Special education teachers are part of the assessment team that determines eligibility for special education services. There are 14 major eligibility categories defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Special educators must have general knowledge of the guidelines for eligibility, the characteristics, causes, and effects on learning, and how often the disabilities occur within a defined population in order to contribute to team collaboration and consult articulately with staff and parents. Use the “IDEA Disability Category Comparison Template” to outline information for the categories of disability under IDEA. The first category, Autism, is completed for you.