Glossary of Terms
Advocate - Person who supports and represents the rights and interests of an individual in order to ensure the individual's legal rights and access to services.
Autism/Autistic Spectrum Disorder - The essential features of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interests. Manifestations of the disorder vary depending on the developmental level and age of the individual.
Case Manager - see Service Coordinator.
Cerebral Palsy - A condition which results in a disorder of movement and posture resulting from a non-progressive lesion of the brain acquired during development. 'Cerebral' refers to the brain and 'Palsy' refers to paralysis. Common manifestations include spastic rigidity of the limbs, disorders of psture and movement, speech articulation difficulties, lack of muscle tone, poor coordination, poor balance, and/or unusual gait.
Community Integration (CI) - Participation and interaction in the consumer's environment and community. This phrase is now replaced with Off-Site Day Habilitation (OSDH).
Consumer - An individual with developmental or intellectual disabilities who is eligible for regional center services. This is the commonly accepted term used to replace "client."
Developmental Disability - A severe, long term disability that can affect cognitive ability and/or physical functioning. The onset occurs before the age of 22 and is likely to continue indefinitely. The term developmental disability encompasses intellectual disability, but also includes physical disabilities.
Entitlement - Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have the right to receive services and supports which enable them to make decisions and choices about how, and with whom, they want to live their lives, achieve the highest self-sufficiency possible, and lead productive, independent, and satisfying lives as part of the community in which they live.
Epilepsy - The most common seizure disorder, it is a chronic condition that briefly interrupts the normal electrical activity of the brain to cause unpredictable and recurrent seizures, which alters a person's consciousness, movement or actions for a short time. Epileptic seizures can cause loss of muscle control, termors, loss of consciousness, and other symptoms.
Functional Skills - Skills which enable an individual to communicate and interact with others, and to perform tasks which have practical use and meaning at home, in community, or on the job.
Habilitation Program- services or activities designed to help an individual reach a better condition than their present state; building a level of functioning that did not exist before.
ICF - Intermediate Care Facility
Intellectual Disability - (also known as mental retardation) Is a term used when there are certain limits in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of him or herself, and social skills. The onset must occur prior to the age of 18 years of age and the person’s intellectual functioning level (IQ) is below 70-75.
IPP - Individual Program Plan - A planning document developed for each consumer which specifies the desired outcomes he/she is trying to achieve. The IPP also specifies the steps and actions that will be taken to try to reach a desired outcome, as well as any needed supports and services. The IPP is developed through a process of individualized needs determination and embodies an approach centered on the person and family.
ISP - Individualized Service Plan
Mental Retardation - MR has the essential feature of significantly subaverage intellectual functioning that is accompanied by significant limitations in adaptive functioning in at least two of the following skill areas: communication, self-care, home living, social or interpersonal skills, work, leisure, health, and safety. The onset must occur prior to the age of 18 years of age. See Intellectual Disability.
Rehabilitation - to return to a condition that they once were; to restore to good health, to restore the ability to work, or something similar. See also Habilitation Program.
Service Coordinator - is a person assigned as the primary contact and partner at the regional center once eligibility has been determined. The Service Coordinator is a professional in the area of developmental disabilities and is knowledgable about counseling, resources, supports, and other services.
Sheltered Workshop - facility-based employment program for adults with developmental disabilities. Job tasks generally emphasize simple production activities such as assembling, packaging, manufacturing, and sorting. There are approximately 7,000 sheltered workshops across the country, employing more than half a million individuals with developmental disabilities.
Social Security Administration (SSA) - Federal agency which administers benefits to retired or disabled workers and their surviving dependents.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - A program that pays monthly benefits to people with low incomes and limited assets who are 65 or older, blind, or have a disability. Children can qualify if they meet Social Security's definition of disability and if their income and assets fall within the eligibility limits.
Vendor - A provider of services who has applied for and received a vendor identification number from the regional center. Regional centers may only purchase services from community agencies, programs, and professionals who have completed the vendor process.
Voucher - Written authorization issued by a regional center to a family member or consumer to procure the service for which the voucher is issued and which specifies the maximum reimbursement authorized by the regional center.