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Glossary of Terms & Acronyms

AAIDD (American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities): The oldest professional membership association in the developmental disability field, formerly AAMR.

ACM (Alternate or Augmentative Communication Method): A communication system individually developed for a person who does not use typical speech to communicate; examples include sign language, picture symbols, text-to-talk devices, etc.

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act): Enacted in 1990, the premier civil rights law supporting equal access in all areas of life for people with disabilities.

ADL's (Activities of Daily Living): Activities associated with maintaining personal hygiene and nutritional status, money management, and maintaining the personal living environment.

Arc, The: A private, non-profit membership organization made up of national, state, and local affiliates which coordinates a variety of advocacy efforts with individuals who have developmental disability and their families.

Assistive Technology: Devices or equipment used to assist people with disabilities more effectively carry out activities of daily living. Can be adaptations for the physical environment or items the individual personally uses.

BP (Behavior Plan): A plan designed to help change a (challenging) behavior that interferes with a person's quality of life through the use of clinically accepted techniques.

Community Pathways: DDA's comprehensive Medicaid Waiver; allows DDA to receive federal dollars to match state funds allocated for an institutional level of Medicaid-eligible services when provided in a community setting.

Competitive Employment: Paid work at minimum wages in accordance with DOL regulations or in a setting where the majority of employees are not disabled.

CCS (Coordinator of Community Services): Provide assistance to individuals with disabilities in identifying, choosing and obtaining the most appropriate services and/or supports necessary to achieve their personal goals.

The Council (on Quality and Leadership in Supports for People with Disabilities): National, private, non-profit organization which provides standards for and accreditation of community-based programs serving individuals with developmental disabilities. Formerly the Accreditation Council on Developmental Disability (ACDD), and originally part of the Joint Council for Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH).

DD (Developmental Disability): A severe chronic disability, attributable to a physical or mental impairment other than the sole diagnosis of mental illness, or to a combination of mental and physical impairments; is likely to continue indefinitely; is manifested before 22 years of age; results in an inability to live independently without assistance; reflects the need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment, or other services that are individually planned and coordinated for the individual.

DDA (Developmental Disabilities Administration): The State agency mandated to assure and oversee services for Maryland citizens who are deemed eligible.

DDC (Developmental Disabilities Council): A voluntary council appointed by the Governor to promote the welfare of all persons with developmental disability and to administer federal funds to meet this purpose.

DOL (Department of Labor): Federal agency which monitors compliance with employment related laws and protections; licenses vocational training programs, through the Wage & Hour Division, to assure appropriate wages are paid to trainees.

DORS (Division of Rehabilitative Services): A division of the State Department of Education which focuses on the vocational needs of persons with disabilities.

DRM (Disability Rights Maryland): Maryland's protection and advocacy unit mandated by state and federal law. It is independent of state government and is charged with responsibility for pursuing legal, administrative and other appropriate remedies to protect the rights of persons with developmental disabilities. (Formerly Maryland Disability Law Center/MDLC).

DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders): Published by the American Psychiatric Association; provides a comprehensive (coded) system for classification of disorders in psychiatry.

ES (Eligibility Services): Process to determine eligibility for DDA services; requires application, face-to-face interview, and supporting documentation.

ELP (Essential Lifestyle Planning): Planning process involving unique tools and techniques to gather individualized information used in development of a person-centered plan in support of a person's desired quality of life.

Empower: To acknowledge power or authority to; enable or permit.

FMS (Fiscal Management Service): Entity that assists Waiver participants who self-direct their services with financial responsibilities such as paying plan related bills, budget oversight, tax preparation, and monthly reports.

Forest Haven: Institution which served persons with developmental disability from the District of Columbia; closed several years ago.

Goal: Measurable supports or training to achieve an outcome.

Great Oaks Center: The state developmental center which served persons with developmental disability in the Southern Maryland Region, closed in 1996.

Group Home: Residence owned, leased, or operated by a licensee that provides residential services for individuals who, because of a developmental disability, require specialized living arrangements; admits at least 4, but not more than 5 residents; and provides 10 or more hours of supervision per unit, per week.

Guardianship: Assignment of a person's civil rights to a representative of the Court.

IEP (Individualized Education Plan): Used by the school system to identify goals and services provided to qualified students.

ISS/FSS (Individual Support Services/Family Support Services): DDA funded services for people living with their families or on their own; may include respite, transportation, environmental modification, adaptive equipment, money management or home skills.

Incident Report: Official report of a serious action or activity effecting a person served by a DDA licensed program; usually relates to medical emergency, neglect or abuse, or other as defined by the DDA Policy on Reportable Incidents and Investigations (PORII).

Least Restrictive Alternative: In reference to services that may be restrictive; those interventions that are presumed to cause the least disruption or change in a person's circumstances while maximizing independence and freedom.

Legal Guardian: Representative appointed by the court to act on behalf of and make decisions for a person found not competent.

MA (Medical Assistance): Federally supported program of health related services for people meeting financial eligibility criteria; also called Medicaid.

MACS (Maryland Association of Community Services): A state-wide coalition of organizations that are licensed by the DDA to serve persons with developmental disabilities.

MDOH (Maryland Department of Health): State governmental agency, subdivided into the Developmental Disabilities Administration and the Behavioral Health Administration. (formerly Department of Health and Mental Hygiene/DHMH).

MIS (Most Integrated Setting): Setting which enables people with disabilities to interact with non-disabled persons, other than staff, to the fullest extent possible.

Natural Supports: Unpaid network of support and assistance for people living in community; (i.e., family, friends, co-workers)

OHCQ (Office of Health Care Quality): State entity responsible for licensing of DDA service providers, as well as investigation of complaints and incident reported in accordance with State policy.

Outcome: Tangible result of a goal that reflects the desired quality of life as defined by the individual.

P&A (Protection and Advocacy): The process of protecting people receiving a specified type of services from abuse and neglect, and assuring that their rights are fully respected. May also refer to the "Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Act of 1986" which provides federal funds for each state to establish programs designed to protect and advocate for the rights of people residing in certain treatment facilities and/or receiving specific services.

Person-Centered: Philosophical value that promotes understanding of individual preferences and desires in delivery of services.

Person-Centered Planning: A process of continual listening and learning, which is focused on what is important to someone now and for the future, and working with a team of people to create a plan of action.

PCP (Person-Centered Plan): A plan that starts with a process of exploration and discovery to reflect the outcomes desired by a person for their personally-defined good life and is based on what is most important to and for that person.

Person-Directed: Philosophical value that puts maximum authority and control for budget, staffing, and service delivery in the hands of the person authorized for services.

PRN Orders: Preauthorized order to administer a specific treatment which is administered on an as needed basis.

Proponent: Person who has a legitimate interest in the welfare of an individual receiving services from a licensee.

Respite Care: Funded substitute care for a person with disability, to relieve the family or other caregiver for a specified amount of time; can be provided in the person's home or in the respite provider's site.

Rosewood: The state developmental center which served persons with developmental disability in the Central Maryland Region, closed in 2009.

SMRO (Southern Maryland Regional Office): Local office for DDA located in Laurel; Southern Maryland Region includes Prince George's, Montgomery, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary's Counties.

SSI (Supplemental Security Income): Social Security benefits for disabled adults and/or children who have limited income and resources.

SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance): Social Security benefits for workers and/or certain family members; eligible through having worked sufficient number of years and paid Social Security taxes.

SSA (Social Security Administration): Federal agency created by the Social Security Act enacted in 1935 to provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of federal old-age benefits and by enabling states to make more adequate provision.

Self-Determination: Deciding one's own fate or course of action without compulsion; free will.

Spring Grove: A private facility in Baltimore County providing treatment for individuals with psychiatric illness.

Support Broker: Employee who assists with staffing and oversight of service delivery for Waiver participants who self-direct their services.

Supported Employment: Regular or intermittent support services for persons with disabilities to aid in obtaining and maintaining community-based employment.

Supports: Assistance provided to individuals or their families to enable greater participation in the community and enhanced quality of life.

TY (Transitioning Youth): DDA classification for young adults in their final year of school. The Governor's Transitioning Youth Initiative allows DDA and DORS to fund employment/day services for eligible students who might otherwise not have adequate support upon exiting the school system.

Team: Persons selected by a person to assist in development and delivery of a person-centered plan.

Ticket to Work: A coordinated series of work incentives and initiatives that are designed to help overcome barriers to employment often experienced by SSA beneficiaries with disabilities. Established by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999.

WLE (Waiting List Equity): Funding designated by legislation to provide services for people on the DDA Waiting List who meet eligibility determined by the age of their primary caregiver.

Waiting List: Identification of persons found eligible for DDA services, but not yet authorized for funding.

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