Terminology

Summary

The disability world is difficult enough, but the myriad of terms and foreign vocabulary may make the system seem impossible to navigate. This section explains some of the most frequently used terminology in the disability field.

A-B

Advocacy/Advocate: To actively promote the fundamental principles of self-determination for all individuals with disabilities.
Assistive Technology: Any type of device or service that can be used to increase, maintain, or improve the capability of persons with disabilities.
Authorized Representative: The parent of a person with disabilities if the person is a minor, or a court appointed Guardian.
Brain Injury (BI) Waiver: An approval to waive certain requirements in order to use Medicaid funds to assist people with traumatic brain injury.

C-D

Cash Assistance: A grant from the state to use for different items or activities needed by the family. It is not Medicaid matched.
CHEC (Child Health Evaluation and Care): A preventative care program for children up to 21 years of age that tries to identify and treat health problems before they become disabling.
CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program): An insurance program for children 19 years of age and younger, whose family does not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford health insurance.
Critical Needs Assessment: A tool used by the DSPD to prioritize the needs of individuals on the waiting list.
Contractors: Professionals who make an agreement to provide a professional service such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavioral programs, etc.
Developmental Disability/Mental Retardation (MR/DD) Waiver: An approval to waiver certain Medicaid requirements in order to use funds to assist people with developmental disabilities and/or mental retardation.
Disability: Significant limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior; acquired brain injury; or significant physical limitations that qualify a person to receive government, school or other services or benefits. The definition of disability varies depending on the purpose for which it is being used. Federal and State agencies generally define the term specifically for a particular program or service.
Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD): A state agency within the Department of Human Services, responsible for the administration of state and federal funding to provide services for people with disabilities.

E-F

Early Intervention: Programs and services for children with disabilities from birth to age 3.
Eligibility: Determination of whether or not a person qualifies for services.
ESY-Extended School Year: A school program that is extended longer than the normal school year. The program is based on the child's need and written in the IEP.
FACT: An acronym for "Families, Agencies, Communities Together". A committee in the local community that looks at issues surrounding the family.
Family Assistance and Supports/Family Support: Assistance provided to families so they can care for family members with disabilities at home. The support includes but is not limited to, respite care, cash assistance, in-home training, transportation, equipment, and therapeutic services.
Family-Centered Plan: A plan similar to a Person-Centered Plan to support families who have a child with a disability to live as much like other families as possible.
Family Council: A group of parents who work together to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and to advise local DSPD offices.
Family Network: A group of parents who work together to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and give parental input to The Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD
Family-Service Plan (FSP) and/or Individual Service Plan (ISP)*: A plan similar to a Person-Centered Plan to support families who have a child with a disability and/or an individual with a disability to live as much like other families and individuals as possible.
Fiscal Agent/Intermediary: A company that is hired to handle payroll duties for those who use the self-directed support model.

G-H

Guardian: The person who is legally responsible for the care of another person (and/or his or her property).
Guardianship: The legal process parents/family go through to become legally responsible for a person with disabilities when they are 18 years of age or older.
HMO(Health Maintenance Organization): An organization of health care services.
Home and Community Based Waiver (HC/BW: An approval to waive certain requirements in order to use Medicaid funds for an array of home and community-based medical assistance services as an alternative to institutional care.
Host Home: Specially trained individuals or families who care for a child oradult who may need out-of-home placement for a short or extended period of time.
ID#: The number the person with disabilities is given for identification in the State computer system.

I-L

IEP: Individual Education Plan that directs the services for a child with a disability in a school district.
Inclusion: The process of enabling persons with disabilities to be educated, live, work and participate socially in the same environment as others who are not labeled disabled. Inclusion is also used by educators to refer to the integration of children with disabilities into regular classes for part or all of the school day.
Independent Living: A community living situation in which a person with disabilities lives by him or herself with the necessary supports from others.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): A Federal law requiring all children to have a free and appropriate public education.
Informed Consent: A decision based on knowledge of advantages and disadvantages and implications of choosing a particular course of action.
Intermediate Care Facility for persons with Mental Retardation (ICF/MR): A 24-hour residential facility for persons with mental retardation.
Least Restrictive Environment: The most integrated appropriate setting for a student with disabilities, so they can interact as much as possible with non-disabled peers.
Local Interagency Council: Local agencies that work together to improve service delivery to children and youth at risk, who are experiencing multiple problems and who receive services from more than one state agency.

M-P

Medicaid: A federal program that pays for health care and long-term supportexpenses for people who meet eligibility requirements. Benefits are paid with federal and matching state dollars.
Medicaid Waiver: Referring to one of five Medicaid programs that have had some of the usual Medicaid rules set aside to allow a specific group of people to be served. The five waivers are: Travis C, Mental Retardation and Other Related Conditions, Physical Disabilities, Acquired Brain Injury, and Aging.
Natural Supports: The family and people in the community who support the person with a disability (without payment).
Needs Assessment: A tool used by DSPD to prioritize the needs of individuals on the waiting list.
PASS Plan: Plan to Achieve Self-Sufficiency. Allows a person receiving Social Security benefits to set aside money received to help achieve self-sufficiency without losing benefits.
Person-Centered Plan (PCP): A plan developed with and for a person with disabilities that describes the strengths, preferences, needs and the dreams of the individual and the supports and services required and desired.
Physical Disability (PD) Waiver: An approval to waive certain requirements in order to use Medicaid funds for people with physical disabilities to help them maximize their independence in their choice of home, work, school, community and daily activities.
Provider Agencies/Provider Companies: Independent companies that contract with DSPD to deliver supports and services to people with disabilities.

Q-Z

Respite: Temporary relief from the day-to-day care of a family member with a disability.
**Self?Advocate**: A person with disabilities who advocates for his/her own supports.
Self-Determination: The philosophy of empowering a client to develop and make their own choices and plans, and directing some or all aspects of their life.
freedom to choose own services and supports B. authority to control own money C. ability to nurture natural supports D. responsibility to contribute to the community
Self/Family-Directed Supports: Supports and services directed by the person/family receiving the service.
Sib Shop: Workshops for brothers and sisters of a person who has a disability.
Support Coordinator: An employee of DSPD that works with individuals with disabilities and their families to develop service and support plans based on the individual?s needs and wishes, and to coordinate and monitor the services and supports provided.
Support Strategies: The detailed steps for accomplishing the outcomes of a Person-centered or Family-centered plan.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A government assistance program based on the income of the person with disabilities.
Transition: The process of moving from one environment or stage of life to another. This often refers to a person with a disability leaving the school system and entering the adult world.
Travis C. Waiver: A Medicaid program designed to serve medically fragile children who require medical equipment to eat or breathe.
Waiting List: A list of eligible individuals that have completed the application process for services but are not yet funded. The list is prioritized according to the Critical Needs Assessment.
Waiver: Referring to one of five Medicaid programs that have had some of the usual Medicaid rules set aside to allow a specific group of people to be served. The five waivers are: Travis C, Mental Retardation and Other Related Conditions, Physical Disabilities, Acquired Brain Injury, and Aging.

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