Unless otherwise marked, the information below outlines the definitions presented in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006. Click a population title to see resources associated with the population.

Displaced Homemaker – An individual who….

  • has worked primarily without remuneration to care for a home and family, and for that reason has diminished marketable skills;
  • has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer supported by that income; or
  • is a parent whose youngest dependent child will become ineligible to receive assistance under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) not later than 2 years after the date on which the parent applies for assistance under such title; and
  • is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.
Individuals with Limited English Proficiency – A secondary school student, an adult or an out-of-school youth…..
  • who has limited ability in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language, and-
  • whose native language is a language other than English; or
  • who lives in a family or community environment in which a language other than English is the dominant language. (The Official Guide to Perkins Act of 1998 printed in 1998 by AVA presently ACTE) 

Individual with a Disability – An individual with a disability…..

who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires. For the purposes of this subchapter, consideration shall be given to the employer’s judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if an employer has prepared a written description before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, this description shall be considered evidence of the essential functions of the job. (Section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102)). The term “disability” means with respect to an individual with…

  • a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such an individual,
  • a record of such an impairment, or
  • being regarded as having such an impairment. (The term “impairment” does not include characteristics of or predisposition to illness or disease.)

Individuals from Economically Disadvantaged Families, Including Foster Children* – The term “economically disadvantaged family or individual” refers….

to such families or individuals who are determined by the Secretary to be low-income according to the latest available data from the Department of Commerce.

Secondary level identification may be made by the following criteria:

  • Eligibility for free or reduced-price school lunch
  • Eligibility for participation in programs assisted under the Workforce Investment Act
  • Eligibility for TANF/public assistance funds
  • Annual income of the individual or family is at or below the national poverty level or the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Illinois

Postsecondary level identification may be made by the following:

  • Recipient of a Pell Grant or comparable State program of need-based financial assistance
  • Annual income of the individual or family is at or below the national poverty level or the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Illinois
  • Participant or participant’s family is a recipient of public assistance
  • Participant is eligible for participation in programs assisted under the Workforce Investment Act

Individuals Preparing for Nontraditional Fields -The term “individual preparing for non-traditional fields” refers to learners who are preparing for an occupation in a field that fits the definition below.

  • Non-traditional fields: The term ‘nontraditional fields’ means occupations or fields of work, including careers in computer science, technology, and other current and emerging high skill occupations, of which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in each such occupation or field of work.

Single Parents, Including Single Pregnant Women* – The term “single parent” means an individual who….

  • is unmarried or legally separated from a spouse and has a minor child or children for which the parent has either custody or joint custody or
  • is pregnant.

* Items as defined in ‘Perkins I’; no specific updates to descriptions of these populations were given in subsequent laws.

Special Populations Resources