. Currently, a student who primarily qualifies for special education services under the category of Orthopedic Impairment (OI) needs to have a teacher with the OI Added Authorization (OIAA) on his or her IEP team.



Collaborate/consult with the classroom teacher or staff regarding the following:      

  • Address functional limitations of movement and/or sensation, co-existing health impairments, and mild/moderate/severe intellectual disabilities
  • Implement evidence-based and multifaceted methodologies and strategies based upon assessment data in the LRE
  • Discuss accommodations and modifications necessary to teach and engage students with OI so that all students are actively engaged in the learning process (This also applies to students who have or need a 504 Plan.)
  • Identify and support performance of essential skills (academics, independent living skills, personal independence, career and vocational experiences, communication skills, and psychosocial development)
  • Facilitate and reinforce the use of AT by collaborating with the AT specialist/classroom staff/student regarding students’ low and high assistive technology devices, services, and software applications that facilitate communication (including AAC or alternative augmentative communication)
  • Utilize Emergency Plans and Health Summaries to support a safe environment and supervise specialized health care methodologies and procedures not requiring a physician
  • Address concerns regarding universal precautions, specialized equipment, mobility devices, safe lifting practices, feeding techniques, and sensory accommodations
  • Collaborate with the rest of the IEP team on the process of ordering specialized equipment using LI funds or determining eligibility
  • Create and/or provide resources/forms for use by classroom staff (seizure flow charts, substitute assisted feeding guides, Transition assessments, data collection sheets, etc.)
  • Support interfacing with other service providers (nurse, OT, S/L specialist, PT, Psychologist, AT Specialist, Paraeducators/Health Care Assistants (HCAs), and outside service agencies, as needed)
  • Aid the teacher in writing and implementing goals related to the Common Core, as well as documenting progress toward them
  • Store orthopedic equipment/devices purchased using LI funds not currently in use and work with OTs/PTs to get equipment to students who need it
  • Provide guidance and support during Transitions (into/from hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, as well as between school sites)
  • Assist with providing the family with resources and support (information from other agencies, support groups, etc.)
  • Troubleshoot or assist with anything you need that will improve the educational planning and outcomes of our students!
Email is the best way to contact me as I am an itinerant teacher and provide services at 18 schools throughout the district.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns,
Rachel Streicker
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Rachel Streicker
Orthopedic Impairment Specialist
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