Intellectual Impairment

This information provides a generic guide to classification for athletes with an intellectual impairment and is not to be used to make classification decisions.

In order to assess eligibility of an individual athlete with an intellectual impairment for a specific sport they must undergo classification with authorised classifiers using specific and objective testing.

Who is Eligible as an Athlete with an Intellectual Impairment?

The classification of athletes with an intellectual disability is a two-stage process including a Primary Eligibility Check followed by Sports Specific Classification.

  1. Primary Eligibility Check: ensures the presence of a recognised intellectual impairment and is based upon the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability (AAIDD, 2010) definition of intellectual disability.


  • Significant Impairment in Intellectual Functioning as indicated by a Full Scale score of 75 or lower on an internationally recognized and professionally administered IQ Test e.g. WISC-R or WAIS-III.
  • Significant Limitations in Adaptive Behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills.
  • Developmental Evidence of an intellectual impairment prior to 18 years of age


  1. Sports-Specific Classification: ensures the intellectual impairment has an impact on the athletes sports performance.


  • Completion of Training History and Sport Limitation Questionnaire (TSAL-Q)
  • Completion of the Sports Cognition Test Battery
What Para Sports are available for Athletes with an Intellectual Impairment?
Table TennisClass 11
How to apply for national classification:

Paralympics Ireland is currently unable to evaluate athletes with Intellectual Impairment for National Classification. Where possible Paralympics Ireland will facilitate athletes who can demonstrate potential for significant sport performance to attend for athlete classification at a suitable venue outside of Ireland.

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Dubin 15
D15 D462

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