skip to main content

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 is non-verbal, such as sign language, picture symbols, 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 modify (challenging) behavior that interferes with a person's quality of life, through the use of clinically accepted techniques.

Community Pathways: The DDA Medicaid Waiver; allows DDA to receive federal dollars to match state funds allocated for 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.

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 provide services for developmentally disabled citizens of Maryland.

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

DHMH (Department of Health & Mental Hygiene): State governmental agency, subdivided into the following: Developmental Disabilities Administration, Mental Hygiene Administration, Juvenile Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration.

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.

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 plan that is person-centered.

Empower: To give 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.

Fiscal Intermediary: Agency or body given responsibility by DDA to hold and disburse individual funding allocation.

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 8 individuals; 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.

IP (Individual Plan): A plan that specifies assessments, services, and supports to help persons served by a DDA-licensed entity to achieve their desired outcomes.

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.

Least Restrictive Alternative: In reference to services (IP or BP) that may restrict a person's rights; those interventions that cause the least disruption or change in a person's circumstances and which maximize their 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 programs serving persons with developmental disabilities.

MDLC (Maryland Disability Law Center): 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.

MHA (Mental Hygiene Administration): The state agency responsible for services provided to people with mental illness, including all state psychiatric facilities and community mental health centers.

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): Division of DHMH responsible for surveys for licensing DDA service providers, and follow up investigation of complaints and incident reports.

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

P&A (Protection and Advocacy): The process of protecting mental health system clients from abuse and neglect, 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 mentally ill people residing in certain facilities.

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

Person-Directed: Philosophical value that puts maximum authority and control in the hands of the individual receiving services

PRN Orders: Preauthorized order to administer a specific behavior management technique or medication to modify behavior which is administered on an as needed basis when a challenging behavior is exhibited.

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

Resource Coordination: Provide assistance to individuals with disabilities in identifying, choosing and obtaining the most appropriate services and supports necessary to achieve their personal goals.

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 serves persons with developmental disability in the Central Maryland Region, closed in 2009.

SFP (Service Funding Plan): Agreement between the DDA, a licensed service provider, and the individual regarding the services to be offered and the cost.

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 (also SRO).

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 the several states to make more adequate provision.

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

Sheltered Employment: Work for wages in a setting conducted by a nonprofit organization which provides work under specialized conditions for individuals with disabilities, under a special certificate issued by the DOL.

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

Support Broker: For Waiver participants who self-direct their services, this person assists with staffing and oversight of the service

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; funding for TY day supports is a specific category and line item in DDA's annual budget.

Team: Persons selected by the individual to assist in development of the Individual 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.

Members of United Way and CFC Follow Us on Facebook Member of United Way #8559 Member of CFC #18115

10001 Derekwood Lane Suite 110 Lanham, MD 20706 • Phone 301.429.9300 • Fax 301.429.9257