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Glossary of Developmental Disability Terms

Terms Defined to Help You Find Answers

This resource has been compiled by the staff of Developmental Disabilities Resource Center. It is dedicated to Mike Boorman, parent and former Board Director. With thanks for his many contributions to DDRC and especially for his helpful reminders regarding the use of clear language. If you have wondered what a term means, or what an acronym is, this glossary can help you find the answers.


    American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The nation’s oldest and most respected professional association run by and for professionals who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • ABA

    Applied Behavior Analysis. A discipline devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior through skill acquisition and the reduction of problematic behavior in a measurable and accountable manner. Often used interchangeably with behavior modification.

  • ABC Assessment

    Observing behavior (B) and its functional relationship to antecedents (A) and consequences (C).

  • ABS

    Adaptive Behavior Scale. The ABS is one of the best-researched and tested psychological measurement tools for evaluating adaptive behavior (daily functioning).

  • ACA

    Affordable Care Act. Federal statute also known as Obamacare.

  • ACC

    Accountable Care Collaborative. A Colorado Medicaid program to improve clients’ health and reduce costs. ACCs serve as a medical home for clients, enhanced medical management, care coordination and integrated disease management.

  • ACO

    Accountable Care Organizations. Providers that voluntarily meet quality outcome-based thresholds.

  • ADA

    Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This comprehensive federal civil rights law makes it unlawful to discriminate in private sector employment against a qualified individual with a disability. The ADA also outlaws discrimination against individuals with disabilities in state and local government services, employment, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunication.

  • ADD

    Attention Deficit Disorder. A disorder that shows up in the areas of inattention and impulsiveness. It is evidenced by having difficulty organizing and completing tasks correctly, frequent shifting from one activity to another, failure to follow rules. ADD without hyperactivity refers to the disorder without a high degree of atypical motor activity.

  • ADEA

    Age Discrimination and Enforcement Act

  • ADHD

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is similar to ADD but includes gross motor over activity, such as excessive running, talking, or manipulation of objects and excessive fidgeting and restlessness.

  • ADL

    Activities of Daily Living.

  • ADRC

    Aging Disability Resource Center.

  • AED

    Automated External Defibrillator is a device that can be used instead of CPR to revive a person after cardiac arrest.

  • AFDC

    Aid to Families with Dependent Children. A financial assistance program for single-parent families. Modified in the welfare reforms of 1997.

  • AHRQ

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • AIDS

    Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

  • AKS

    Anti-Kickback Statute.


    Automated Licensure Information System Online (through DORA).

  • ALJ

    Administrative Law Judge.

  • AND

    Aid to Needy and Disabled.

  • APS

    Adult Protection Services. The Adult Protection Services unit provides assistance for adults who are at risk of mistreatment or self-neglect.

  • AOA

    Administration on Aging.

  • APS

    Adult Protective Services

  • APSE

    Association for Persons in Supported Employment. APSE is a national membership organization committed to expanding and improving integrated employment opportunities and outcomes for persons with disabilities.

  • ARCH

    Adult Resources for Care and Help. Colorado’s ADRC. Regional access point to long term care services and support for adults age 60 and over, or age 18 and over living with a disability, and their caregivers.

  • ARS

    Adult Residential Services. State funded residential facilities such as group homes and apartments.

  • ASL

    American Sign Language. A formal method of communication used by people with hearing impairments. It is a system of articulated hand gestures and their placement relative to the upper body as well as facial expression, movements, postures and other non-manual signs that enhance and emphasize the meaning of signs.

  • ASO

    Administrative Service Organization. An non-risk bearing entity that is hired to perform fiscal, legal, and management duties.

  • ATNR

    Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex. With the head turned to the side, the arm on the face side is extended while the arm on the skull side is flexed.

  • AWDC

    Adults Without Dependent Children.

  • Accessible

    Easy to approach, enter, operate, participate in or use safely, independently and with dignity by a person with a disability.

  • Accessibility

    Modification of buildings, curbs, and other physical structures to allow easy movement and admittance by a person with a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 mandates accessibility to all public and private facilities. Modifications might include ramps, use of Braille and sound adaptations.

  • Accountability

    Measures to assure that public funds are used to achieve the desired outcomes in a cost-effective manner.

  • Accountability, overall

    Core indicators that summarize the overall picture of the health of a system as compared to other states or other CCBs.

  • Accountability, programmatic

    Self-determination mechanisms, satisfaction surveys, complaint and dispute processes.

  • Acidosis

    A disturbance of acid-base balance in the body.

  • Acronym

    A word formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term. Acronyms are used for naming syndromes or other conditions and also used as abbreviated names of organizations (for example DDRC), programs, services and tests.

  • Adaptive Behavior

    Adaptive behavior means that the person has overall adaptive behavior which is significantly limited in two or more skill areas (communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self-direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure, and work), as measured by an instrument which is standardized, appropriate to the person’s living environment, and administered and clinically determined by a qualified professional. CDHS/DDD Reg.

  • Adaptive Response

    The way in which an individual responds to what is happening in the environment. How well the individual responds determines whether or not a task has been learned.

  • Adaptive Skills (Functional Skills)

    Those skills used in daily living such as dressing and eating.

  • Adjudicated

    Meaning to go before a judge. This term is used to describe the fact that an individual has had a guardian appointed by the court. The person is no longer deemed competent to make informed decisions independently.

  • Adrenal

    A gland near each kidney that produces hormones.

  • Advance Directive

    A document that tells your doctor what kind of care you would like to have in case you become unable to make your own decisions about medical treatment and the provision of health care, when and if you become incapacitated (for example, if you are in a coma).

  • Advocacy

    Parents (or families), organizations or volunteers working on behalf of the rights and interests of others (such as people with disabilities). Parents are the best advocates for their children.

  • Affect

    Emotional aspects of behavior.

  • Affective

    Pertaining to the emotional aspects of behavior.

  • Alternative Care Facility

    A residential facility which provides a package of personal care and homemaker services and protective oversight to eligible persons who meet applicable state and federal requirements, and which is state-certified.

  • Alliance

    An association of community centered boards and service agencies dedicated to improving programs for people with developmental disabilities.

  • Alzheimer Disease

    A degenerative disease of the brain, causing mental degeneration.

  • Ambulation

    Rolling, crawling, walking, running.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

    This comprehensive federal civil rights law makes it unlawful to discriminate in private sector employment against a qualified individual with a disability. The ADA also outlaws discrimination against individuals with disabilities in state and local government services, employment, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunication.

  • Amniocentesis

    Amniotic fluid is drawn from the uterus during pregnancy to determine genetic or biochemical abnormalities in the fetus.

  • Anoxic

    Pertaining to or caused by lack of oxygen in the blood.

  • Antecedent

    A stimulus that occurs before a behavior. It makes a behavior more or less likely to occur again in the future.

  • Apgar Score

    System of scoring an infant's condition one minute and five minutes after birth.

  • Applied Behavior Analysis

    A discipline devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior through skill acquisition and the reduction of problematic behavior in a measurable and accountable manner. Often used interchangeably with behavior modification.

  • Apraxia

    Inability/difficulty in initiating or performing purposeful movements.

  • Aquatic Therapy

    A therapeutic procedure which attempts to improve function through the application of aquatic therapeutic exercises.

  • Arc

    An agency which collaboratively provides leadership in addressing the choices and needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Supporting persons with developmental disabilities living in Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties.

  • Articulation

    The movement by the tongue, teeth and lips necessary to make a given sound.

  • Asperger Syndrome or Disorder

    A developmental disorder characterized by a lack of social skills, impaired social relationships, poor coordination and poor concentration. Children with Asperger Disorder have average to above average intelligence and adequate language skills in the areas of vocabulary and grammar, but they may not understand the subtleties used in conversation such as irony and humor. It is believed that Asperger Disorder has a later onset than Autistic Disorder or at least is generally recognized later.

  • Aspiration

    Taking into the airways of a fluid or foreign material.

  • Assessment

    Tools that are used to find an individual’s unique strengths and needs.

  • Assistive Technology

    Devices used by people with disabilities to compensate for functional limitations and to enhance and increase learning, independence, mobility, communication, environmental control and choice.

  • Assistive Technology Services

    These services include, but are not limited to the evaluation of a person’s need for assistive technology; helping to select and obtain appropriate devices; designing, fitting and customizing those devices; purchasing, repairing or replacing those devices; and training the individual to use the devices effectively. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.40

  • Atlantoaxial Instability

    A greater than normal mobility of the two upper cervical vertebrae at the top of the neck. Usually found in persons with Down Syndrome.

  • Auditory

    Pertaining to hearing.

  • Auditory Memory

    The ability to recall what is heard.

  • Auditory Processing

    Interpretation or the ability to give meaning to the information received through the ears. It is not simply hearing.

  • Augmentative or Alternative Communication

    Non-verbal communication such as sign language, symbol systems (communication boards) or electronic voice output devices.

  • Authorized Representative

    An individual designated by the person receiving services (or by the parent or guardian of the person receiving services) to assist the person receiving services in acquiring or using services or supports. The extent of the authorized representative’s involvement shall be determined upon designation. CRS 27-10.5-102

  • Autism

    A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social relationships, generally evident before age three, which adversely affects a child's educational performance.

  • Autonomy

    An ethical principle that proposes that all adults are competent until a court decides that incompetence exists. It embodies the concept of self-determination and supports the ability of a person to make decisions for him or herself consistent with the person’s beliefs and values. To act autonomously a person, therefore, must have an established set of values by which to measure his or her own interests.

  • Aversive Stimuli or Punishment

    Any event immediately following a behavior which reduces the frequency or duration of that behavior.

  • Avoidance Behavior

    A behavior which allows an individual to avoid an aversive or unpleasant situation or condition.


    Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst. A BCABS holds a bachelor’s degree and has passed a national certification exam, among other requirements.

  • BCBA

    Board Certified Behavior Analyst. A BCBA holds a master’s degree or Ph.D. and has passed a national certification exam, among other requirements.

  • BI

    Brain Injury.

  • BIP

    Balancing Incentive Program.

  • BLOG

    A contraction of the term web log. A website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, description of events, or other materials.

  • BHO

    Behavioral Health Organization is a provider network organization managing a group of mental health centers.


    Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

  • Babbling

    Play and experimentation with sound by infants, which usually begins around three to four months of age.

  • Baseline, Base Rate, or Operant Level

    The frequency or duration of a behavior before it is changed, modified or before a program is put into effect.

  • Behavior

    Any observable, measurable response or action.

  • Behavior Modification

    Outdated term. Please see Applied Behavior Analysis.

  • Behavior Objective

    A statement that depicts the specific behaviors desired after intervention occurs.

  • Beneficence

    An ethical principle which promotes good and discourages harmful actions towards other human beings. It is historically associated with care giving and doing good for others.

  • Bilateral

    Movement of both sides of the body simultaneously and parallel.

  • Binocular

    Both eyes used simultaneously.

  • Blepharitis

    Inflammation of the edges of the eyelids.

  • Body Scheme

    An inner awareness of body parts and how each relates to the other in movement.

  • Bronchodilator

    Type of drug used in respiratory problems to open bronchial tubes to aid in breathing.

  • CA

    Chronological Age. The actual age of an individual derived from his or her date of birth.


    Colorado Association of Community Centered Boards, now doing business as Alliance.

  • CAMI

    Colorado Alliance for the Mentally Ill.


    Colorado Association of Private Residential Agencies.


    Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act. Legislation that provides federal funding to states in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution and treatment activities.

  • CARF

    Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. A private, nonprofit organization that establishes standards of quality for services to people with disabilities. Adherence to these standards is then measured through an on-site review of an organization requesting accreditation. CARF is the nationally recognized accrediting authority whose sole concern is to promote quality services for people with disabilities.

  • CAT Scan

    Computed Axial Tomography. A radiological technique to produce a picture that shows the brain in cross section.

  • CBMS

    Colorado Benefits Management System


    Colorado Children’s Healthcare Access Program

  • CCB

    Community Centered Board. A nonprofit organization created by the Colorado legislature to determine eligibility of individuals with developmental disabilities within a specific geographical district and develop a plan for services and supports. CCBs are authorized to provide services directly or to purchase services from service provider organizations.


    Colorado Coalition for Elder Right and Adult Protection

  • CCMS

    Community Contract and Management System. Computerized system used by CCBs and the state Division for Developmental Disabilities for tracking consumer information. CCMS furnishes demographic, program enrollment and billing information.

  • CCO

    Coordinated Care Organizations.

  • CCR

    Code of Colorado Regulations.


    Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services provides in-home services from attendants selected, hired, trained and supervised by the person receiving the services.

  • DDPC

    Colorado Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. Developmental Disabilities Planning Councils exist in each state and U.S. territory, advising and assisting state agencies in planning for and providing services to persons with developmental disabilities.

  • CDE

    Colorado Department of Education.


    Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

  • CDHS

    Colorado Department of Human Services.


    Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

  • CEC

    Council for Exceptional Children. A national, professional organization concerned with special education.

  • CES

    Children’s Extensive Support waiver. Medicaid benefits and additional supports for children birth to 18 years old with extensive medical or behavioral needs requiring direct intervention at least every two hours during the day and every three hours during the night. Families must apply through their local CCB.

  • CfCs

    Conditions for Coverage (for Medicare Certification)

  • CFS

    Children and Family Services.

  • C-HCBS

    Children’s Home and Community Based Services Waiver. Medicaid benefits and case management for children birth to 18 years old with significant functional long-term care needs. Must be deemed medically fragile. Waives SSI income limit for children who meet long-term care criteria.

  • CHFA

    Colorado Health Financing Authority.

  • CHP+

    Child Health Plan Plus.

  • CIE

    Community Integrated Employment.

  • CIS

    Combined Information Services. A collaborative effort of several CCBs to review and develop an information systems plan to track and access information for managed care.

  • CLAG

    Community Living Advisory Group

  • CLAS

    Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services.

  • CLR

    Comprehensive Life Review.

  • CM

    Case Manager. (Same as Resource Coordinator or RC)

  • CMA

    Case Management Agency.

  • CMBS

    Colorado Benefits Management System.

  • CMI

    Chronically Mentally Ill.

  • CMS or CMMS

    Center for Medicaid Services/Center for Medicare Medicaid Services. Federal unit which administers Medicare/Medicaid.

  • CMV

    Cytomegalovirus. A virus which can result in damage to a fetus.

  • CMW

    Children’s Medical Waiver. Merged with Health Care Policy & Finance (HCBS) waiver for children effective September 15, 2000.

  • CNA

    Certified Nurse’s Aide.

  • CNA

    Colorado Nonprofit Association. A private, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote and strengthen Colorado’s nonprofit community.


    Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Is a law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1985 with provisions for states to include habilitation services offered in home and community based pre-vocational and community employment for qualifying persons.


    Business intelligence and corporate performance management software created by Cognos Inc.


    Colorado Health Benefit Exchange.

  • COI

    Conflict of Interest. A real or seeming incompatibility between one’s private interests and one’s public or fiduciary duties.

  • COIN

    Colorado Innovation Network. A public enterprise established to foster collaboration and idea-sharing across the private sector and academic and public lines to increase the state’s reputation to attract innovative industries and to increase jobs in this sector.

  • CO-OP

    Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan. A program to promote the creation of non-profit, membership-run health insurance companies.

  • COPs

    Conditions of Participation (for Medicare Certification)

  • CORF

    Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility.

  • CP

    Community Participation.

  • CP

    Cerebral Palsy.

  • CPR

    Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is an emergency medical procedure for a victim of cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest using compressions and lung ventilation.

  • CPR Directive

    Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive (also known as a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR Order) allows an individual, agent, guardian, or proxy to refuse resuscitation in the event of cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest.

  • CPS

    Child Protective Services.

  • CPU (computer term)

    Central Processing Unit. The CPU is the brain of the computer. Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or central processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.

  • CRE

    Colorado Rehabilitation Enterprises.

  • CRS 27-10.5, as amended

    Colorado Revised Statutes. Authorizes services for persons with developmental disabilities.

  • CSP

    Community Support Program.

  • CTRS

    Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.

  • CWA

    Children With Autism Medicaid Waiver. Medicaid benefits and behavioral supports for children birth through five years old with medical diagnosis of autism. Families must apply through their local Community Centered Board (e.g., DDRC).

  • Cadillac Plans

    Employer-sponsored health plans with aggregate values that exceed $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage.

  • Capitation

    A method of financing services where the payer pays a fixed amount of money per person to a managing agency to deliver a set of services whether or not the person uses the services.

  • Cardiac Conditions

    ASD: Atrial Septal Defect An opening occurring between the two upper chambers of the heart.
    VSD: Ventricular Septal Defect An opening occurring between the two lower chambers of the heart.
    PDA: Patent Ductus Arterious An opening occurring between the aorta and the main pulmonary artery persisting after birth.

  • Carve Out

    Certain services may be purchased outside the basic managed care package (for example, as when long-term support services are delivered through means other than a managed health plan).

  • Case Rate

    This is a dollar amount that the payer pays per consumer to the managing entity. Case rates are keyed to people who actually receive or use services. Capitation rates are keyed to an entire service group whether or not they receive services.

  • Cash and Counseling

    A model program in three states funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Individuals receive funding which they control themselves.

  • CCB Designated Service Area

    The geographical area specified by the Executive Director of the Department of Human Services to be served by a designated CCB.

  • Cerebral Palsy (CP)

    Conditions which exhibit spasticity, weakness, lack of coordination or any other motor problem due to organic brain damage. These include sensory and/or movement disorders, seizures, intellectual, learning disabilities and disorders of behavior.

  • Children and Family Services (CFS)

    DDRC team of resource coordinators and support staff who administer the Family Support Services Program (FSSP) and provide case management for children birth to eighteen active or waiting for EI, FSSP, CES, CHCBS and CWA.

  • Child Find

    Process of identifying children with disabilities, typically completed by a team in a school district.

  • Chromosome

    Cell structures that carry the genes. These hereditary factors include 46 chromosomes in humans.

  • Chronological Age (CA)

    The actual age of an individual derived from his or her date of birth.

  • Client (computer term)

    The client part of a client-server architecture. Typically, a client is an application that runs on a personal computer or workstation and relies on a server to perform some operations. For example, an e-mail client is an application that enables you to send and receive e-mail.

  • Co-contraction

    All muscles around the joint are working so that the joint, when pushed from any direction, won't work.

  • Cognitive

    A broad term that refers to any class of mental "behaviors" such as reasoning or problem solving. Awareness with perception.

  • Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

    A state agency that provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities, such services resulting in an employment outcome. Some services offered by the Division are dependent on financial eligibility.

  • Colorado Hospital Provider Fee

    Fees collected from select hospitals to match additional federal funds which are then redirected back to providers for under-compensated and uncompensated care.

  • Commensurate Wages

    A wage which is proportionate to the prevailing wage paid experienced non-disabled workers in the community for essentially the same type of work based on a comparison of the quantity and quality of production of the disabled worker with that of the non-disabled workers.

  • Communication Board

    A primary system of communication for individuals who cannot vocalize intelligibly. These boards have pictures, symbols or words and may be electronically operated. To use these boards, a person must be able to associate a picture with an object, event or need.

  • Community Centered Board (CCB)

    A nonprofit organization created by the Colorado legislature to determine eligibility of individuals with developmental disabilities within a specific geographical district and develop a plan for services and supports. CCBs are authorized to provide services directly or to purchase services from approved service agencies.

  • Community Experiences

    Learning experiences for the purpose of assisting individuals with appropriate social and functional skills in the community.

  • Community First Choice Option

    Provides for statewide home and community-based attendant services and supports for individuals with disabilities, up to 300% of SSI, who require an institutional level of care.

  • Community Participation (CP)

    This service offers opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities to experience valued adult roles in the community. These services should enable an individual to access and participate in typical services, supports and activities that any person might enjoy.

  • Comprehensive Life Review (CLR)

    Thorough review of all aspects of the person’s current life situation by the interdisciplinary team. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.4

  • Comprehensive Services

    Comprehensive Services (Adults) provides 24-hour residential care, employment and other day-type services and transportation. Comprehensive Services is an all-inclusive program that is designed to ensure that all identified needs in a person’s Service (Individualized) Plan (SP) are met. A person cannot be living with his/her family and receive Comprehensive Services.

  • Concept

    Generalized abstract idea gathered from a particular instance.

  • Conditioning (Operant)

    Procedure through which the likelihood of a behavior occurring can be either strengthened or weakened by the event that directly follows the behavior.

  • Conductive Hearing Loss

    A loss in which the intensity of sound vibrations reaching the auditory nerve in the middle ear is reduced.

  • Consecutive Swallow

    Coordinated action necessary for safe, efficient feeding.

  • Consent

    An informed agreement which is expressed in writing and is freely given.

  • Consequence

    A stimulus that occurs after a behavior. It makes a behavior more or less likely to occur again in the future.

  • Consumer Directed Supports

    Support services under the control of the consumer.

  • Contingent or Contingency

    The relationship between a behavior and the consequence that follows.

  • Contralateral

    Movement of opposite arm and leg.

  • Cost Savings

    These are efforts to direct resources into the most cost-effective services and supports for individuals in order to provide quality services to the most individuals possible.

  • Criterion Referenced

    Measurement of performance as compared to an established standard.

  • Cues or Prompts

    Forms of assistance to a person that helps teach a behavior and indicates what to do to earn a reinforcer. Cues come in physical, visual and verbal forms. Physical assistance refers to physical cues.

  • Cyanosis

    Bluish discoloration of the skin or fingernails and toenails caused by a lack of or diminished oxygen supply.

  • DD Planning Council

    A council appointed by the Governor whose goal is to advocate and foster public awareness of problems and issues facing persons with developmental disabilities. Also see CDDPC.

  • DDF

    Developmental Disabilities Foundation was established in 1982 to generate additional resources to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities. It assists DDRC with donations, fund raising, grants, estate planning, and other activities.

  • DDRC

    Developmental Disabilities Resource Center. DDRC is the Community Centered Board for Jefferson, Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Summit counties.

  • DDD

    Division for Developmental Disabilities. DDD is the division within the Department of Human Services, Office of Health and Rehabilitation Services, responsible for the administration of state sponsored services and funding for developmental disabilities for the State of Colorado. This agency oversees services to Community Centered Boards.

  • DHS

    Department of Human Services. Formerly referred to as the Department of Social Services.

  • DI

    Deinstitutionalization. The movement of individuals out of large congregate settings into smaller, more individualized settings.

  • DNR

    A Do Not Resuscitate order. Also known as a CPR Directive.

  • DORA

    Department of Regulatory Agencies.

  • DPHE

    Department of Public Health and Environment.

  • DPOA

    Durable Power of Attorney.

  • DRA

    Deficit Reduction Act.

  • DSP

    Direct Service Professional.

  • DVR

    Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

  • DYS

    Division of Youth Services.

  • Defense Mechanisms

    Mechanisms used by an individual to protect the ego.

  • Denial

    Avoiding admission of certain external stimuli to consciousness.

  • Developmental Delay

    Being behind other children of the same age in achieving cognitive, adaptive, physical, and social skills.

  • Developmental Disability

    A disability that occurs before the person reaches 22 years of age, substantially impacts the person’s daily life, is caused by an intellectual disability or related conditions (for example: cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, Down syndrome, or other neurological conditions) and significantly impairs the person’s general intellectual and /or adaptive functioning.

  • Diabetes

    A general term for diseases characterized by excessive urination (metabolism) and thirst.

  • Direct Payments

    Governmental funding flowing directly to the individual accountable service user.

  • Directionality

    Perception of directions in relation to the body, particularly awareness of the right and left sides of the body.

  • Discipline

    To bring under control through enforcement of limits, moving toward development of self-control. (Not the same as punishment.)

  • Distractibility

    Inability to apply the mind to a given task.

  • Donut Hole

    The difference between the initial Medicare Part D coverage limit and the catastrophic coverage threshold. Once a Medicare beneficiary surpasses the prescription drug limit, they are responsible for the entire cost of their prescription drugs until expenses reach the catastrophic coverage threshold

  • Dorsal

    Refers to the upper back.

  • Down Syndrome

    A syndrome resulting from chromosomal abnormalities.

  • Dual Eligible

    DD services and mental health services

  • Due Process

    Procedures which guarantee an individual’s right to disagree, refuse, change, or permit services.

  • Dysarthria

    Inability to speak or difficulty speaking which results from muscle weakness and/or lack of coordination in the chest, neck or mouth.

  • Dysphagia

    Problems related to swallowing.

  • Dyspnea

    Shortness of breath.

  • EBD

    Emotional Behavioral Disorder; also Elderly Blind or Disabled.

  • EBD Waiver

    Elderly Blind or Disabled. A waiver program under Medicaid to provide eligible elderly, blind and disabled persons a community alternative to nursing facility care. Age 18 and older.

  • ECC

    Early Childhood Connections. The name of the Part C Program of Colorado.

  • ED

    Emergency Department.

  • EEOC

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  • EHA (PL 91 230)

    Education of the Handicapped Act of 1970. A federal law that consolidated previous legislation and established a new Title VI, which became known as Part B. This act established a grant program for educational agencies at the local level. Part B was the precursor to the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (PL 94-142) which significantly expanded the educational rights and opportunities for children and youth with disabilities. Also see IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act PL 101-476).

  • EI

    Early Intervention services. Educational supports to children birth to three with developmental concerns.

  • EIN

    Employer Identification Number


    Enhanced Primary Care Case Management.


    Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment. A Medicaid service for prenatal care and for children birth through age twenty-one.

  • EQRO

    External Quality Review Organization referred to in 42 CRF 438.310 et seq.

  • ER

    Emergency Room.

  • Early Childhood Connections (ECC)

    The name of the Part C Program in Colorado.

  • Early Intervention Services (EI)

    As part of Early Childhood Connections in Jefferson, Clear Creek, Gilpin and Summit Counties, DDRC offers educational and therapeutic supports to children birth to three with developmental concerns. Early intervention services are designed to enhance the capacity of families to support their children’s well being, development, learning, and full participation in their communities. Services address desired functional outcomes and are provided in a family’s everyday routines, activities and places.

  • Echolalia

    Repetitive, parrot-like speech using words spoken by others.

  • Elder Justice Act

    Requires skilled nursing facilities under Medicare and nursing facilities under Medicaid to disclose information with regard to ownership, accountability requirements and expenditures.

  • Emergency Control Procedure

    An unanticipated use of a restrictive procedure in order to keep the person receiving services and others safe. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.11

  • Empathy

    Ability to understand or feel what another is feeling.

  • Employment Consultant

    An individual with job development and training skills having primary responsibility for planning and/or providing job training and on-going support services.

  • Enrollment

    The completion of the application process and actual entry into or receipt of support services.

  • Enuresis


  • Epilepsy

    Brief temporary changes in the normal functioning of the brain's electrical system. Also known as seizures.

  • Equilibrium Reactions

    Response to regain or maintain balance.

  • Escape Learning

    A form of learning which allows an individual to avoid an unpleasant event.

  • Esotropia

    One or both eyes turning inward abnormally (cross-eyed).

  • Estate Planning

    Process of creating and preserving property during a person’s own lifetime and arranging for the transfer of property upon death. In reference to disabilities, the term means advantageous planning of investments, taxes, and trusts that will not sacrifice family security or federal benefits.

  • Ethernet (computer term)

    A local-area network (LAN) protocol that allows connected computers to communicate with each other. Ethernet uses bus or star topology and supports data transfer rates of 10 megabytes per second.

  • Exceptional Children’s Educational Act

    State law and regulations regarding services to school age students with disabilities.

  • Expansion

    Interpreting a child's verbalization and expanding or increasing it in more detail. Example: Child, “Boy Candy” — Therapist, “Yes, the boy is eating candy.”

  • Expressive Language

    Language which people use to make their thoughts and ideas known to others. It may include written, verbal, gestures, sign language, use of a communication board and other forms of expression.

  • Extended Family

    Relatives of the immediate family.

  • Extension

    Movement of a joint, generally to straighten the arm, leg or trunk.

  • Extinction

    Gradual disappearance of a behavior when it is no longer reinforced.

  • Extroversion

    Personality type that primarily derives pleasure from interaction with the outside physical and social environment rather than a person’s own internal environment. Opposite of introversion.

  • Eye-Hand Coordination

    Movement of the hand in harmony with the eyes.

  • FA

    Functional Assessment. A comprehensive analysis of factors which may influence current behavior. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.16

  • FAPE

    Free, Appropriate Public Education. FAPE is guaranteed by PL 94-142 at no expense to parents and family.


    Federal Coordinated Health Care Office.

  • FFS

    Fee for Service.

  • FHA

    Federal Housing Authority

  • FI

    Fiscal Intermediary

  • FMAP

    Federal Matching Assistance Percentage

  • FMLA

    Family Medical Leave Act

  • FPL

    Federal Poverty Level.

  • FQHC

    Federally Qualified Health Center. Federally designated non-profit or public health care entities that provide comprehensive primary care services regardless of ability to pay.

  • FSC

    Family Support Consultant.

  • FSC

    Family Support Council. The local group of volunteers within the Community Centered Board’s service area charged with providing guidance and direction to the CCB for the implementation of the Family Support Services Program. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.14

  • FSSP

    Family Support Services Program. Program designed to offer supportive services for families who have children with special needs living at home.

  • FTE

    Full-Time Employee. A personnel, staffing and budgeting term.

  • Facilitate

    To help bring about.

  • Facilitated Communication

    A technique to enable people with communication impairments to communicate. An example might be where a person without a disability places his or her hands on the hands of the person with a disability and enables that person to move about a keyboard and type responses to a set of questions.

  • Family Support Council

    The local group of volunteers within the Community Centered Board’s service area charged with providing guidance and direction to the CCB for the implementation of the Family Support Services Program. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.14

  • Family Support Plan (FSP)

    A plan written for the delivery of family support services. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.15

  • Family Support Services Program (FSS or FSSP)

    Program designed to offer supportive services for families who have children with special needs living at home.

  • Family Therapy

    Therapy with the family to work out family problems.

  • Fee-for-Service

    Funding to a provider on a service-by-service basis.

  • Fiduciary

    Person in a special relationship of trust, confidence or responsibility in which one party occupies a superior relationship and assumes a duty to act in the dependent’s best interest. This includes a trustee, guardian, counselor or institution, but it could also be a volunteer acting in this special relationship.

  • Figure-Ground Discrimination

    An auditory or visual process by which an individual picks a sound or object from its background.

  • Fine Motor

    The use of small muscle groups for controlled movements, particularly in object manipulation – such as movements our hands make, how we hold on to things and move our fingers.

  • Flexion

    Movement of a joint, generally to bend the arm, leg or trunk.

  • Fluency

    The smoothness with which sounds, syllables, words and phrases are spoken; lack of hesitations, repetitions or stuttering.

  • Follow Along Services

    This program has been discontinued. It has largely been replaced by Supported Living Services (SLS).

  • Form Constancy

    Recognition of a form as the same, even though size, color, position or plane has changed.

  • Form Perception

    The ability to recognize a form in all its parts, as a whole unit, then again broken down into its parts.

  • Fragile-X Syndrome

    A genetic cause of intellectual disability

  • Free-Rider Penalty

    A penalty imposed requiring companies which do not provide insurance to pay part of the cost of any subsidies workers would be entitled to when buying insurance from proposed health exchanges. The government would pay the rest of the subsidies.

  • Frog Sitting, Inverted-W, W-sitting

    Sitting in reverse tailor style.

  • Functional Assessment (FA)

    A comprehensive analysis of factors which may influence current behavior. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.16

  • Functioning Level

    Level of achievement.

  • GAP

    Graduate Activities Program. Services for adults with disabilities emphasizing maintenance of skills, recreation, leisure, and socialization.

  • GED

    Graduate Equivalent Diploma.

  • GRSS

    Group Residential Services and Supports. Twenty-four hour services and supports to individuals in residential settings ranging from four to eight beds.

  • Gait


  • Gastrostomy

    Surgical opening to the stomach; a feeding tube is used to feed the person.

  • Gastrostomy Tube (G-tube)

    A tube which has been surgically inserted into the stomach through the abdominal wall, or a tube which has been inserted through the nasal passage into the stomach, or both.

  • Generalization

    Responding in a similar fashion across different situations.

  • Giberson Medical Assistance Homes

    A contract agency eligible to serve persons with developmental disabilities within the DDRC service area.

  • Glucose


  • Goals

    Broad, general target areas of development written by the IFSP, IEP or IP team.

  • Gray Street Center

    DDRC facility located at 5685 Gray Street, Arvada, Colorado.

  • Gross Motor

    Movement that involves balance, coordination and large muscle activity as required in holding your head up, walking, running, climbing, jumping and other physical activities.

  • Group Therapy

    Therapy involving several individuals as a group at the same time.

  • Guardian

    A person appointed by the court to be a substitute decision-maker for persons receiving services deemed to be incompetent of making informed decisions for themselves. The powers of a guardian are determined by a judge and may be limited to certain aspects of the person's life.

  • HCA

    Home Care Allowance. Also Home Care Agency.


    Home Community Based Programs for the Developmentally Disabled. Residential day programs that are funded through a combination of state and federal dollars. Daily reimbursement rates are higher than state funding to provide a more intensive rehabilitation program.

  • HCBS

    Home and Community Based Services waiver. This is a waiver program to provide Medicaid benefits in the home or community to disabled children who would otherwise be ineligible for Medicaid due to excess parental income and/or resources. Children must be at risk of nursing facility or hospital placement. Serves age birth through 17.

  • HCFA

    Health Care Financing Administration (federal entity).

  • HCP

    Handicapped Children's Program (Department of Health).

  • HCPF

    Health Care Policy and Financing. A state department effective July 1, 1994.

  • HERO Alliance

    Home Ownership Education and Resource Opportunities. A statewide collaborative effort of funders, service agencies, and governmental entities focused on providing opportunities for people with disabilities to purchase homes of their own in Colorado.

  • HHP

    Host Home Provider. An individual or individuals who provide supports in his or her home to one or two persons receiving services who are not related to the provider. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.41

  • HHS

    Health and Human Services


    The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act of 1996 (August 21), Public Law 104-191, which amended the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986. Also known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum Act, the Act includes a section, Title II, entitled Administrative Simplification, requiring:

  • 1. Improved efficiency in healthcare delivery by standardizing electronic data interchange, and 2. Protection of confidentiality and security of health data through setting and enforcing standards.

  • HIV

    Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus.

  • HRC

    Human Rights Committee. A third-party mechanism to safeguard the legal rights of persons receiving services by participating in the granting of informed consent, monitoring the suspension of rights of persons receiving services, monitoring behavior development programs in which persons with developmental disabilities are involved, monitoring the use of psychotropic medication by persons with developmental disabilities, and at the committee’s option, either providing or ensuring the investigation of allegations of abuse or neglect of persons with developmental disabilities who are receiving services or supports under this article. CRS 27-10.5-102

  • HRSA

    Health Resources and Services Administration

  • HSRI

    Human services Research Institute.

  • HUD

    Housing and Urban Development. Section 8 provides rental assistance. A federal agency.

  • Habilitation

    The process by which a person with developmental disabilities is assisted in acquiring and maintaining life skills to cope more effectively with personal and developmental demands, and to increase the level of physical, mental, vocational and social ability through services.

  • Half-Kneel

    Kneel with one leg up.

  • Handedness

    Preference for use of one hand over the other.

  • Handicap

    A mental or physical impairment which prevents or interferes with normal mental or physical activities and achievement. The preferred term is “disability.”

  • Hard Drive (computer term)

    The mechanism that reads and writes data on a magnetic hard disk. Hard disk drives for personal computers generally have storage capacities in the 500-megabyte to 2-gigabyte range.

  • Hepatitis B

    An inflammation of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is contagious.

  • Herpes Simplex

    Fever blister.

  • Host Home

    Non-licensed private residential setting that provides residential supports to no more than two persons in the HCB-DD waiver. The host home must be the primary residence of the provider.

  • Host Home Provider (HHP)

    An individual or individuals who provide supports in his or her home to one or two persons receiving services who are not related to the provider. CDHS/DDD Regs. 1.2.41

  • Human Rights Committee (HRC)

    A third-party mechanism to safeguard the legal rights of persons receiving services by participating in the granting of informed consent, monitoring the suspension of rights of persons receiving services, monitoring behavior development programs in which persons with developmental disabilities are involved, monitoring the use of psychotropic medication by persons with developmental disabilities, and at the committee’s option, either providing or ensuring the investigation of allegations of abuse or neglect of persons with developmental disabilities who are receiving services or supports under this article. CRS 27-10.5-102

  • Hydrocephalus

    This condition results from widened cerebral spaces in the brain that inhibit the flow of cerebral spinal fluid. The cerebrospinal fluid collects and puts pressure on the brain. This can cause an enlarged head in infants and may be treated with a fluid shunt.

  • Hyperactivity

    Excessive or abnormally high level of motor activity. May be associated with Attention Deficit Disorder.

  • Hyperkinesis

    Excessive muscular activity.

  • Hypertension

    High blood pressure.

  • Hypertonic

    Increased tension in muscles; spastic.

  • Hypotension

    Low blood pressure.

  • Hypotonic

    Reduced tension in muscles; floppy.

  • ICC

    Interagency Coordinating Council. This is an advisory group of parents and professionals who advise the Governor on early intervention issues.

  • ICF/MR

    Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded or intermediate care facility for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (ICFMR/DD). An ICF/MR provides a level of medical or custodial care beyond that required in supported living or group home placements, but less than a full-time intensive medical or custodial need. There are three ICF/MR facilities in Colorado: Grand Junction Regional Center (state), Wheat Ridge Regional Center (state), and Good Shepherd (private sector).

  • IDEA

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990. See PL 101-476.


    Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. IDEIA 2004 reauthorizes IDEA and maintains the basic principles of the law, a free appropriate public education for all students with disabilities, in the least restrictive environment; however, there are many changes and modifications to the IEP process and other aspects of the identification and evaluation of students with disabilities.

  • IDT

    Interdisciplinary Team. The team of people who develop the Individualized Plan (IP). Members of the team include the person applying for or receiving services, his or her parents, guardian, the resource coordinator, a psychologist, the Community Centered Board administrator and other persons who can help identify the person's needs and appropriate programs.

  • I/DD

    Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

  • IEP

    Individualized Education Program. An educational plan for a specific student written by a multidisciplinary team. The plan states learning objectives and steps to meet the objective within a given time frame.

  • IFSP

    Individualized Family Service Plan. A plan for an infant or toddler (birth through age three) written by a multidisciplinary team. The plan includes information on the child's present level of functioning, a statement of family strengths and needs, as related to the child, major outcomes expected, and services needed.

  • IP

    Individualized Plan. A written plan designed to identify the total needs of a person receiving services and the services required to meet those needs. Also referred to as the Service Plan.

  • IPA

    Independent Physician Association

  • IQ

    Intelligence Quotient. A derived score from an intelligence test that provides information as to how an individual's aptitude for learning compares to other individuals of the same age.

  • IRSS

    Individual Residential Services and Supports uses a variety of living arrangements designed to meet the unique needs of the person receiving services with no more than two persons receiving services per setting.

  • IRWE

    Federal Impairment Related Work Expenses. A term used by Social Security Administration in association with determining a person’s social security benefits and payments. It is the cost of items or supports an individual may need in order to be able to work.

  • ISA

    Intervention Services Administrators. Administrators responsible for special education in the Jefferson County School District.

  • ISSP

    Individual Service and Support Plan. A written plan designed by a service agency to identify specific program objectives and how progress will be measured. It becomes a supplement to the Service Plan.

  • ITP

    Individual Transition Plan.

  • Idiopathic

    A disease or condition arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause. Peculiar to the individual.

  • Imitation or Modeling

    Learning taking place as a function of copying a behavior of another person.

  • Immunization

    The administration, usually by injection, of serums as a means of making a person immune from developing specific diseases.

  • DPT Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus MMR Measles, Mumps, Rubella OPV Oral Polio Vaccine HIB Hemophilus Influenza Type B

  • Impetigo

    Rash with small blisters which become crusted and drain; usually occurring around the nose and mouth. Impetigo is contagious.

  • Inclusion

    To have the opportunity to participate in all activities available in a community; for example, education in a traditional classroom.

  • Independence Initiative

    Provides guidance and assistance to states to implement programs to support the self-direction of services and supports by persons with disabilities and their families.

  • Independent Living

    When an individual, formerly receiving DDRC services, now lives independently. Or a residential situation in which a person with disabilities lives by him or herself with limited assistance from others.

  • Individual Mandate

    Requires most U.S. citizens and legal residents to have health insurance.

  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)

    An educational plan for a specific student written by a multidisciplinary team. The plan states learning objectives and steps to meet the objective within a given time frame.

  • Individualized Plan (IP)

    A written plan designed to identify the total needs of a person receiving services and the services required to meet those needs. Also referred to as the Service Plan.

  • Individual Service and Support Plan (ISSP)

    A written plan designed by a service agency to identify specific program objectives and how progress will be measured. It becomes a supplement to the I-Plan.

  • Infection Control

    A program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to prevent the development and transmission of disease and infection.

  • Informed Consent

    A decision based on knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages and implications of choosing a particular course of action.

  • Insurance Exchanges

    State-based health insurance which provides minimum coverage standards through an essential benefits package.

  • Inhibit

    To reduce or not allow something to be seen, as in abnormal reflexes or tone.

  • Intake

    Activities performed by a resource coordinator to determine a developmental disability. Includes gathering information to start a person in a meaningful program of services.

  • Integrate (Motor)

    Reducing a reflex so that it is no longer seen.

  • Integration

    Participation in the mainstream of community life. Participation means the person with disabilities maintains social relationships with family, peers and nondisabled people in the community. They may work and live alongside people without disabilities.

  • Intellectual Disability

    The term used to describe a significant impairment of intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior limitations identified prior to age 18.

  • Interdependence

    Those multiple interactive relationships necessary to create a sense of belonging and support between people. These relationships are mutually sought, sustained over time and are beneficial to those involved.

  • Internet (computer term)

    A global web connecting millions of computers. Unlike on-line services, which are centrally controlled, the Internet is decentralized by design. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to provide to its local users and which local services to make available to the global Internet community.

  • Intestate

    Dying without a will. Property passes to heirs as required by state probate laws, regardless of how the deceased may have intended property to be distributed. If a family does not plan properly, a person with disabilities could inherit resources that exceed limits set for participation in programs such as Medicaid and, therefore, lose their federal benefits.

  • Intranet (computer term)

    A Web site or group of Web sites belonging to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization's members, employees, or others with authorization. An intranet Web site looks and acts like any other Web site, but the firewall surrounding an intranet fends off unauthorized access.

  • Introversion

    Personality type that primarily derives pleasure from pursuits conducted by oneself rather than pursuits involving others. Opposite of extroversion.

  • Irrevocable

    Unchangeable, as in a trust that cannot be changed.

  • JBC

    Joint Budget Committee.

  • JCHS

    Jefferson County Department of Human Services.

  • JCMH

    Jefferson Center for Mental Health. The community mental health center serving Jefferson, Gilpin and Clear Creek counties in Colorado.

  • JTPA

    The federal Job Training Partnership Act.

  • JTS

    Jeffco Transition Services. JTS is a collaboration between the Jefferson County Public Schools and DDRC. This program is designed to support students ages 18-21 in their last three years of school eligibility. Considerable attention is devoted to the design of training programs so work, recreation, independent living skills and social inclusion are viable options for students with severe disabilities as they transition to adult life.

  • Jargon

    Specialized terms used among professionals in a given discipline. Clear and meaningful communication is often hindered by the use of jargon and should be avoided when discussing developmental disabilities with parents, those with disabilities, or others. It is also confusing when individuals from several disciplines are discussing a topic since some words have different meanings in different disciplines.

  • Jargoning

    Early language development stage where children use sounds and some words to resemble meaningful conversation.

  • Jaundice

    Yellowish tint to the skin. Indication of liver involvement.

  • Jigs

    A device used to hold materials being worked on or for guiding a tool or process in production.

  • Job Coach

    A person who assists people in integrated employment situations.

  • Joint Budget Committee

    A committee of the state legislature responsible for setting the budget for expenditure of funds.

  • Joint Stability

    Muscles in front of and behind a joint that work at the same time. See co-contraction.

  • Keratosis

    Thickening of skin.

  • Kinesthesia or Kinesthetic

    Awareness of movements of body parts.

  • LAN (computer term)

    Local Area Network. A computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most LANs are confined to a single building or group of buildings.

  • LCSW

    Licensed Clinical Social Worker

  • LEA

    Local Education Agency.

  • LOC

    Level of Care.

  • LPN

    Licensed Practical Nurse.

  • LRFI

    Legislative Request for Information.

  • LSC

    Licensed Social Worker

  • LTC

    Long Term Care.

  • LTSS

    Long Term Services and Supports.

  • Labyrinth

    Inner ear. Used to maintain equilibrium.

  • Lacrimal

    Tear ducts.

  • Lassitude

    Weariness, exhaustion.

  • Laterality

    Left and right awareness; ability to distinguish between body sides.

  • Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)

    A nonprofit organization formed to advance the education and general welfare of children and adults of normal or potentially normal intelligence who manifest disabilities of a perceptual, conceptual, or coordinative nature. The organization was founded in 1964 as the Association of Children with Learning Disabilities (ACLD). The name was modified to include both “children and Adults,” but the acronym remained the same. In 1990, the name was officially changed to the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA).

  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

    The most productive environment for an individual in which to address his or her needs. Such placement should range along a continuum of services and can include institutional placement, special schools, special classes, resource rooms or regular classroom placement. The family and their IEP or IHP team best decide the decision of least restrictive placement. Also see Least Restrictive Alternative.

  • Leisure

    Time when a person is free from work and duties.

  • Living Will

    Document prepared for health care providers expressing the desire not to be kept alive by artificial means if disabled beyond a reasonable expectation of recovery.

  • Local Center of Excellence

    A group of people who promote collaboration and using best practices to improve health and health care.

  • Localization

    The ability to turn toward a sound source.

  • MA

    Mental Age.

  • MANE

    Mistreatment, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation

  • MCO

    Managed Care Organization. This is a risk-bearing entity which receives a fixed payment to assure that a set of consumers get all the services they require as specified in the managed care plan. An MCO does not directly provide services.

  • MDE

    Multidisciplinary Evaluation. Performed by the Multidisciplinary Team.

  • MDT

    Multidisciplinary Team. A team comprised of a child’s parents and professionals from various disciplines responsible for evaluating and reevaluating children thought to be eligible for early intervention services.

  • MFP

    Money Follows the Person.

  • MI

    Mental Illness

  • MI Waiver

    Mentally Ill waiver. A waiver program under Medicaid to provide persons with major mental illness a community alternative to nursing facility care. Age 18 and older.

  • MIN

    Most in Need. Terminology indicating that rationed services are allocated to those most in need.

  • MIS (computer term)

    Management Information System. MIS refers to a class of software that provides managers with tools for organizing and evaluating their departments.

  • MLR

    Medical Loss Ratio.

  • MMIS

    Medicaid Management Information System is the computerized information system that provides management information and support for the Medicaid program, administered by the Department of Human Services.

  • MSO

    Managed Service Organization. An MSO integrates the functions of a managed care organization (MCO) with service delivery. An MSO may take the form of an integrated provider service network which agrees to form a separate entity that will accept risk and capitation, manage use across the network and carry out other MCO-type functions.

  • MSW

    Masters in Social Work.

  • Margaret Walters Center

    A barrier-free program facility operated by DDRC. Located at 12665 West 52nd Avenue, Arvada, CO, named in honor of Margaret (Meg) Walters, esteemed Red Cross volunteer.

  • Mainstreaming

    Term used by educators to refer to the integration of children with disabilities into regular classes for part or all of the school day.

  • Managed Care

    Strategies that seek to maximize the value of services by controlling their cost and use. Quality is promoted and measured to ensure cost effectiveness.

  • Medicaid

    A funding source authorized under Title XIX of the Social Security Act that provides health care assistance to qualified individuals. The program is funded by both federal and state money, but is administered by the state.

  • Medicaid Expansions

    Expands Medicaid to 133% of the federal poverty level.

  • Medicare

    A federal health insurance program run by the Health Care Financing Administration that includes both hospital and medical insurance.

  • Mental Age (MA)

    A raw score from which an age equivalency can be determined.

  • Mental Retardation

    Current terminology is Intellectual Disability. The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities defines mental retardation as “a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills. This disability originates before age 18. Five assumptions essential to the application of the definition are: (1) Limitations in present functioning must be considered within the context of community environments typical of the individual's age, peers and culture. (2) Valid assessment considers cultural and linguistic diversity as well as differences in communication, sensory, motor, and behavioral factors. (3) Within an individual, limitations often coexist with strengths. (4) An important purpose of describing limitations is to develop a profile of needed supports. and (5) With appropriate personalized supports over a sustained period, the life functioning of the person with an intellectual disability generally will improve.”

  • Middle Ear

    Space between the eardrum and the inner ear. Houses three bones and two muscles.

  • Midline

    An imaginary line down the center of the body.

  • Mobility

    Capability of moving.

  • Model Worker

    Workers on short-term contracts who serve as role models for workers with disabilities. This allows flexibility within the work force to develop diversified contracts.

  • Modeling

    Imitating or repeating a sound or action.

  • Monocular

    Refers to one eye that is used while the other eye is nonfunctional, covered, or shut.

  • Motor Planning

    The ability of the brain to carry out and sequence unfamiliar actions.

  • Multiple Disabilities

    Term for students having two or more significant impairments, one of which is cognitive. Historically this was referred to as Multiple Handicapped.


    National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification.

  • NDT

    Neuro Developmental Treatment. A specific therapeutic technique to help a child gain more normal movement patterns.

  • NISH

    National Industries for the Severely Handicapped.

  • NOVA

    New Opportunities that bring Valuable Alternatives. A parent-funded DDRC program to help individuals with disabilities develop better connections to their community and support the Self-advocacy Program.

  • NWD

    No Wrong Door.

  • Natural Supports

    Supports and resources provided in the community by family, friends, neighbor, and others who are not paid to provide such supports.

  • Negative Reinforcement

    A behavior that results in removing something that the person does not like. Because the behavior allows the individual to stop or remove something that is unwanted, the behavior is likely to occur again. For example, upon hearing loud music, a person turns down the radio to remove the stimulus hurting the person’s ears. Next time the person encounters a similar situation, the person is likely to turn the radio down again because it resulted in removing something that the person found aversive. See Escape Learning.

  • Nocturia

    Excessive urination during the night.

  • Normalization

    The process of making available to people with disabilities patterns of life which are as close as possible to typical circumstances and ways of life in society.

  • Nuclear Family

    Siblings (brothers and sisters) and parents.

  • Nystagmus

    Constant involuntary eye movement.

  • OAC

    Office of Administrative Courts.

  • OAP

    Old Age Pension

  • OBRA

    Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. A 1987 act that applies to eligible individuals residing in or moving from nursing facilities. OBRA 1993 gives Medicaid the right to access trusts.

  • OD

    Oculus Dexter. The right eye.


    Organized Health Care Delivery System.

  • OIG

    Office of Inspector General

  • OS

    Oculus sinister. The left eye.


    The federal Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

  • OSHA

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

  • OU

    Oculus uterus. Each eye.

  • Occupational Therapist (OT)

    Therapist who uses purposeful activities to improve movement and coordination, visual perceptual skills, self-help skills, and reading skills. An OT is also trained to adapt equipment.

  • Ocular

    Pertaining to the eye or vision.

  • Oculus


  • Oculus dexter (OD)

    The right eye.

  • Oculus sinister (OS)

    The left eye.

  • Oculus uterque (OU)

    Each eye.

  • Olmstead Decision

    Supreme Court decision affirming the right of individuals with disabilities to live in their community.

  • Oral

    Pertaining to the mouth.

  • Oral Motor

    Ability to move and coordinate structures of the mouth.

  • Oral Peripheral Exam

    Examination of the mouth including lips, jaw, teeth, hard and soft palate and tongue. The exam involves assessing both structure and function or movement to determine adequacy for speech.

  • Orientation

    The comprehension and adjustment of an individual to his or her environment. Refers to identity of persons, location and time. Orientation may also refer to training that new employees receive.

  • Otitis Media

    Infection occurring in the middle ear.

  • PAC

    Adult Vocational Services Parent Advisory Committee. A committee composed of individuals with children or relatives in the AVS program. The purpose of the committee is to promote the quality of life for individuals being served in the vocational program through supporting the development of activities that support choices and opportunities for community involvement, vocational training, and employment. This committee meets on a regular basis.

  • PAL

    Personal Affordable Living, Inc. This organization owns condominiums and townhomes that it rents at affordable prices to adults with developmental disabilities who want to live independently.

  • PAR

    Prior Authorization Review. Process whereby requested services and levels of support are authorized by the state prior to access. PAR shows what services are authorized for persons enrolled in Medicaid funded waiver programs (residential, day, CMW) or Supported Living Services.

  • PASA

    Program Approved Service Agency.


    Preadmission Screening and Resident Review.

  • PASS

    The federal Plan to Achieve Self-sufficiency. A way for people who receive Social Security to set aside some of that money to help them achieve self-sufficiency without losing benefits.

  • PC

    Perceptual communications or politically correct.

  • PCA

    Personal Care Alternative. A residential program up to three people, designed to meet the unique needs of the individuals.

  • PCCM

    Primary Care Case Management.

  • PCMP

    Primary Care Medical Provider

  • PCP

    Primary Care Physician.

  • PDD

    Pervasive Developmental Disorder. A broad category of disability that involves problems in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication. PDD is not a specific diagnosis but an umbrella term for several disorders and syndromes considered to be mental and/or behavioral disorders. Its major diagnosis is autism. PDD not otherwise specified (PDDNOS) refers to children who have autistic characteristics but do not formally qualify for the diagnosis.

  • PEAK

    Parent Education and Assistance for Kids. A parent education group focused on special education law and regulation.

  • PETI

    Post Eligibility Treatment of Income. Applies to Medicaid programs and involves the portion of financial responsibility of the person.

  • PL

    Public Law.

  • PL 94-142

    Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. A federal law growing out of and strengthening previous acts. This is the core of federal funding for special education. In 1990 this act was reauthorized and expanded under PL 101-476, the Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1990, and was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

  • PL 101-476

    Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1990. Also known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This federal law amended and expanded The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. The act uses “people-first” language, replacing “handicapped children” with “individuals with disabilities” and the definition of those with disabilities was expanded. The law mandates special education services for children ages three to twenty-one and extends services for infants from birth to age two.

  • PL 108-446

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. IDEIA 2004 reauthorizes the IDEA and maintains the basic principles of the law, a free appropriate public education for all students with disabilities, in the least restrictive environment; however, there are many changes and modifications to the IEP process and other aspects of the identification and evaluation of students with disabilities.

  • PLWA

    Persons Living With AIDS (HCBS Program Waiver)

  • PMPM

    Per member, per month. (A per capital administrative fee)

  • PN

    Personal Needs.

  • POC

    Plan of Care. Also, Plan of Correction


    Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  • PPD

    A skin test used to detect tuberculosis.

  • PQI

    Prevention Quality Indicators. A set of measures that can be used with hospital inpatient discharge data to identify quality of care for “ambulatory care-sensitive conditions”. These are conditions for which good outpatient care can potentially prevent the need for hospitalization or for which early intervention can prevent complications or more severe disease.

  • PTSD

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

  • Parallel Play

    Children playing beside each other, but not interacting to a great extent.

  • Part C

    That part of Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) which regulates infant and toddler services.

  • Partial Capitation

    Reimbursement of specified services on a fee-for-service basis as opposed to paying for them as part of a capitation arrangement.

  • Peer Group

    The group of intellectual, social and/or educational equals with which an individual associates.

  • Perception

    The process by which sensory information is interpreted which gives experience or a given sensation meaning.

  • Perceptual Motor

    Input (activities of sensory or visual nature) and output (activities of motor or muscular nature). The two are interrelated as parts of total activity.

  • Perceptual Motor Dysfunction

    A condition when the central nervous system is unable to perceive and interpret visual and sensory input accurately and produces the appropriate motor response.

  • Performance Objective

    An instructional task that has the following criteria: a) who will do it; b) under what circumstances; c) at what time; d) the standard acceptable; and e) how to measure attainment.

  • Peripheral Vision

    Vision outside the central area of the retina. Side vision.

  • Perseveration

    A behavior that continues even after the need for it no longer exists and is not appropriate. For example, the child may say, “I go, go, go, go, go, go.”

  • Person Centered Planning

    Designing services and supports specifically around the individual needs and requests and based on what the individual already has in place that is working.

  • Personal Futures Plan

    A plan that focuses on the dreams and desires of an individual and the quality of the person's life.

  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)

    A broad category of disability that involves problems in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication. PDD is not a specific diagnosis but an umbrella term for several disorders and syndromes considered to be mental and/or behavioral disorders. Its major diagnosis is autism. PDD not otherwise specified (PDDNOS) refers to children who have autistic characteristics but do not formally qualify for the diagnosis.

  • Phobia

    Fear that is excessive.

  • Phonetic

    An instructional approach to reading that stresses sounds of words in relation to their written representations. Science of speech pronunciation.

  • Photophobia

    Intolerance to light.

  • Physical Skills

    The ability to move, see, and hear.

  • Physical Therapist (PT)

    Therapist who works with an individual, generally through exercise, to improve movement patterns.

  • Pica

    A pattern of hording and eating non-food materials (rocks, grass, paper, etc.).

  • Pickle Amendment

    Protects people receiving Old Age Pension (O.A.P.) from losing Medicaid due to cost of living increases in Social Security benefits.

  • Pivot Prone

    The child lies on his stomach with neck, shoulders and hips off the floor. This position helps develop the muscles that oppose gravity.

  • PKU Test

    Blood test performed soon after a child is born. The test detects phenylketonuria, which is a metabolic disorder that fails to oxidize amino acids and untreated may result in an intellectual disability.

  • Planned Giving

    A type of estate planning in which people decide to make a gift to an organization either during their lifetime or after their death. Planned gifts can be real estate, cash, stock, or other.

  • Position in Space

    Special relationships of an observer to his or her environment. Perception of objects being to the side of, behind, before, above or below.

  • Positive Reinforcement

    The immediate presentation of something rewarding following a behavior which increases that behavior, typically hugs, praise, food, special activities and prizes.

  • Power of Attorney: Health Care

    Legal document used to appoint someone to make health care decisions for a person who is not able to do so.

  • Power of Attorney: Property

    Legal document used to appoint someone to make property decisions, such as selling property or making important investment decisions for a person who is not able to do so. Power of Attorney is not the same as Guardianship.

  • Prehension

    Physical grasp. The way in which the hand takes an object.

  • Prevocational Services

    Prepares a participant for paid community employment. Includes teaching such concepts as attendance, task completion, problem solving and safety needed to obtain employment. The goal of this service is to help the participant obtain paid community employment within five years.

  • Program Manager

    An employee who is responsible for overseeing designated programs, the individuals receiving services from those programs, and compliance with regulations.

  • Prone Position

    Lying on the stomach.

  • Proprioception

    Awareness of movement, posture, and changes in the equilibrium.

  • Psychoactive

    Affecting the mental state, such as a drug that has that action.

  • Psychomotor

    Physical and psychological aspects of activity.

  • Psychotropic Meds

    Drugs which affect mental activity, behavior or perception. Psychotropic drugs include tranquilizers, sedatives, and anti-depressants.

  • Punishment

    Type One Punishment: Type One punishment procedures consist of presenting a stimulus contingent on a behavior which, in turn, decreases the behavior from occurring. Type One punishment is ILLEGAL to use with adults with developmental disabilities.

    Type Two Punishment: Type Two punishment procedures consist of removing a stimulus contingent on a behavior which in turn decreases the behavior. Prior to using Type Two punishment procedures you MUST receive prior approval from the Human Rights Committee, with the exception of exclusionary time out which is illegal to use with adults with developmental disabilities.

  • QIO

    Quality Improvement Organizations. An organization in each state which serves as that state’s quality improvement organization contractor. QIOs are private, mostly not-for-profit organizations which are staffed by doctors and other health care professionals who are trained to review medical care and help beneficiaries with complaints about the quality of care and to implement improvements in the quality of care available throughout the spectrum of care.

  • QIS

    Quality Improvement Strategy.

  • Quadruped

    Hands and knees posture.

  • Quality Assurance

    An organized set of activities intended to systematically ensure minimal safety of people receiving services and to encourage performance improvements.

  • Quality of Life

    The assessment of an individual’s meaningful relationships and activities from the individual’s point of view.

  • RAM (computer term)

    Random Access Memory. RAM is a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers.

  • RBI

    Routines Based Interview. A structured conversation that walks a family through each step of a typical day in their life. It identifies the family’s concerns for their child and facilitates goal writing.

  • RC

    Resource Coordinator or Resource Coordination. See Resource Coordination.

  • RCCO

    Regional Care Collaborative Organization. Connects Medicaid participants with Medicaid providers, helps them find community and social services in their area, and assists with coordination of care.

  • RFI

    Request for Information.

  • RFP

    Request for Proposal. Generally an RFP is issued to suppliers of an item or a service indicating a desire to purchase on behalf of the entity issuing the RFP. DDRC uses the RFP process to locate services for our consumers.

  • RHC

    Rural Health Center.

  • RN

    Registered Nurse.

  • RPC

    Referral and Placement Committee.

  • RTD

    Regional Transportation District. The Denver metro area public bus transportation system.

  • R-1

    Jefferson County School District. (Reorganized District #1.)

  • Receptive Language

    A person’s understanding of the language of others.

  • Reciprocal

    Movement of the arms and/or legs in an alternating fashion.

  • Recreation

    The use of time in a manner designed for therapeutic refreshment of one’s body or mind.

  • Recreation Therapy

    The use of recreational activity in a directed program in the care, treatment and rehabilitation of ill, disabled, and elderly persons.

  • Reflex

    An involuntary response to a stimulus.

  • Rehabilitation

    Process of restoring to useful activity a person who has been ill or who is disabled. Accomplished through education and therapy.

  • Rehabilitation Engineering

    Involves the analysis of a job task or independent living activity that presents a problem to a disabled person and correction or reduction of this problem. Accomplished through adaptive jigs to help job performance, improved positioning, or highly technical solutions.

  • Reinforcer

    Contingent consequences that strengthen behavior.

  • Related Services

    Services as stated in the Education for Handicapped Children's Act which are required to assist a child with disabilities to benefit from special education.

  • Representative Payee

    A person or organization that is authorized to cash and manage public assistance checks (Social Security, Supplemental Security Income) for a person deemed incapable of doing so.

  • Resident

    An individual living in a DDRC residential facility.

  • Residential Care Facility

    A residential facility that makes available personal services, protective oversight, social care due to a client’s impaired capacity to live independently and regular supervision available on a 24-hr. basis, but not to the extent that 24-hr. medical or nursing care is required.

  • Residential Services

    Part of the Home and Community Based Services for the Developmentally Disabled is the residential care provided for under the waiver.

  • Resource Allocation Committee (RAC)

    The DDRC Resource Allocation Committee meets monthly to review plans and service requests for those enrolled in Supported Living and Children’s Extensive Services.

  • Resource Coordination

    Services provided by resource coordinators of Community Centered Boards to assist in developmental disability determination, Service Plan development, the coordination of services and evaluation of services with maximum participation by the individual and his or her family, guardian or authorized representative. Often referred to as Resource Coordination or Service Coordination or Case Management.

  • Retracted Drums

    Ear drums that are drawn in as a result of negative pressure in the middle ear.

  • Ridge Home

    Wheat Ridge Regional Center.

  • Righting Reactions

    Reflex that enables a person to bring his or her head or body into a straight line.

  • Robert Weiland Center

    A barrier-free program facility operated by DDRC located at 3636 South Independence, Lakewood, CO. Named in honor of Dr. Robert Weiland, esteemed special educator.

  • Rotation

    Twisting of the body trunk.

  • Routines Based Interview (RBI)

    A structured conversation that walks a family through each step of a typical day in their life. It identifies the family’s concerns for their child and facilitates goal writing.

  • SA

    Service Agency. Also see Service Provider Organization.


    State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

  • SDAC

    Statewide Data and Analytics Contractor.

  • SE

    Supported Employment.

  • SEA

    State Education Agency.

  • SEAC

    Special Education Advisory Council. An advisory council of parents to consult on special education issues.

  • SEP

    Single Entry Point for service and support referral through local Department of Human Services or Community Centered Board.

  • SEPS

    Special Education Preschool.

  • SERS

    Special Education and Related Services.

  • SHOP

    Small Business Health Options Program.

  • SIED

    Significant Identifiable Emotional Disorder. Term from the Colorado Department of Education Regulations referring to individuals with emotional involvement.

  • SIS

    Supports Intensity Scale. A psychometric tool created by AAIDD to evaluate practical support requirements of a person with an intellectual disability through a positive and thorough interview process.

  • SLC

    Supported Living Consultant. An SLC assists individuals in getting their needs met through the Supported Living Services program.

  • SLIC

    Significant Limited Intellectual Capacity. Term from the Colorado Department of Education regulations referring to mentally retarded individuals.

  • SLS

    Supported Living Services. Provides services and supports tailored to the needs of the individual living in his or her own home or family home.

  • SMT

    Senior Management Team. Department directors, executive directors, and senior managers of DDRC.

  • SOC

    Special Olympics Colorado.

  • SPAL

    Service Plan Authorization Limit.

  • SPO

    Service Provider Organization. A SPO is an individual or any publicly or privately operated program, organization or business providing service or supports for persons with developmental disabilities.

  • SSDI

    Social Security Disability Income. Federal benefit program sponsored by the Social Security Administration. Primary factor: disability and/or benefits received from deceased or disabled parent, benefit depends upon money contributed to the Social Security program either by the individual involved and/or the parent involved.

  • SSI

    Supplemental Security Income. Federal financial benefit program sponsored by the Social Security Administration.

  • STNR

    Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex. Bending of the neck causes bending of the arms and straightening in legs. Straightening of the neck causes straightening in the arms and bending in legs.

  • SWAP

    School to Work Alliance Project.

  • Safety Control Procedure

    A written, planned restrictive procedure regarding when and how staff would physically intervene to keep an individual and/or others around the individual safe. CDHS/DDD 1.2.37

  • Scoliosis

    Curving of the spine.

  • Screening

    Tools to determine if more extensive assessment needs to be completed.

  • Section 504

    The section of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act amendments of 1973 that is generally referred to as the civil rights clause for people with disabilities.

  • Seizure

    Unusual muscular or behavioral activity caused by abnormal brain impulses without purpose.

  • Self-concept

    How an individual views himself or herself.

  • Self-determination

    Activities which promote or allow for consumer choice and the ability of a consumer or family to use principles of freedom, authority, support and responsibility.

  • Self-directed Supports

    Services funded by government but under the control and direction of the service user.

  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss

    Damage to the nerves in the ear that results in hearing loss.

  • Sensory

    Information obtained from touch, pressure, pain, temperature, sight, smell, taste and movement.

  • Sensory Integration

    The brain's ability to receive, organize and interpret sensory information. Sensory integration programs focus on assisting an individual to increase this capacity.

  • Sensory-Motor

    In the development of a child, learning occurs through the interaction between the senses and muscular system. The child explores by touching, tasting, seeing, smelling, moving, hearing, etc.

  • Server (computer term)

    A computer or device on a network that manages network resources. For example, a file server is a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on the network can store files on the server. A print server is a computer that manages one or more printers, and a network server is a computer that manages network traffic.

  • Service Agency

    Also referred to as Program Approved Service Agency (PASA) and Service Provider Organization (SPO).

  • Service and Support

    One or more of the following: education, training, independent or supported living assistance, therapies, identification of natural supports and other activities.

  • Service Plan

    A written plan designed to identify the total needs of a person receiving services and the services required to meet those needs. Also referred to as the Individualized Plan (IP).

  • Service Provider Organization (SPO)

    A Service Provider Organization is an individual or any publicly or privately operated program, organization or business providing service or supports for persons with developmental disabilities.

  • Service Substitution

    A process using a lower cost but equally effective service in place of a higher cost service.

  • Shaping

    A technique for teaching new behavior by reinforcing successive approximations to the goal behavior.

  • Sibling

    A brother or sister.

  • Sign Language

    Means of communication that uses hand gestures as symbols for words.

  • Social and Emotional Development

    The ability to interact with others.

  • Socialization

    The process whereby an individual acquires the knowledge, values, facility with language, social skills and social sensitivity that enables him or her to become integrated into and behave adaptively within a society.

  • Spatial Relationships

    Perception of the relation of two or more objects to an individual and to each other.

  • Special Education

    Specially designed instruction.

  • Special Needs (or Third Party) Trust

    An individual, discretionary trust prepared for a person who has a disability. This is intended to supplement, not replace government benefits. A trustee must administer the funds; the person with a disability cannot have direct access to the funds. The trust should be irrevocable (cannot be changed) and be written by a lawyer specially trained in elder or Medicaid law.

  • Speech and Language Pathologist or Speech Therapist

    An individual with a Master’s Degree and certificate in speech and language pathology. Speech and language pathologists are qualified to diagnose speech, language, voice and fluency (stuttering) disorders and to plan and implement therapy programs.

  • Splinter Skill

    Accomplishment of a specific task under specific conditions. (Not able to do the task in all situations.)

  • Staffing (Placement) Review

    Educational term meaning a meeting to plan a program for the student.

  • State Balancing Incentive Program

    Enhanced federal matching payments provided to states which increase the proportion of Medicaid long-term services and supports dollars going toward HCBS, expand covered services and cover individuals with higher levels of need.

  • Stimulus

    A person, place, or thing - including light, sound, taste, texture and odor. A stimulus evokes a person to respond in a certain way.

  • Strabismus

    Eyes cannot move in unison due to lack of muscular coordination. Squinting.

  • Strapesius Reflex

    The reflex which protects the ear from loud noises.

  • Strep

    Term referring to a bacterial infection caused by the organism streptococcus that may be manifested by upper respiratory or skin symptoms. Strep is contagious.

  • Subcapitation

    Used by Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to shift financial risk to provider agencies or provider networks.

  • Successor

    One who follows another in a particular office. A successor guardian is named to follow the original guardian if the original person or institution can no longer hold office. A successor trustee takes over management of a trust after the initial trustee ceases to act. Families should name a number of successors to ensure someone will outlive the person with the disability.

  • Supine Position

    Lying on the back.

  • Supported Employment

    Paid employment for adults with developmental disabilities who, without long-term support, are not likely to succeed in a regular job.

  • Symmetrical

    Both arms or both legs move together.

  • Synergy

    Abnormal patterned movement of an arm or leg caused by central nervous system damage.

  • 300% Rule

    A requirement that individuals cannot have assets over 300% of the maximum allowable for SSI payments and still be eligible for Medicaid funding.

  • TANF

    Temporary Aid to Needy Families.

  • TBI

    Traumatic Brain Injury. An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force resulting in total or partial functional eligibility of psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

  • TCM

    Targeted Case Management. Case management services which are provided as a Medicaid benefit for a specific target group of Medicaid recipients who have a developmental disability and who meet the program eligibility criteria.

  • TDD

    Telecommunications Device for the Deaf.


    The federal Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1992.

  • TIN

    Tax Identification Number

  • TJTC

    The federal Targeted Jobs Tax Credit.

  • TPL

    Third Party Liability.

  • TS

    Tourette Syndrome. A neurological disorder characterized by tics - involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations that occur repeatedly in the same way.

  • Tactile

    Refers to the sense of touch. Consists of: a) a system of protection, like fight or flight response; b) a system of discrimination by which an individual correctly identifies and distinguishes touch sensations.

  • Tactile Defensiveness

    Reacting negatively to being touched.

  • Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)

    Condition of automatic stereotypical movements that occur as an undesired effect of therapy with certain psychoactive drugs.

  • Target Behavior

    Behavior targeted for increase or decrease as part of a behavioral program.

  • Targeted Case Management

    Case management services which are provided as a Medicaid benefit for a specific target group of Medicaid recipients having a develop-mental disability and who meet the program eligibility criteria.

  • TASH

    TASH is an international association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and professionals working for a society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of society is the norm. TASH is concerned with human dignity, civil rights, education, and independence for all individuals with disabilities. Colorado has a TASH chapter; national headquarters are in Washington, D.C.

  • Team Meeting

    A meeting that includes persons working with or having an interest in an individual’s services and supports.

  • Temporary Aid To Needy Families (TANF)

    The time-limited welfare assistance authorized in the Welfare Reform Act of 1996.

  • Testamentary Trust

    A trust set up by a will. A will is the best way to fund or put resources into a Special Needs Trust.

  • Therapeutic Recreation

    Therapeutic Recreation uses treatment, education, and recreation services to help people with disabilities and other conditions to develop and use their leisure in ways that enhance their health, functional abilities, independence, and quality of life.

  • Thermal Stimulation

    An indirect technique used to facilitate swallowing.

  • Title XIX

    Medicaid. Federal program that provides funding for programs and services to be offered to the population of persons with developmental disabilities. Moderate Supervision Group Homes are one of the services provided.

  • Title XX

    Federal program administered by Colorado Department of Social Services that provides money for day programs for persons twenty-one years of age and older. The DDRC work center receives these funds for some individuals.

  • Token

    A conditioned reinforcer redeemable for other reinforcing items or activities. Examples of tokens include money, poker chips, coupons and points.

  • Tourette Syndrome (TS)

    A neurological disorder characterized by tics - involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations that occur repeatedly in the same way.

  • Tracheotomy

    Opening and inserting a tube into the trachea to facilitate breathing.

  • Transdisciplinary

    An approach to intervention which is based on the premise that one person can perform the roles of professionals by providing services to the consumer under the on-going guidance of the individuals from the other disciplines involved. Representatives of various disciplines work together to develop the plan, but only one or two members actually provide the services.

  • Transition Services

    A coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities including post secondary education, vocational training and education, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living and community services.

  • Tympanogram

    A pressure test that tells how the ear canal, eardrum, eustachian tube and middle ear bones are working. The ear canal is closed off with a probe tip, and as air pressure is introduced into the canal, eardrum movement is recorded.

  • UAP

    See new name – UCEDD.


    University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Federally supported research programs regarding developmental disabilities.

  • ULTC 100.2

    Uniform Long Term Care. Assessment process for many Medicaid funded programs.

  • Umbilical Hernia

    Protrusion of navel, corrected by surgery.

  • Unilateral

    Involving one side of the body.

  • Utilization Review

    A technique employed in managed care systems to evaluate the extent to which certain services are used by certain individuals or groups

  • Upper Extremity


  • Vestibular

    A small space or cavity at the beginning of a canal (ear, heart, mouth, etc.).

  • Vineland

    Adaptive behavior assessment tool frequently used to determine a developmental disability.

  • Virtual Network

    An interconnected group of individual PCCM practices, PCCM partnerships, clinics and common-ownership enterprises that appears to be one large single network to the client. Enables providers to communicate with each other simply through a consistent, web-based user interface so that each provider has, at the point of service, information about all other services previously offered to the client anywhere in the network.

  • Visual Perception

    Sensory information received through the eyes and identified, organized, and interpreted by the brain.

  • Visual Motor Coordination

    Vision coordinated with movements of the body.

  • Vocational Assessment

    Identifies the individual's strengths, skills, interests, abilities and rehabilitation needs. Accomplished through on-site situational assessments at local businesses and in community settings.

  • Vocational Rehabilitation

    Preparing any person with a disability for useful and purposeful employment through on-the-job training and use of rehabilitative equipment.

  • Volitional Movement

    Deliberate movement. Performing on purpose.

  • Volume 8

    Policy manual for Medicaid Services.

  • WAIS

    Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.

  • WAN (computer term)

    Wide Area Network. A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Computers connected to a wide-area network are connected through telephone lines or radio waves.

  • WES

    Work Experience and Study program. Vocational education for students ages 18-21. In this program, students concentrate on developing and refining home living and job skills.

  • WIC

    Women, Infants and Children. A nutrition program for low income women that is run through the Department of Health.

  • WISC

    Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children.

  • WL

    Waiting List.

  • WRAT

    Wide Range Achievement Test.

  • WRRC

    Wheat Ridge Regional Center.

  • Waiver

    This term used in a disability context usually refers to the federal government’s Medicaid program. In a practical sense ICF/MR (institutional) programs are viewed as services to which people with developmental disabilities are entitled. The government’s Health Care Finance Authority (HCFA) can grant exceptions or waivers to states that have consumers who would rather have community non-institutional services. An individual must sign a form acknowledging they are foregoing the option of institutional services.

  • Weight Bearing

    Supporting one’s own weight in any position.

  • Weight Shift

    Moving weight from one side of the body to the other. For example, when standing, shifting weight from one foot to the other.

  • Will

    Legal document by which a person directs to whom his or her property will pass at death.

  • Workstation (computer term)

    A personal computer, typically linked with others to form a LAN (local-area network), although they can also be used as stand-alone systems.

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