Disinfectant A product that can be used to kill germs on surfaces.
Discrimination Training Teaching someone to link and a behavior he or she already knows how to perform, to an appropriate antecedent. (For example, standing up and leaving the room, when a fire alarm sounds.)
Disenfranchised grief When there are no easy, public way to express grief. Grief that cannot be expressed and supported tends to linger and grow.
Dissociation Dissociation is a psychological symptom. It may be a feeling of being "unreal" or disconnected from oneself. In some people, the person may actually lose contact with what is happening. He or she may continue to act, speak, or move but have no conscious memory of these actions later. In others, the person may feel outside themselves as if he or she is watching themselves from a distance.
Diversity Diversity can be found in a group of people whose members differ in such things as age, race, or beliefs.
Documentation Providing a written or electronic record of an action, event, item, issue, or thought that is important or meaningful.
Documenting: To write down information in a standard way usually on forms provided by the support agency.
Domestic violence An act of violence or abuse against a person living in one's household, especially a member of one's immediate family.
Dominant Culture In multicultural societies, the cultural practices which are the basis for judging actions and establishing public traditions. Usually the dominate culture is so much a part of the societies' perspective that it is "invisible." Behaviors which are contrary to the perspective of the dominate culture are usually considered inappropriate or wrong, even when they are not harmful.
Douches Products sold to clean the internal vaginal area. These are generally not recommended and should only be used with the recommendation of a medical professional.
Dopamine One of three brain chemicals believed to be linked to depression when they are imbalanced. The others are serotonin and norepinephrine. People living with schizophrenia often have high levels of dopamine, which affects emotions and motivation.
Down Syndrome Down syndrome occurs in a baby has one extra chromosome in each of his or her millions of cells. Instead of 46, he has 47. In Down syndrome it is the number-21 chromosome that does not separate properly. This is referred to as Trisomy 21, which is another term for Down syndrome. Over six thousand babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States every year and thousands more in other countries. It occurs in boys and girls evenly. It is one of the most common birth defects, occurring in all races, ethnic groups, socio-economic classes and nationalities. Because chromosomes and the genetic material they carry play a large part in determining a child's characteristics, this extra chromosome will affect his or her life. His or her appearance may be a bit different from other children's, he or she may have some unique medical problems, and he or she will likely have some degree of mental retardation, although the severity of any of these problems varies tremendously from child to child.
Dravet's Syndrome This is also called severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI). It is a severe form of epilepsy that appears during the first year of life with frequent febrile seizures.
Drought A long period of abnormally low rainfall that can last up to several years.
Dry Eyes Dry eye is a condition that occurs when a person does not make enough tears. Symptoms are scratchy, irritated eyes. Dry eyes can be treated with ointments or artificial tears. If it is not treated, dry eyes can result in keratoconus. This is a disease of the cornea.
DSP Direct support professional.
Dual Diagnosis An old term used to describe having two disorders that cause significant impairment. It was often used to describe having both a mental illness and chemical dependency. It was also used to describe having both an intellectual disability and a mental illness.
Durable medical equipment This is medical equipment used to aid individuals in everyday life. Examples include wheel chairs, walkers, canes, oxygen tanks, nebulizers, CPAP, and catheters.
Duration How long something lasts.
Dwarfism A genetic abnormality resulting in short stature
Dyskinesia This is a movement disorder. It can be a side effect of antipsychotic medication. It involves abnormal and involuntary movements of the body. It may affect many different parts of the body. The person may roll his or her fingers together. He or she may blink or pucker their lips repetitively. Early onset of this disorder from medication is usually reversible. (See Tardive Dyskinesia.)
Dyskinetic the same as Athetoid Cerebral Palsy and is characterized by the same involuntary body movements.
Dyslexia A specific learning disability that affects a person's ability to read.
Dystonia This is a movement disorder. It can be a side effect of antipsychotic medication. It is an involuntary spasm of muscles. It can be painful. It can cause the person to contort into unusual positions. Sometimes this is visible. But sometimes a person has this and does not know why.
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Ear Canal The tube connecting the outside of the ear to the inside of the head.
Early Intervention Strategies and interventions in the early developmental period from birth to 5 years of age.
Earthquake A shaking or trembling of the earth that is volcanic or tectonic in origin
Eating Disorders Bulimia or anorexia - self manipulated to vomit and/or regurgitate food intake to avoid weight gain. Both are potentially life threatening.
Echolalia Repeating or echoing of a word, phrase, or verbal utterances.
Effective Communication The transfer of comprehensive and accurate information from one person to another that results in the best outcomes for the person receiving supports.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) This is used to treat some mental illnesses. It is a medical procedure during which small amounts of electric current are passed through the brain that triggers a brief seizure. ECT is sometimes used with people that have severe depression when other treatments have not been effective.
Electroconvulsive treatments (ECT) Electrically induced seizures under the supervision of a physician used to treat severe forms of depression or psychosis.
Electroencephalography (EEG) A medical instrument and testing process that detects brain waves and seizure activity. Medical practitioners often use this test in the process of diagnosing a person with the medical condition of epilepsy.
Electrolysis A method of hair removal. Electrolysis can only be done by a trained professional. It is the process of using an electric current to destroy hair at the root. A small needle is placed into the skin where the hair exits the skin to burn the hair follicle. This method can be painful, expensive, and time-consuming. It has long lasting results though it may take a few treatments to remove all of the hair. This method is typically used on smaller areas of hair.
Eliminate Stop the use of something. Get rid of something.
Elopement: When someone who is not able to be unsupervised leaves the area without supervision and without the knowledge of the person supervising. This may or may not be deliberate.
Elusive Difficult to define, describe, capture, or understand.
Emancipated An individual who was previously under another's guardianship but is now released to his or her own legal guardianship.
Embed To integrate into the whole. In teaching, to take separate objectives or goals and teach them in the context of a whole activity. For example, to teach the recognition of common community signs during a neighborhood walk, rather than sitting at a table and reviewing flash cards with pictures of the signs on them.
Emergency An event that requires immediate response because it could be dangerous to people.
Emergency Booklet A booklet that contains information about an individual that has personal contact information, how the person communicates, emergency contact information, alternate emergency contacts, medical information, medications and pharmacy phone number(s), and special medical conditions, health and safety concerns, service animals (if appropriate), pets, likes and dislikes, and any other relevant information that would help emergency workers and first responders during an emergency.
Emergency fact sheet A paper that contains medical, dietary, equipment, and communication needs that would be considered necessary and important to the individual's well-being and health. Important numbers such as Medical Assistance, case manager, personal emergency contacts, a medical physician, and other critical contact information should be included. If the person has a service animal there should be appropriate identification. Identification may include cards or documentation from a medical doctor that the person is using the animal for his or her disability.
Emergency kit A kit for emergencies that contains survival items for three days. This includes water, non-perishable food, a weather radio, flashlight and batteries, whistle, dust mask, first aid kit, moist towelettes, garbage bags, a wrench or pliers, can opener for canned food, matches, local maps, and blankets. Individual kits should contain a change of clothing, sturdy shoes, a copy of the emergency book, and any other important items critical to the survival of the individual.
Emergency Management Officials Emergency Management People who are trained in managing emergencies. This may include fire fighters, police, emergency medical technicians, and other first responders who are first on an emergency scene. It also includes people who manage first responders.
Emergency PLAN An emergency plan outlines the steps to take in response to a crisis, man-made or natural, when it disrupts operations, threatens life, or creates major damage.
Emergency Planning Team The group of employees who writes and distributes the emergency plan for the organization.
Emergency Preparedness Getting ready for different kinds of emergencies.
 
Emergency Preparedness Plan A written document for emergencies that contains information on preparing, responding, and recovering from emergencies. It also contains information on lessening the danger of an emergency. This is known as mitigation.
Emergency Response Team The police, fire department, paramedics, hospital emergency room members, etc. that are trained to respond to an accident, injury, or emergency situation.
Emotional lability A more rapid mood shift or extremes of mood than the average person.
Employee assistance program (EAP) This is a service for employees. EAPs help employees with any issue affecting their work. Confidential counselors are available. Issues can be work related such as coworker conflict. They can also be personal problems. Some types of problems include assistance with substance abuse, housing, or relationships with family members.
Employee development Is a training strategy that includes a written listing of long range goals and short term goals. These career goals define action steps or plans needed to achieve these goals. Employee development plans need to set realistic expectations.
Empathy The action of seeking to understand another person's feelings or experiences. Recognizing that actions and situations affect others beside yourself.
Employer An employer is someone who hires workers to do a job. An employer can be an individual or an entity like a business. An employer is responsible for hiring, firing, supervising, training, scheduling, and determining wages of workers.
Employer Emergency Plan A plan a company has that provides detailed information on how to keep the company going during emergencies. These plans should include the following components: Communication plan for before, during, and after an emergency, evacuation plan, transportation plan, shelter plan, staff roles and responsibilities during and after an emergency, identification and tracking of staff and individuals during and after an emergency, and a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). A COOP should include the following: a list of critical operations, a business flow chart, emergency payroll information, planning for safe and secure records, and agreements with backup suppliers of goods and services.
Employer Empowerment In comparison to individual and team empowerment, employer empowerment is creating the culture and climate within an employment setting or organization that invests in all the employees the authority and responsibility to use their talents, creativity, compassion, and work to improve the quality of their own work lives as well as the lives of the persons for whom they support, and to encourage and support all other employees to do the same.
Emotional Dysregulation The inability to mange emotions in healthy or effective ways. It may include those with extreme moods or rapid mood swings. It may include those with a poor ability to control impulses. It may also include those who are confused or overwhelmed.
Empowerment The act or art of investing someone with power or the authority to act on one's own behalf or in someone's absence.
Enclave A type of supported employment option where groups of people with disabilities work together in a community setting. These groups typically vary in size from 2-15 people. This type of supported employment is advantageous for people who may not be able to work consistently enough to maintain a daily job. The disadvantages are that the group situation makes social contact with workers without disabilities less likely and that the person can be stigmatized (e.g., seen as one of "those" workers with disabilities, as opposed to a natural and productive contributor in the workplace).
Enforcement Rule The Enforcement Rule is a rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This rule outlines consequences for people and organizations that violate HIPAA laws and compromise the safety of Protected Health Information (PHI).
Environmental Conditions Things that are in the immediate surroundings.
Environmental Controls Method of reducing exposure to pathogens by creating environments where accidental exposure is less likely to happen. Environmental controls include using proper and routine cleaning procedures, proper labeling and storage of hazardous materials, developing procedures for potentially hazardous situations, and adapting the environment so that it is easy to avoid exposure (e.g., having sharps containers located near where sharps are used.)
Epidemic A disease breakout which effects many people all at one time.
Epidemiologist Scientists who study the spread and control of diseases.
Epilepsy A neurological disorder which affects about 1% of the population in which people experience seizures. Seizures are a very sudden attack on the nerve cells in the brain caused by electrical dysfunction or disturbances resulting in unconsciousness or violent movement (a neurological disorder).
  1. Partial seizures occur in a specific part of the brain. That is why they are called partial. The seizure varies greatly based on what part of the brain is affected.
    1. Simple partial - called a focal or Jacksonian seizure and usually affects one side of the body or a particular limb. It is characterized by a tingling, stiffening and or jerking movement of that part of the body. There is no loss of consciousness and the individual usually can resume the activity they were doing before the seizure began.
    2. Complex partial - often referred to as a temporal lobe or psychomotor seizure. The individual suddenly stops an activity, appears dazed, and engages in some type of motor activity like smacking their lips or pulling on their clothing. When the seizure activity ends, they appear confused and are often irritable without any memory of the seizure activity.
  2. Generalized seizures - affect the entire brain and are classified as Tonic-Clonic or Absence seizures. This is the most familiar and recognizable type of seizure.
    1. Tonic-Clonic seizures - once referred to as "grand mal" seizures, they affect the whole brain. These are characterized by a loss of consciousness followed by a stiffening and then jerking of the body. Breathing may be affected, urine or bowel accidents may occur and confusion and tiredness are common after having this type of seizure.
    2. Absence seizures - once called "petit mal" and are characterized by brief loss of consciousness along with a facial tic, oral movements, or eye fluttering. The individual usually resumes activities as if nothing has happened when the seizure activity is over. It is common for these types of seizures to go unnoticed because they are so subtle and brief.
  3. Status Epileptuicus - when a person has repeated seizures one right after another that do not stop or respond to usual medical treatments. Although this condition is rare it can be life threatening due to possible loss of oxygen to the brain. Consider contacting medical emergency personnel for this type of seizure.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) A man's inability to maintain an erection during sexual activity or intercourse.
Escalate/Escalation When something gets more intense or frequent.
Escherichia coli/E.coli A common bacteria that has many different strains. Contact with some of these strains cause food poisoning in people.
Essential Functions Of the job are tasks or duties that the person must be able to do when working on the job. For example, if the job requires a person to drive the company vehicle during their shift, an essential job function would be "Must be able to legally and safely drive a car."
Estrogen A substance in the body that helps in the development of female sexual characteristics.
Eternal Child When an adult with disabilities is "treated like a child," and prevented from making choices, contributing, and taking risks that are an expected part of adult life. (see also Paternalism)
Ethical Dilemma A situation in which the correct path is unclear or confusing, and a direct support professional is faced with conflicting obligations, and he or she needs to make the best choice possible. Due to the nature of direct support work, DSPs face ethical dilemmas frequently. A strong sense of values and mission, helps to make these choices and decisions easier.
Ethical Guidelines Procedures that are based on accepted values of good practice. Also see the National Alliance Code of Ethics for Direct Support Professionals.
Ethical Practice The process of following an accepted code of ethics when making decisions and performing activities and duties. Performing direct support work in accordance with accepted principles or values of good practice. Also see the National Alliance Code of Ethics for Direct Support Professionals.
Ethics or Values The principles that an individual or group consider most important, and that influence individual or group behavior.
Ethnic Of or relating to a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage.
Ethnicity A person's ethnic character, background, or affiliation.
Etiquette and Rituals Culturally shared patterns and customs around communication. These "rules" or guidelines help people communicate more easily in everyday situations. Greetings, such as a handshake, are communication customs. Saying "Hello" when answering the phone is another example.
Eugenics The science of using techniques to improve the genes of a human population in a manner similar to that which is used when breeding animals, by only letting the people with the best genes bear children. Of great debate is not only the ethical basis for the whole philosophy, but also, which genes are considered the best. The Eugenics Movement was at its height in the United States in the early 1900s. The Nazis of Germany were also proponents of eugenics believing that the genes for light skin, blue eyes, blond hair, and height were among the best" genes in the population.
Eugenics Period Period spanning approximately 1920 to 1950 when scientific principles were misused in an attempt to prevent birth of people with disabilities. The unethical application of science of genetics led to forced sterilization, institutional segregation, the prevention of marriage and other human rights abuses of people with disabilities.0
Evacuate To leave an area either on foot or by some other means.
Evaluation A systematic process used to identify a person's strengths, diagnosis, needs, challenges that can include personal, medical, physical, social, emotional, behavior, familial and educational information.
Evidence Information or items that help make clear what has happened.
Evidenced Based A thoughtful integration of the best available evidence combined with clinical expertise.
Exception A case in which a rule does not need to be followed.
Executive Branch This governmental branch is headed by the President and makes laws official. The Vice President and other government officials are part of the executive branch.
Exercise Physical activity that develops and maintains physical fitness. It includes aerobic exercise, such as running or walking that keeps the heart and lungs working well and weight training that increases strength.
Exit Date The last day a person worked for the organization.
Exit Type Record of whether an employee quit or was fired (used in developing a baseline of workforce challenges).
Expedited reinstatement Is an employment support provided to people accessing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare. It allows recipients to restart benefits if they lose them and become eligible for them again. This can occur any time in the six years after losing them. In addition, they may be eligible for provisional benefits during the time their re-eligibility is being determined.
Experiential questions Ask the person to describe the extent, type and nature of jobs or other experiences they have had (e.g., what types of position they held, what their job duties were, how long they worked in a position).
Exploitation Using the resources or possessions of a child or vulnerable adult for the personal benefit, profit or gain of persons other than the vulnerable adult or child. To take advantage of a person that you have power over in a selfish or unethical manner.
This term is one that is commonly defined very specifically by state laws or regulations. You must be familiar with your state definitions. States that have specifically provided links to definitions or information regarding this term through special CDS customizations content include: PA, KS, MN.
Explosion A violent blowing apart or bursting caused by energy released from a very fast chemical reaction, a nuclear reaction, or the escape of gases under pressure.
Exposure Control Plan Each employer that has employees with occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious body fluids and any body fluid visibly contaminated with blood must establish a written Exposure Control Plan designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure.
Expressive language Use of spoken, written, or gestural symbols, in rule-governed arrangements, to convey meaning.
Evacuation Plan A plan that outlines when and how to leave from a place of danger to a place of greater safety.
Evacuation Route A path to take to escape from a dangerous thing.
Extended period of eligibility Is an employment support provided to people accessing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare. It allows recipients that have used up their Trial Work Period the opportunity to receive benefits. For those that wish to earn more than substantial gainful activity (SGA), they can still receive benefits if their earning fall below SGA. If benefits need to restart, they do not need to complete a new application. This can happen as many times as needed during the 36 months after the Trial Work Period. For those that do not want to earn more than SGA, it allows them to maintain their benefits.
Extensive Support Extensive support is part of a disability classification system. (Published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, AAIDD). It refers to persons who need ongoing support for most life activities. These individuals can do some things on their own. However, they will always need support from others.
External Antecedents Antecedents that are caused by something in the environment or by the way in which supports are provided, such as loud noises or asking someone to do something.
Extinction No longer reinforcing a behavior that was previously reinforced, with the expected result of reducing the occurrence of the behavior. Usually extinction is thought of something that happens as part of a plan to reduce challenging behaviors, but extinction can apply to desired behaviors, if there is not enough reinforcement for the behavior over time.
Extrinsic motivation Something created outside the individual, such as money, rewards, or recognition, that compels a person to do good work.
Eye contact A nonverbal, visual connection between two people, with each looking into the eyes of the other.
Eye gaze Looking at people and objects that are of interest; indicates the direction or focus of attention.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) EMDR was developed in 1989 and has been used to treat people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
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F F stands for Fahrenheit. It is a way to measure water temperature. In the United States, temperature is measured in Fahrenheit. In many other countries, temperature is measured in centigrade. In the United States, human temperature is measured in Fahrenheit. Normal body temperature is usually 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This is often written as 98.6° F.
Facial expression A form of nonverbal communication resulting from one or more movements or positions of the muscles of the face, closely connected to emotions; may be voluntary or involuntary.
Face Mask In health, a face mask is worn across the nose and mouth to help prevent the spread of illness.
Facilitator As a direct support professional you support the person to do things for themselves or you assist them in finding someone else to help them with it.
Fading Reducing the frequency or changing the timing of prompts while teaching, so that eventually the person does not need the prompts.
Falsification When something is changed in order to deceive someone else.
Family A group of two or more people related by birth, marriage, adoption, or emotional ties. It includes relatives and / or other significantly important people who provide psychological, emotional, and spiritual support for a person they are close to. Family does not need to be a blood relative to be an integral part of a person's life.
Family FOCUS: A short way to describe a process that helps DSPs identify the Family who the person receiving supports wants to relate to; the Organizations and affiliations important to these people; the Culture and lifestyles shared in the family; the Uniting and supportive activities the DSP can employ; and, the Steps for implementing these activities.
Family Medical Leave Act A federal law enacted in 1993 that provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for an employee without fear of losing his/her job. Conditions that qualify for FMLA: a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job, to care for a sick family member, or to care for a new child (including by birth, adoption or foster care )
Family of Origin The family members you are related through blood or adoption (either formal or informal) and who have known you since childhood, typically, your parents, grandparents, and siblings, and extended family members related by birth, like aunts, uncles, and cousins. Romantic partners and your own children are not part of your family of origin.
Family support Describes service programs for families who provide support at home for children, and sometimes adults, with developmental disabilities. Within a family "centered" or "driven" context, the programs make use of structured services, natural supports, and often cash assistance to: (a) make it possible for families to keep their family member at home, (b) assure that the person with disabilities receives needed services at home, (c) enhance the capacity of families to provide supports at home, and (d) realize some cost savings related to promoting care at home over out-of-home options.
Family System A group of people who act and react with each other as members together and independently in a complex structure known as a family.
Family-centered Support When professionals see families as capable of making informed choices and decisions that leads to improvements in family functioning and quality of life.
Fatigue A feeling of tiredness that people often experience when ill.
Febrile Seizure A non-epileptic seizure that occurs during childhood and is triggered by a fever, usually over 102 degrees Fahrenheit. This seizure is not related to any other brain or spinal cord injury. Febrile seizures can be mild with symptoms of stiffening limbs or eye rolling. They can also be strong where there are contractions of the whole body. The child may moan, cry, fall, or pass urine. These seizures are most often short lasting (less than 10 minutes) and do not require medical attention. Bringing the child's fever down is an important step in prevention.
Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes A specific U.S. tax taken out of the pay check of every working citizen. The contribution go toward paying for the Social Security program.
Fee-For-Service This type of coverage generally assumes that the medical provider (usually a doctor or hospital) will be paid a fee for each service rendered to the patient—you or a family member covered under your policy. With fee-for-service insurance, you go to the doctor of your choice and you or your doctor or hospital submits a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. You will only receive reimbursement for "covered" medical expenses, the ones listed in your benefits summary
Feedback Is a respectful and supportive exchange or discussion about work performance between a frontline supervisor and direct support professional. It includes direct and clear communication about how the employee is meeting or not meeting expectations.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) a disorder that is caused when a woman drinks when she is pregnant. It affects the central nervous system and causes birth defects such as mental retardation, poor motor skills, poor eye-hand coordination, behavioral and learning problems.
Financial management services These services include making financial transactions within participant-directed support programs on behalf of participants. This often involves paying workers that individuals employ, deducting payroll taxes, facilitating the purchase of items, and tracking expenses against the individualized budget. States will often arrange to provide these administrative services on behalf of participants. A state may obtain services from an outside contracted agency or may provide the services within the public agency.
First Responders Trained professionals who are first on an emergency scene to offer assistance.
Flood A rising and overflowing of a body of water especially onto normally dry land.
Flossing A soft silk or cotton material that is drawn between two teeth to clear bacteria and food particles.
Fluency The appropriateness of the speed at which the person completes a task. Fluency is achieved when the rate is appropriate to the situation.
Fluoride An element that helps to protect teeth from bacteria.
Flushed A reddish blush on the face.
 
Focus Groups Focus groups involve brining a specific group of people together for the specific purpose of informing others about important issues. Focus groups are usually structured around a set of issues or questions about which information is needed. A facilitator is used to guide the discussion.
Flushed A reddish blush on the face.
Focus Groups Focus groups involve brining a specific group of people together for the specific purpose of informing others about important issues. Focus groups are usually structured around a set of issues or questions about which information is needed. A facilitator is used to guide the discussion.
Forced commitment A legal process through which an individual with symptoms of severe mental illness is court-ordered into treatment in a hospital (inpatient) or in the community (outpatient).
Formative Experience An experience that happens when one is a child and has a profound impact on how one develops (especially regarding emotional growth) into an adult individual.
Fragile X syndrome Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. It occurs in about 1 in 3600 males and 1 in 4000-6000 females. Males with Fragile X syndrome are more likely to have significant intellectual disability, as well as some of the following physical or behavioral characteristics: enlarged ears, long face, attention deficit disorder, speech disturbances, hand biting, hand flapping, poor eye contact and unusual responses to sensory stimulation.
Freedom (In a self-determined service approach) The right of a service participant and his/her supporters to make the decisions about the direction of his/her life and the supports needed to achieve his/her goals, dreams, and aspirations.
Frequency The number of times something happens. A characteristic of a positive social relationship would include reasonably high frequency: seeing or interacting with each other often enough to establish a real relationship.
Friction The rubbing of one thing against another.
Friends Non-related people you know who you like and trust. These are people who are close to you, to whom you hold in special regard. Friends can be people you know from work, school, or other social groups or gatherings. Friends can be people you hang out with but it is important to remember that friendship is a reciprocal relationship. This means you are there to help and support them and he or she is available to help and support you. Sometimes family members can be considered friends as well.
Frostbite Injury or destruction of skin and underlying tissue. Most often that of the nose, ears, fingers, or toes. This results from prolonged exposure to freezing or subfreezing temperatures.
Full Guardianship With full guardianship, the guardian is allowed to make both personal and financial decisions on behalf of the ward.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) A full-time equivalent is 40 hours per week of scheduled hours of work by one or more employees. It is calculated by adding up the budgeted scheduled hours per week and dividing by 40 hours which will give you full-time equivalent positions.
Function The purpose something serves. What is does. In applied behavior analysis, the two basic functions of challenging behaviors are considered to be 1) to obtain something desirable; and 2) to avoid something that is undesirable.
Functional Academics Functional academics are the minimal levels of reading, math or other academic skills needed to function with independence in age-typical daily activities in one's community.
Functional Analysis Methods and strategies to further test a hypothesis statement generated through the functional assessment process. The functional analysis process is one in which the variables (events or circumstances) thought to promote or maintain the behavior are presented in a setting where events and environments can be carefully controlled and observed, in order to gather information about the effect of these variables on the behavior.
Functional Assessment Methods and strategies used in the person's daily environment that help us understand the antecedent(s) that predict challenging behaviors and the consequences that maintain challenging behaviors. Using a definition of the behavior that is observable and measurable, functional assessment seeks to discover the function the behavior serves (that is, what the person obtains or avoids) by looking at: 1) When, where, and with whom are the behaviors are most and least likely to occur; and 2) What consequences maintain these behaviors. The results of a functional assessment are used to develop a hypothesis statement, which in turn is used to develop a behavior support plan. The hypothesis statement can be further tested through functional analysis if needed.
Functional communication Communication skills that are useful in enabling individuals with disabilities to participate productively in interactions with other people. Functional communication includes the abilities to communicate for a variety of purposes relevant to the person's life experiences, use a variety of communication modes to accomplish these purposes effectively, and initiate, maintain, and terminate social interactions. Functional communication is communication that occurs in every day, "real life" or "natural" settings; results in real consequences; and includes "spontaneous" communication.
Functional equivalence Also see replacement behaviors. When two different behaviors serve the same function. Finding more appropriate behaviors that are functionally equivalent to challenging behaviors, and teaching and reinforcing these new behaviors, is one strategy for creating lasting change in a person's behavior. If the functionally equivalent behavior is connected to a function that is appropriate to the environment, teaching the more socially appropriate behavior may be the final goal of intervention. At other times, it is a step in the process for reducing challenging behaviors while other skills will continue to be taught.
Functional skills The skills a person needs to do the ordinary tasks of day to day life. Functional skills may be an ability to read, open a door without assistance, or cook a meal.
Funding Systems "Funding systems" is a term used to describe how federal, state and local monies are provided to pay for the services people with developmental disabilities receive. These public monies may be paid directly to an individual or family so they can buy what they need. Public monies can also be paid directly to an organization or individual for services they utilize has or will provide to person with developmental disabilities. Many people with developmental disabilities receive help that comes through both kinds of funding.
Fungal Related to fungus, which is a type of infection that is spread by direct contact with fungal spores on a surface such as public shower floor. An example of a fungal infection is athlete's foot.
Fungi Fungi (plural) or fungus (singular) are a diverse group of plantlike spore-forming organism that live by decomposing and absorbing organic material. They can be single or multi-celled organisms. They are neither plant nor animal. They include molds, mildews, smut, rusts, and yeasts. Some fungi are helpful; consider edible mushrooms or yeast used in bread making. Other fungi are harmful even deadly. Still some fungi cause diseases in humans, plants and animals.
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Gang activity A gang is a group of two or more people who commit illegal acts. Gang activity includes, but is not limited to wearing, using, or distributing, displaying, or selling any clothing, jewelry, emblem, or badge that evidences or promotes gang affiliation.
gastric juice an acidic fluid produced in the stomach that destroys bacteria and helps in the digestive process; also referred to as gastric acid.
Gastrointestinal Referring to the stomach and intestines.
Gastrostomy tube Is a feeding device inserted directly into a person's stomach through the abdominal wall. It is used to provide nutritional supplements when a person has difficulty swallowing.
Gatekeepers People or agencies that are between a person and other people or services. Sometimes gatekeepers are helpful because they provide a helpful screening service for the person, sometimes they are barriers to the person living his or her own life.
Gatekeeping or primary care case management A single practitioner in a managed care system, who is responsible for determining the quality and mix of services a recipient needs and receives.
Gay A term used to describe one's homosexual orientation. While gay applies is some contexts to all homosexual people, the term lesbian is used exclusively to describe gay women. Sometimes gay is used to refer only to men.
Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement Movement of the late 1960s and early to mid 1970s by radical lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people fighting for acceptance and pride in one's identity. Lesbians and gays were urged to "come out", publicly revealing their sexuality to family, friends and colleagues as a form of activism, and to counter shame with gay pride.
Gel Sanitizers Hand cleaner with alcohol that doesn't need water to work. These sanitizers kill the germs on hands. This product can be found in most supermarkets and drug stores.
General infection control procedures Daily procedures that direct support professionals should use to reduce the transfer of infectious agents. These procedures include hand washing, proper handling of potentially infections materials (raw foods, personal use items), cleaning of personal items and common areas, and the use of personal protective barriers when needed.
Gender A word used to identify the sex of a person, being male or female.
Generalization Being able to apply a skill or knowledge to a variety of situations. Many people with developmental disabilities have difficulty with generalization. It is best to support skills in the place they will use the skill.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) An anxiety disorder characterized by unwarranted yet continual worrying about everyday life and activities. People living with GAD may also have physical symptoms such as headaches and sleep disorders.
Generator A machine that produces electrical energy to run equipment.
Generic Not specific to people with disabilities. Resources available to all people regardless of ability such as parks, swimming classes at the local YMCA, or professionals like doctors/dentists.
Genetic(s) Characteristics, attributes, or health conditions that are a result of a persons' genes. Genes are passed from parents to children as part of the biological process. The study of how a person's characteristics and its consequences for health are passed on from parents to children.
Genetic Counseling The affecting of information and discussion about specific areas (such as the probability of a couple having a child or the possibility of developing a certain disease) that result from genetic and hereditary conditions.
Genetic disorders Genetic disorders are disorders of the genes or chromosomes. Genetic disorders can be passed down from one's parents. Sickle Cell Anemia and Cystic Fibrosis are examples of genetic disorders that are inherited, or passed down from one's parents. Genetic disorders can occur during conception or growth of a new baby. These types are not inherited. Down Syndrome is an example of a genetic disorder that is not inherited.
Genetics The study of how a person's characteristics and its consequences for health are passed on from parents to children.
Genitals A person's external sexual organs and the area of the body where the sexual organs are.
Gerontologist a professional who focuses on issues and needs of older adults and/or aging populations.
Gestational diabetes Occurs in someone that is pregnant who has not previously had diabetes. This is often a temporary state that is brought on by pregnancy.
Gestures Informal body movements that have meaning. An example is waving good-bye. These are usually culturally shared. Usually both men and women use the same or similar gestures.
Gingivitis
  • The mildest form of Periodontal Disease. This is a disease involving the gums, that can result in a person losing their teeth. The disease is caused by a bacteria that is in plaque, a substance that forms on your teeth.
  • Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease. It is usually not painful. Symptoms include red, swollen or soft gums that bleed easily. If left without treatment and care, more serious gum disease (periodontitis) can occur.

Giardisis An illness caused by a parasite called Giardia intestinalis. It lives in soil, food and water. It may also be on surfaces contaminated with waste. A person can become infected if he or she swallows the parasite. This infects the intestines. It can cause diarrhea and other symptoms.
Glaucoma A disease of the eye in which pressure builds within the eye and causes damage.
Glucose Sugar
Graduated guidance A the fading of physical prompts by gradually decreasing the amount of pressure during the procedure or the length of time the person is touched.
Graduated Risk Opportunities The opportunity to experience small amounts of risk in order to develop the skill and knowledge necessary to make better judgments about larger risks. For instance, many young adults go on group dates and supervised dates before they go on individual dates as a way to provide graduated risk taking.
Grooming Personal care activities that people perform to look their best and present a certain image to others.
Ground Rules A set of rules put together by a work team. These rules are meant to create shared norms around communication in the team.
Group dynamic The interaction between members of a group.
Group Home A home, usually in a community setting, which has 2 or more people with disabilities living in it and receiving services. These homes can range in size from 2 people to 15 people and can be publicly or privately owned and operated. Also see: congregate care setting.
Group Living Arrangement A residential service model where paid staff provide daily living support for 2 to 15 people and can be publicly or privately owned.
Guardian A legal relationship with another, where one person (the guardian) is legally appointed to overseeing the decisions of another, due to the other's inability to fully understand the risks and benefits of his or her decisions. Guardianship usually covers a broad range of areas such as finances, medical and behavioral interventions, and choices regarding health and daily living. The consequences of guardianship and authority of guardians does vary depending on the state in which guardianship is obtained. (i.e., what rights the person retains versus the areas the guardian has authority over). In addition, guardianship is a legal method for ensuring that people maintain the ability to express their rights and not as a vehicle for limiting or denying rights.
Guardianship The condition that exists when an individual is legally appointed to assist a person who is incapable of understanding the risks and benefits of a situation, in making most important decisions. Also see: conservatorship and guardian.
Gums Pink tissue that surrounds the teeth in the mouth.
Gynecologist A licensed health care practitioner who works with sexual health, and hygiene of women.
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Hallucination The perception or feeling, which can be visual, auditory,or sensory that a persons feels or knows to be real but is not based in reality. A hallucination is very real to the person experiencing it, but cannot not be seen or felt by others.
Hands Off Style of Management In this style of management, no one is in control" or nobody is making the decisions. The primary belief of this approach is that the manager needs to be uninvolved with supervisors and Direct Support staff. Everyone can and must set their own direction, make their own decisions, and get their work done on their own.
Hand fidgets Small items people can manipulate with their hands to help a person focus or relieve anxety.
Hate crimes A crime, usually violent, motivated by prejudice or intolerance toward a member of a gender, racial, religious, or social group.
Hazardous Materials Materials are designated as "hazardous materials" when they pose a significant risk to people or property. This could include things like used disposable gloves or a used needle in the direct support setting.
HBV Hepatitis B Virus.
Healers A person familiar with traditional methods of healing within a culture who may or may not have western medical training.
Health The general state of one's physical body and mind. Good health is often defined as the absence of illness or injury. Poor health, on the other hand, means the presence of a physical or psychological disease, illness, or malfunction of the person's physical or mental state.
Health Assessments a document outlining the health of an individual including a health history and results of physical exams and lab work.
Health Care Providers Physicians, dentists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental hygienists, physical/occupational/speech language therapists, behavioral health specialists, and all other health care specialists. A person who is trained and licensed to give health care. See also health professional.
Health Condition These are health concerns or characteristics of a person's health. For example, heart or lung problems would most likely be considered as health characteristics that put people at higher risk for pandemic flu.
Health Information: According to HIPAA, this is general information about a person's diagnosis, treatment plan, services received, and how services are paid for. This information can be exchanged orally, electronically, and in writing.
Health Insurance This kind of insurance is most often offered by employers to employees, the kind that covers medical bills, surgery, and hospital expenses.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) charge a single monthly or annual fee that covers all medical expenses, from routine and emergency care to hospitalization. Many also charge a small "co-payment," usually about -15 for each visit to the doctor.
Health Professionals People who are trained and certified to care for individuals' health related needs, examples include nurses, doctors, physical therapists, nutritionists, and paramedics.
Healthy Life The active process of making choices about diet, exercise, and they way you live your life to make you feel good, to have energy to do what you can to prevent illness and to live longer. The belief that an individual can and will influence their own health.
Healthy Lifestyles All the behaviors associated with living life and maintaining and improving your health.
Hearing impairment A condition where a person has difficulty hearing with their ears. The condition may range from mild (needing no hearing aid) to severe, where a person is not able to hear any sound.
Heart attack Damage to an area of heart muscle that is deprived of oxygen. This is usually due to blockage of a diseased coronary artery. It is typically accompanied by chest pain radiating down one or both arms. The severity of the attack varies with the extent and location of the damage.
Heart Disease a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect the heart, which includes diseases of the blood vessels (such as coronary artery disease), heart rhythm problems (such as arrhythmia), heart infections, and heart defects that a person is born with (such as congenital heart defects).
Heat Stroke A severe and dangerous condition cause by prolonged exposure to heat.
Hepatitis Hepatitis is disease of inflammation of the liver commonly caused by a virus. There are several types of hepatitis, the three most common in American are: Hepatitis A (HAV), Hepatitis B (HBV), and Hepatitis C (HCV). The severity of the disease increases from Hepatitis A, which does not cause liver damage and almost always goes away after several weeks, to Hepatitis B which often becomes chronic (keeps coming back) to Hepatitis C which can result in permanent damage to the liver and possibly liver cancer.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) A bloodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness and death. Some people who become infected will be lifelong carriers of the disease and have the potential to infect others even when the carrier no longer has symptoms.
Herbal A preparation made of natural substances that are found in herbs and plants. These preparations are thought to cure or prevent poor health by those that use them.
Herbalist A person who is knowledgeable about the curative and properties of herbs.
High Blood Pressure A health condition, also known as hypertension, caused when the pressure of blood flow against the artery is too strong.
High risk A category that describes those who might more easily catch a particular kind of illness.
HIPAA
  1. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that you maintain the privacy of each person's personal health information.
  2. This is a federal act that defines a person's right to privacy for health related information. Individual health information must be kept private. PHI is health information transmitted or maintained in any form or medium that: identifies or could be used to identify an individual; is created or received by a healthcare provider, health plan, employer or healthcare clearinghouse; and relates to the past, present or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; the provision of health care to an individual; or the past, present or future payment for the provision of healthcare to an individual.
  3. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that covered entities must follow, due the type of health information they use and how they use it. The law presents national standards to protect privacy and security of protected health information (PHI). It does this by defining boundaries to how people can share PHI verbally and in writing, as well as how they can share it electronically. If this law is not followed, civil and criminal punishments can be incurred. These punishments can include up to 10 years in prison and/or fines up to .5 million for a single agency.

Hippocampus The part of the brain associated with consolidating memories and emotional memory.
Hire Date Date an employee was hired or started their position.
HIV Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Holistic Approach Handling or dealing with a person as a whole, rather than focusing on only specific parts of the individual such as diagnosis, history, or needs. In the past, in human services and health care, people were seen and understood primarily through the lens of their diagnoses, deficiencies, or needs. This narrow and "deficiency-based" approach failed to consider the whole person in the context of his or her social network, preferences, and gifts, and resulted in narrow and ineffective support or interventions. Practitioners in most fields are now striving to understand and support people through consideration of all aspects of the individual's personalities and lives, including individual culture, beliefs, strengths, existing supports, and preferences.
Home and Community Based Services A federal funding stream through the Medicaid program. It is used to fund long-term services and supports outside of institutions.
Home and Community-Based Waiver (See Home and Community Based Services). When HCBS were developed, they included a waiver to the institutional regulations.
Homosexuality Sexual behavior or attraction between people of the same sex.
Hormonal Anything that is affected or caused by the stimulating action of natural, body-made substances.
Hormone Replacement Therapy A medical approach of artificially replacing female hormones during menopause.
Hormones A product of living cells that circulates in body fluid and that yields specific actions in the body at a distance from its origin
Hospice An approach to end of life care that is based on respect for the dying process. A team works together to provide the most comfortable care for the last six months of a person's life.
Host The living creature that illness-causing organisms or agents enter in order to multiply and spread.
HR System Data HR system data includes all the information an organization maintains on computers or hard copies that describe employee characteristics (age, gender, race/ethnicity), job status (hire date, current position, supervisor, termination date, reason for termination), wage and benefit information, schedule, and other information needed to administer the programs of the organization and respond to regulatory requirements. Often, HR system data is a rich source of information for computing retention basics, and useful for coordinating other assessments.
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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) A bloodborne pathogen that can lead to serious illness and death. Current research indicates that carriers are lifelong and can go for a long time without symptoms even when they are capable of infecting others. This virus is what cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
Human Right Rights that belong to all people. Examples are freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution.
Human Rights Conditions and privileges to which people are entitled to as the natural result of being human.
Human Rights Committee A group of people who come together within an agency to review situations in which a person's rights are being restricted and to ensure that all possible steps are being taken to remove and reduce restrictions.
Humility The attribute of accurately understanding one's strengths and weakness. Being able to share this with others without covering the weaknesses.
Huntington's Disease A genetic brain disorder that attacks the body's functioning and breaks the body down, eventually resulting in death.
Hurricane A tropical cyclone with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or greater that occurs especially in the western Atlantic, that is usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning, and that sometimes moves into temperate latitudes.
Hydrated Drinking the right amount of fluids, especially water.
Hydration drinking the right amount of fluids, especially water.
Hygiene Personal care activities that keep people clean and help to maintain overall well-being.
Hyperglycemia A condition where the body has too much sugar (glucose) in the blood stream. If high blood sugar occurs over a long period of time, it can cause organ damage.
Hyperthermia An abnormally high body temperature usually resulting from infection, overheating, certain drugs and medications, or head injury. This is also called heat stroke.
Hypoglycemia A condition where the body does not have enough sugar (glucose) in the blood stream.
Hypomania A state in bipolar disorder where a person experiences mild symptoms of mania. The person is generally oriented to reality. However, he or she may have increased energy, excessive feelings of well-being, rapid speech, and less need for sleep.
Hypothermia A severe and dangerous condition caused by prolonged exposure to cold that causes the body's temperature to go down to dangerous levels.
Hypothesis A theory that explains a set of facts and that can be further tested. A hypothesis statement regarding challenging behaviors is a summary statement that defines the problem behavior(s) and identifies: the events that reliably predict the occurrence and nonoccurrence of the behavior; the consequences that maintain the problem behavior; and the function of the behavior. A hypothesis statement would be the outcome of formal functional assessment procedures. While not every hypothesis statement needs to be developed through a formal functional assessment process, all behavior support plans should contain a well-thought-out hypothesis statement.
Hypothyroidism A condition that reduces the thyroid glands production of hormones that results in a loss of energy.
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Icebreakers Simple, fun activities that are done at the beginning of a meeting to help the participants to feel comfortable and at ease. An activity used by trainers or facilitators. This is meant to get an unfamiliar group warmed up and ready to work together.
Ice storm A storm in which falling rain freezes on contact.
ICF/ID Intermediate Care Facility for People with Intellectual Disabilities. These are institutions for people with ID.
Identification and tracking A way to identify and keep track of individuals and staff members during and after an emergency.
Idioms Statements that have meaning within a culture yet are not clear when directly translated into another language or to people of other cultures.
Idiot The word idiot originally comes from the Greek word 'idios,' meaning "a private person." It then came to refer to one who lacked professional knowledge, and later to one who was ignorant, or ill-informed. In the later writings of the Greeks, idiot was used to refer specifically to persons with perceived mental disabilities. In the early 1900s, the word idiot came to refer to a person with very severe intellectual disability who was considered "mentally equivalent" to a child of three years of age. Today, this word is offensive and not used by professionals.
Idiosyncratic Unique to an individual; non-standard. For example, unusual gestures used by an individual to indicate a specific meaning that is understood by only familiar communication partners.
IEP/IPP/IHP/ISP Individual Educational/Program/Habilitation/Service Plan. Individualized plans. A set of assessments, goals, strategies, and actions developed for a specific person receiving services. Traditionally the plan has been developed by a team of people involved in the person's life such as paid professionals, direct support professional, family members, and the individual receiving services. Goals focus on developing skills and achieving outcomes desired by the individual. In most states there are specific rules and regulations that require the plans and their specific content. Also see: support plans.
Ignorance The state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.
Immediate echolalia Repeating or echoing of a word, phrase, or verbal utterances immediately after hearing it.
Immune system A system within the human body that protects the body from diseases, injuries, and illnesses. It is a group of biological responses that help the body identify foreign invaders that may cause harm to the body. The body then responds by attacking these foreign invaders.
Immunity A person's resistance to disease or illness that makes it harder to get sick.
Immunization Methods of creating immunity to diseases through the introduction of substances that cause an immunity to develop in the body without making the person ill.
Immunized Is a way to make a person or animal resistant to a particular disease, usually through a vaccination or inoculation to the disease.
Impairment A disturbance affecting the normal performance of major body organs or parts. For example, a visual impairment is a disturbance of the normal performance of the eyes.
Impetigo A bacterial infection of the skin, most commonly found in skin that has been injured or has compromised health.
In-home services Services provided in a person's home.
Inaccessible accommodations Anything in the environment that creates a barrier to people who want to participate in activities there, such as movie theaters or planes without seats that are large enough for a person to sit comfortably in them, allergens in the air, poor sound systems that makes it difficult to hear, lack of translation of materials to other languages, no parking spaces available, etc.
Inactive ingredient Substances in a medication that are not known to have a medicinal effect.
Incest Sexual contact between persons who are closely related by blood or adoption and when this contact is illegal or forbidden by custom or law.
Incident/Accident Report Form A form usually provided by the support agency that is used to provide necessary details about an incident or accident.
Incidents Actions or events that are uncommon and may be important to document due to harm or the possibility that harm could come from the action, such as a person leaving a supervised area without telling anyone, a person having an unexpected seizure, or a person acting very upset when he or she is usually calm.
Incitement to Act Telling or asking someone else to act in an abusive manner or to take matters into their own hands. Causing someone to act in a certain way that is detrimental to themselves or others, through deliberate actions.
Inclusion See community inclusion.
Inclusive Accepting, open to and including people with different needs and backgrounds.
Inclusive relationships Relationships that include people from various backgrounds and experiences including relationships between people with and without developmental disabilities.
Incompetency The inability of a person to make or carry out important decisions regarding his or her affairs.
Incontinent Physically unable to control your bladder and/or bowel movements.
Independent Living Independent living means having the opportunity to control one's own life and make one's own decisions, perhaps even to fail, but to do so with access to the services and supports needed to live the life one chooses.
Independent Living Movement The Independent Living Movement was founded by people with disabilities. It is tied closely to other civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, including the African American civil rights movement, Women's Liberation, and Consumer Advocacy. People with disabilities felt that the problems that were keeping them and others from being active, included and productive members in society are more often due to social attitudes, discrimination, and architectural barriers than because of their actual physical or mental difficulties. The first Independent Living Center (ILC) was created in Berkeley, California the early 1970s. It soon became a model for other centers. Today there are hundreds of ILCs and satellite programs. They provide advocacy, peer counseling, assistance with publicly funded services, transportation, adaptive equipment (e.g., with buying or repairing wheelchairs), and accessible housing. They refer to other organizations or professionals and generally do whatever they can so that individuals with disabilities can live as independently as possible. All participants in the Independent Living Movement, whether through ILCs or as individuals, share a belief that people with disabilities must control their own lives and become a proud and organized force for removing the physical and social barriers to full inclusion of people with disabilities.
Indigestion pain or discomfort felt in the stomach because of difficulty digesting food.
Individualized Budget This refers to the amount of money that is made available for a person to spend on his or her participant-directed supports. It is an annual or other regular estimate of how much funding the person can receive through a Medicaid program such as Home and Community-Based Services. It is based on the person's assessed support needs. Rules for individualized budgets vary by state.
Individual Education Plan An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a written plan that outlines how a child's education and related needs will be met. It includes learning goals for the child and lists the services the school will provide for the child.
Individual emergency plan A plan that has detailed information for supporting an individual before, during, and after an emergency takes place. This plan should be made with the individual and his or her support team and should provide information specific to the individual. This includes: communication, staff roles and responsibilities, specialized supports, evacuation, transportation, shelter, and identification and tracking of the individual both during and after emergencies.
Individual Risk Risks that are specific to the person and include physical and mental status as well as personality, preferences, and other individual traits.
Individual Program Plan (IPP) See IEP/IPP/IHP/ISP
Individual Risk Management Plan Plans that are developed by a the person and his or her support team to help DSPs know what special risks the person may experience due to his or her specific needs and how to support the person in reducing risk.
Individual Safety Plan Plans that are developed by a the person and his or her support team to help DSPs know what special risks the person may experience due to his or her specific needs and how to support the person in reducing risk.
Individual Support Plan The Individual Support Plan (ISP) provides details about what is most important to an individual with a disability so that everyone involved in supporting that individual can focus on those areas. Developed through a Person Centered Planning Process (PCP), the ISP collects information concerning personal preferences, dreams and wishes, medical history/current medical concerns, and communication preferences
Individualized Budget This refers to the amount of money that is made available for a person to spend on his or her participant-directed supports.It is an annual or other regular estimate of how much funding the person can receive through a Medicaid program such as Home and Community-Based Services. It is based on the person's assessed support needs. Rules for individualized budgets vary by state.
Individually Identifiable Health Information: According to HIPAA, this is health information that is linked to a specific person, thereby identifying whose information it is. The information can be stand alone, where a person can be identified merely by the health information. For example, a treatment plan with an individual's name on it directly links a person to the information. Even if obvious identifiers are removed, a person can still be linked to health information. For example, if a treatment plan does not have a name on it but has a home telephone number of an individual; one could still determine whose information it is by making a telephone call and inquiring.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): This law was originally called the Education of all Handicapped Children Act of 1975. It stated that no school-aged child could be denied a "free appropriate public education." Students with disabilities must be taught in the "least restrictive environment." The law set up the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) as a way for parents and students to have more control over their own education.
Infection Control Efforts made to prevent and stop the spread of viruses and infections that can be transmitted from one person to another.
 
Infectious Agent A virus, bacterium, germ, fungus, or other infectious entity.
Infectious Disease A disease that is caused by an organism or agent that invades and lives off of a vulnerable living host and that can be passed from one host to another.
Infectious Disease Cycle The cycle of how infection is passed form one host to the next.
Infertility The inability to reproduce or to have children.
Influence The ability to persuade or change the choices or decisions of others. When something has an effect on something else.
Influenza or Flu A viral infection in which the lungs and breathing tract get inflamed. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle ache, and wanting to lie down.
Informed choice A choice that is based on knowledge and understanding of the possible consequences of making that choice without any coercion.
Informed Consent Making a choice with accurate and thorough knowledge of options and potential consequences.
Informed Disclosure Model A model of decision making for direct support professionals confronted with issues of confidentiality and privacy. Steps include: 1) be respectful of the person requesting the information, 2) seek additional information and consult with a supervisor when necessary, 3) consult with the person using supports, 4) encourage the person using supports to speak for him/herself, and 5) answer the request in a timely matter.
Inhalant This is a medication that needs to be inhaled into the lungs.
Inherited A person receives a characteristic from one's parent or ancestor.
Injuries of Unknown Origin Any injury that was not directly observed to happen and when the cause of the injury cannot be accurately reported by the person.
Insomnia The inability of sleeping.
Institution An organized residence in which people with disabilities and similar conditions live together. Institutions are most often part of state-run hospitals or nursing homes. They must comply with federal and state standards. People who live in institutions are often physically and socially isolated from the rest of the community. Institutions were once the only place where people with disabilities could receive publically funded support for daily living. They are not preferred options today.
Institutional bias The valuing of one culture more than others. This is expressed in the practices and policies of a community.
Insulin A hormone that is made in the pancreas. Insulin helps the body store and use sugar (glucose) for energy. Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. To treat diabetes, insulin is often injected into a person's body. Sometimes pills are all that is needed to stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin.
Intact Work Teams Operational, ongoing work teams of coworkers that report to a supervisor or manager. In many cases, the supervisor is the designated team leader. These teams work with management to plan, form, and correct their own work. Members join and leave the team on an ongoing basis.
Integrated/Integration: A setting where people of all abilities and backgrounds work, live, or play together. Although the concepts behind integration assumed that by being in the same place at the same time people would naturally begin to associate with each other, integration of environments does not always naturally lead to acceptance of each other. Also see community integration and community inclusion.
Integrity A person's ability to follow a strict set of moral and ethical rules.
Intellectual Disability Intellectual disability is a permanent condition of the brain. It is identified by three aspects. 1) difficulty in activities such as thinking, remembering and learning new things; 2) difficulty when compared with people of one's own age with expected activities such as self-care or communication; 3) onset of difficulties when in the developmental period (under the age 18, or 21). People with ID have more difficulty than average when learning. However, like all people, they do grow and learn. Correct support can enhance this capacity.
Intelligence quotient or I.Q. Intelligence quotient. The numerical measure of a person's intelligence as measured by standardized tests and administered by a trained professional, often used in definitions of mental retardation.
Intensity The strength or force of something.
Intentional Act of Aggression An act where someone means to hurt or frighten another individual.
Intentional communication Any deliberate act (motor or vocal, symbolic or non-symbolic) that is intended to transmit information and/or influence the communication partner.
Interdependent Objects, people, or ideas that overlap and depend on each other for success. In a simple example, people who grow food to earn money and people who eat food to stay alive are interdependent. Each needs the other.
Interdependence A relationship in which two or more people mutually benefit from a connection with each other and have mutual regard for and respect and trust in each other.
Interdisciplinary/Support Teams These teams assist in the development, implementation, and ongoing review of program and support plans for human service recipients. Team members have various roles within the employing entity and in the consumer's life.
Interest/Desire: Wanting something. A characteristic of a positive social relationship (i.e., wanting to be friends, wanting to spend time together).
Interference To get in the way of, or impede.
Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Mental Retardation (ICF/MR) A federal funding source for funding services to people with developmental disabilities, which was the first federal program targeted to monitor residential services to people with mental retardation. ICFs/MR are congregate care settings that range in size from 4 people living in a community home to several hundred living together (including units in state institutions). These programs require 24 hour supervision of the people who live in them and are guided by federal regulations.
Intermittent Support Intermittent support is part of a disability classification system. (Published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, AAIDD). It refers to people with milder intellectual disabilities. People have good ability to take care of themselves, with access to reliable support.
Internal Antecedents Antecedent that are internal to the person and usually can not be observed by someone else, such as physical pain or feeling sad.
Interpersonal therapy A form of therapy that helps people improve their relationships and feelings of self-worth.
Intimacy/intimate A depth of feelings for each other that goes beyond casual acquaintance. Knowing about each other, sharing with each other, and feeling close to each other.
Intimidating To make another person feel fearful or timid.
Intervention Plan A comprehensive written document that outlines the action steps you will take to reduce turnover and improve the retention of high quality direct support professionals including the identification of the people responsible for these steps and defined timelines for completion of each step.
Interviews Interviews gather information verbally from one or more respondents. Interviews can be highly structured, with a set group of questions that will be asked of all respondents in the same way or less structured, with the questions varying depending on the answers given to previous questions, or depending on the characteristics of the people being interviewed.
Intracranial With regard to the area inside the skull or the interior of the head
Intrinsic motivation A self-imposed internal motivating force that compels a person to do good work.
Invading Agent A virus, bacterium, fungus, or other infectious agent that makes its way into a living host.
IRMP Individual Risk Management Plan - A four-part process to assess an individual's risk potential.
Irrelevant Unimportant or unrelated to what is being explored, reviewed, discussed, or thought about. Not relevant.
Isolation Being kept away from people and other things. Isolation can be a specific term that is used for what is known as "time-out" practices where people were taken away from everyone and everything and left alone in a stark, barren room for a period of time. This use of "isolation" is typically not allowed anymore. Isolation can also simply be the experience of not being accepted by others or part of what is going on due to barriers and stigma. Isolation is experienced by many people with developmental disabilities.
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Jargon Words related to a certain field of interest and that are not meaningful to most people outside of that field.
Jaundice A condition common in infants where the liver is not processing bilirubin adequately. Bilirubin is a substance produced when red blood cells get old. It often causes skin to turn yellow. Jaundice is usually harmless, but can cause brain damage in some cases.
Jim Crow Laws Jim Crow Laws: state and local laws enacted in the Southern and border states of the United States and enforced between 1876 and 1965. They mandated "separate but equal" status for black or African Americans.
Job Aides Written or picture instructions or other on site tools that help remind the employee of how to implement specific procedures, or complete specific tasks. These are especially important with difficult or infrequently used yet important skills.
Job analysis A job analysis is an information gathering process that identifies essential job skills, knowledge and attitudes required of the person doing the job. It includes identification of essential functions, performance levels and physical capabilities as well as job expectations and requirements.
Job carving A strategy used by employers to look at all aspects of a job, work site, and work team. With this strategy, the supervisor and/or the work team consider what modifications to the job expectations, tasks, and responsibilities can be made to accommodate the different strengths of applicants for the position and still assure that all job requirements are met either by the direct support professional hired or by the work team at the job site.
Judicial Branch This governmental branch oversees the court systems. The Supreme Court heads the judicial branch, and rules whether or not something is permitted under the Constitution.
Juvenile Diabetes A disease caused by the body's abnormal insulin production that starts in childhood.
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Keratoconus Keratoconus is a progressive thinning of the cornea that can cause nearsightedness and moderate to severe distortion in a person's vision. It can also cause astigmatism. Eyeglasses can correct nearsightedness and mild astigmatism.
Ketoacidosis Occurs as the cells start to use alternative sources of fuel in order to keep functioning. Using these fuels (proteins and fats) results in the production of excess acids. The acids in the cells disturb the body's acid levels and can accumulate to the point of being life threatening.
Ketones Toxic acids produced by the body when the body is not making enough insulin.
Kin Relatives or family members. This is often culturally and personally defined, for example, some people consider family and kin to be only a small network of people closely related by blood, other people have a broader definition that includes people related by marriage or other affiliations,as well as by blood.
Kinship A family relationship or other close relationship in which people are closely bonded to each other
Knowledge Acquisition The act of learning new things.
Kwanzaa An African-American cultural holiday conceived and developed by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga, was first celebrated on December 26, 1966. Kwanzaa is traditionally celebrated from December 26 through January 1, with each day focused on Nguzo Saba, or the seven principles. Derived from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits", Kwanzaa is rooted in the first harvest celebrations practiced in various cultures in Africa. Kwanzaa seeks to enforce a connectedness to African cultural identity, provide a focal point for the gathering of African peoples, and to reflect upon the Nguzo Saba, or the seven principles, that have sustained Africans.
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Labia The outer parts of the female genitals consisting of two sets of folds that cover the urethra and vagina.
Language Language is a set of words or symbols used as a structured way to communicate and express one's thoughts. It has structure and is often unique to a culture, ethnic group or country. An example would be French" is spoken in France.
Lanyard A cord or necklace that is worn around the neck or can be attached to a shoe or other article of clothing. It is typically used to attach a set of keys or identification.
Laser Treatments A method of hair removal. Laser treatments can only be done by a trained professional and can be expensive. Laser treatments do not last long initially, but after a few treatments the effects can last up to six months. There are side effects with laser treatments, so this method should be thoroughly examined as an option before pursuing.
Late Entry An item that is documented much after an event or situation occurred; a way to identify documentation that occurred in an untimely manner.
Law A rule of conduct or action or a binding custom or practice of a community that is prescribed and recognized as binding by a controlling authority (e.g., police, judges) - and is enforceable.
Lead Poisoning A chemical element present in a person's body at high levels making the person ill.
Leak Proof A container that prohibits seepage or the release of substance in any way.
Learned helplessness An understanding that one cannot control one's environment based on experience that efforts to exert control are ineffective.
Learner Goals or Objectives Descriptions of what a learner should know and understand after completing a learning experiences, usually written in objective and measurable statements.
Learning Disabilities An inability or difficulty in achieving specific skills such as reading, writing or mathematics. This may mean someone has difficulty using or remembering what they have learned because their attention span is too short or they have difficulty in remembering or processing the information.
Learning Objectives Describe what the direct support professional knows and is able to demonstrate on the job in clear, observable and measurable terms after participating in training.
Least Restrictive Environment A clause in Individual's with Disabilities Education Act which mandates that children receive education in the least restrictive settings possible.
Legal representative Someone who is appointed by law to provide consent for another, or someone hired to represent the person in court. Also see guardian, conservator, power of attorney, and surrogate decision maker.
Legal Right to Privacy The principle that individuals have a right to maintain a personal identity that is different and separate from one's public identity.
Legal Rights Conditions and privileges accorded to people by law.
Legally defensible Questions are developed to assure all candidates are treated fairly and are not discriminated against due to age, religion, ethnic origin, etc.
Legislation The exercise of making laws that can be enforced because they were promulgated or enacted by an official body of power within a country, state, or other entity (e.g., city council, state legislature, Congress).
Legislative Branch The branch of the government that is responsible for making laws in Congress. The two houses of Congress are the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome This is a difficult form of epilepsy to treat. It most often appears between the second and sixth year of life. It is characterized by frequent and different seizure types. It is often accompanied by a developmental delay, psychological, and behavioral problems.
Lens In anatomy, the crystalline lens is a transparent elastic structure behind the iris, which focuses light onto the retina of the eye. It helps the eye change to focus on objects at various distances.
Lesbian A woman who is romantically and sexually attracted only to other women.
Leukoplakia Leukoplakia is a whitish patch that can form on the inside of the mouth, gums and on the tongue. There are a number of reasons that Leukoplakia can occur. If symptoms of leukoplakia occur the person should seek medical attention, as it can potentially progress to cancer.
Life Cycle Stages Developmental stages that all families experience over the course of a lifetime. These stages are determined by the human development of family members, as well as social expectations and rituals. Rites of passage, such as birthdays, weddings, and funerals tend to reinforce and draw attention to these life cycle stages.
Life Expectancy the average number of years a person is expected to live at a specific age. For example, the life expectancy of a person born in 2006 is 77 years. The life expectancy of a person currently age 65 is another 15 years.
Lifelong learning A concept that learning is important and possible at all stages of life and for all people.
Lifestyle The way in which one chooses to live ones life, including where and when one works, lives, and plays.
Limited Guardianship A limited guardianship that allows the guardian to make decisions in certain areas authorized by the Court. The ward retains the right to make decisions in all other areas. Examples might include areas of decision-making such as where to live, what services s/he receives or medical treatment.
Limited Support Limited support is part of a disability classification system. (Published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, AAIDD). It refers to people who receive support rarely. This may be on a time limited basis. It may be for specific activities. For example people may receive 10 hours of support a week. Activities may include things like shopping, money management, meal planning, and cooking skills.
Linguistic Consisting of or related to language.
Literacy The ability to read.
Litigation A lawsuit against the employer in criminal or civil court.
Living will This document indicates a person's preferences for end-of-life care. This document does not have to be followed by medical personnel.
Long term services and supports Ongoing, long-term supervision or assistance given to a person with disabilities to help the individual complete daily living activities (e.g., eating, dressing, bathing, communicating, keeping a job, taking prescribed medications), learn new skills, maintain a general sense of safety and well-being, or otherwise pursue a normal daily life rhythm. Such assistance typically excludes medical interventions due to injury or illness.
Long-term Care Ombudsman This is a mandated advocacy organization. It is for people who live in long-term care. This includes places like nursing homes, group homes, and board and care. People who feel their civil, legal, or resident rights have been violated can contact the ombudsman for support. Others who have concerns about quality of care in LTC facilities may also report to an ombudsman. Some events must be reported to an ombudsman as determined by state law such as death and serious injuries.
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol This is considered bad" cholesterol. It means a person has low-density lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are a combination of fats (lipids) and proteins in the blood responsible for carrying cholesterol from the liver to the tissues in the body.
Lozenges This is a medication meant to be fully dissolved in the mouth. Usually the medication is meant to affect the tissues in the mouth and the throat.
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Macro culture The overall shared beliefs, customs, traditions, behaviors, and experiences of a large group and groups with the most influence within the group. This is often also known as the dominant culture.
Macrosomia A condition known as big baby syndrome. It is also called LGA (large for gestational age) meaning the baby is bigger than average. A baby with Macrosomia is in the 90th percentile for gestational age.
Macular Degeneration Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a medical condition. It usually affects older adults. It results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field. This is caused by damage to the retina. The condition occurs in "dry" and "wet" forms. It is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults over the age of 50 years. This condition can make it difficult to read or recognize faces. Sometimes enough peripheral vision remains to allow for other activities of daily life.
Maintenance Being able to perform a skill or task, over time, without additional teaching.
Maintenance To maintain or keep up.
Major Depression A mental disorder that interferes with a person's ability to participate in daily life. Symptoms include intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and/or worthlessness that do not go away. Signs of major depression include losing interest in things that were important, changes in eating and sleeping habits, problems concentrating, and thoughts of suicide.
Major Depressive Disorder A form of depression. It generally occurs for a specific period of time and may occur in episodes throughout a person's lifetime. Effects are significant. These effects can impair a person's ability to function and/or cause significant distress.
Male menopause This term is sometimes used to describe decreasing testosterone hormone levels in men who are aging. Female menopause is a very different situation, because sex hormone changes in men tend to occur more gradually.
Maltreatment An act, behavior or failure to act of a family member or professional care provider that causes harm or is considered inhumane treatment of a vulnerable child or adult. Often this is referred to as abuse, neglect, verbal abuse, exploitation, caretaker misconduct, sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation.
Mammogram An x-ray of the breast used to detect breast cancer.
Managed care Various strategies that seek to maximize the value of services by controlling their cost and use, promoting their quality and measure performance to ensure cost effectiveness.
Managed care intermediary The organization in a managed care system which links the payer and the service providers or recipients.
Managed Care Organization (MCO) The risk-bearing entity which receives a fixed payment to assure that a set of recipients get all the services they need as specified in the managed care plan; it does not directly provide any services.
Managed Risk Situations that include risks that are well understood and are within limits.
Managed Service Organization (MSO) Like a Managed Care Organization (see definition) except that it is a network of service provider organizations, and does directly provide services.
Mandate Something that is mandatory or required by law.
Mandated Reporting Reporting any act that is suspected to be potential abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a person who is vulnerable (a child or adult with special needs) that is required by law because of the professional role of the reporter. In many states direct support professionals are mandated reporters.
Mania A state in bipolar disorder where a person experiences a great increase in activity and energy. The person becomes disconnected from reality and there are consequences for actions. He or she may over spend, have reckless sexual contact, and engage in excessive use of drugs. The person may be unable to sleep for more than a few minutes at time or at all. He or she may have extreme feelings of well-being. A complete loss of contact with reality can occur and the person may become psychotic.
MAPS used to be an acronym but now is simply known as MAPS. It is a person-centered planning method developed for people at risk for social isolation. It was developed by John O'Brien, Marsha Forest, Jack Pearpoint, Judith Snow, and David Hasbury.
Massage therapists A trained person who uses massage techniques to cure others or improve health.
Masturbation Touching and stimulating of the genitals for sexual pleasure.
Mechanical Restraint Any form of restraint used in the management of challenging behaviors in which the person can be left alone and he or she remains restrained (such as tying someone's arms to a bed or chair, use of straight jackets, helmets, bed rails, etc.). Mechanical restraints used for the purpose of controlling behaviors are typically discouraged and should never be used in the absence of a carefully developed and reviewed behavior support plan, only when the challenging behaviors are extremely serious and all alternatives have been tried and failed, and only by people who are trained in the proper and safe use of such restraints. The use of mechanical restraints should be frequently reviewed and the person should be supported in other ways to reduce the need for restraint. The use of mechanical supports (splints, helmets, straps, etc.) for the purpose of increasing a person's freedom, independence, and health in a way where the person has free choice to use the mechanical support, would usually not be considered restraint.
Medical or Clinical Records Written documents that describe in detail an individual's medical, psychiatric or other related conditions and progress related to such conditions. Such records often contain details of family history and other highly personal and private information.
Medical Model Emerging from the growing knowledge about the human body during the Renaissance period, the Medical Model views disabilities as a human weakness or "medical misfortune." Services were often geared toward returning the person to "health" or making him or her more "normal."
Medical Practice Any type of care that includes methods of healing or preventing injury or illness.
Medical Restraint See Psychotropic.
Medically Fragile A person who has health conditions that make him or her more susceptible to illness and serious medical complications and therefore, typical activities or actions may be more of a risk to the person than they would be to someone without these medical issues.
Medicare and Medicaid Federally subsidized health care plans that were established by Congress in the 1960s to help provide health care for citizens 65 and over, and those least able to afford medical insurance on their own. Medicare provides about 40 percent of the cost of acute care for elderly patients. Medicaid programs provide medical assistance to the poor and unemployed who meet the eligibility requirements, which vary greatly from state to state, while benefits for Medicare patients are mandated by the federal government. (definition from http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/texts/guide/toc/all.html ) 10-14-2002
Medicare Is a commonly used federal entitlement program in the United States. It is provided to all people that receive Social Security Disability Insurance. Medicare is four part health program that provides insurance coverage. Part A provide hospital and skilled nursing coverage. Part B provides outpatient and medical equipment coverage. Part C provides users the option to select their provider and Part D provides prescription drug coverage.
Medicaid Is a needs-based medical assistance program in the United States. It provides medical coverage for people with little income and few resources. People that qualify for Supplemental Security Income also qualify for Medicaid. It is a joint federal and state program.
Medication Administration Record (MAR) A record kept to help people track when medications were taken.
melatonin a hormone produced in the body that regulates the sleep-wake cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering body temperature.
Membership When a person is an active participant in an ongoing group such as: church choir, Kiwani's organization, basketball team, book club, etc.
Memory book A tool such as a notebook, palm pilot, or other electronic device used to record important information It is supposed to serve the role of memory for a person with a brain injury.
Meningitis Inflammation in the brain area typically caused by a bacterial infection or a virus
Menopause The time in a woman's life when menstruation ceases and fertility is ending.
Menses A woman's menstruation, commonly called her "period."
Menstrual Relating to the care of blood that is passed as part of a woman's reproductive cycle (menstruation).
Menstruation
  • A woman's body discharges bloody matter each moth during the years of fertility.
  • A normal function of the reproductive cycle in women. During the monthly cycle a lining of blood and tissue develops on the inside of the uterus to supply energy to a fertilized egg. If no egg is fertilized this lining sheds in the form of menstrual bleeding through the vagina.

Mental Health The well being of a person's mind, thoughts, and emotional state.
Mental Health Professional A person licensed or certified to provide mental health services. This is include includes psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, psychiatric nurses, peer counselors, and mental health counselors.
Mental Illness A condition of the mind or brain that seriously affects a person's thoughts, feelings and behavior. These conditions can affect a person’s ability to function on a daily basis. They may include extreme moods or fluctuations. Onset can occur at any point in life, depending on the condition. They vary in intensity. Most mental illnesses respond to treatment and lifestyle changes. However, they are chronic conditions that may have to be managed indefinitely once they occur. Mental health disorders are extremely common and often undiagnosed.
Mental Retardation This term is no longer used. Please see: Intellectual Disability.
Mental or Intellectual Well-Being A state of feeling productive, adapting to change and coping with things that go wrong. It is being able to think, use your memory and creativity. It is about sharing ideas, dealing with others and learning.
Metabolic Chemical and biological processes that are always taking place in the body and are necessary for life.
Metabolic Disorders Disorders that interfere with the body's ability to use, produce, or store energy.
Metabolism Processes in the body that are necessary for maintaining life. An example of a metabolic process is digestion.
Mentoring Occurs when an experienced direct support professional (DSP), regardless of age or current job function, helps someone with less direct support knowledge and skill to reflect on current practices, culture and values, and to expand, refine and build new skills.
Met expectations One reason new staff leave their jobs is because they are not what they expected. A new hire survey can be used to measure the extent to which the job matches the expectations new employees had when they were hired.
Microaggressions Behaviors or statements that may appear to be benign or not very harmful but actually disparage or demean people based on traits they cannot control. (For example, gender, age, skin color or other physical or mental attributes.) Examples include: no access to a building for people who use wheelchairs; using the words “retarded” or “need to take your meds” to belittle yourself or someone else; a store clerk following and closely observing a person of color as if they might steal.
Micro culture The overall shared beliefs, customs, traditions, behaviors, and experiences of a small group that is different than the macro culture.
Mild Intellectual Disability or Mild Mental Retardation) A term applied to individuals who have I.Q. score from about 54 to 70, substantial difficulties in at least 2 areas of adaptive behavior, with those difficulties first evident in developmental period, that is before adulthood. Males are more likely to be identified with mild intellectual disability than are females. Children are identified much more often than adults.
Minimum Necessary Requirement: The HIPAA standard under the Privacy Rule that requires authorized people sharing protected health information (PHI) with other authorized people to limit their communications to only the information needed to get the work done or to meet the specific information specified in the consent form or business associate agreement. In other words, limit the information exchange to the minimum necessary.
Minority Model During the human rights struggles of the 1960's and 1970's, the Minority Model emerged which thought that the challenges people with disabilities faced were due in part to discrimination and prejudices. Its main focus is to help people identify their goals and provide resources to help them overcome barriers to those goals.
Misrepresented Writing something that does not accurately portray what has happened.
Mission, Vision, and Values The guiding principles of an organization. The mission is a statement of the organizations purpose. The vision is an image or picture of the future that will exist if the mission is successful. The values are the underlying or supportive perspectives that help guide daily decisions so that the mission and vision are possible.
Mitigate (in relation to emergency preparedness): To make a situation more safe and lessening the danger by actions taken before the emergency happens.
Mitigation (in relation to emergency preparedness): The process and activities associated with reducing danger in emergency situations.
Mnemonic devices These are learning aids that help with memory and recall. These can be phrases, rhymes, strings of letters or number, or symbols. An example would be a picture of a snake in the shape of an "S" to help the learner remember the sound "S" makes.
Mobility The capacity to move.
Modeling Demonstrating how to do something. Modeling is often combined with verbal or written instructions to ensure important steps are understood.
Use of communication strategies by the non-disabled communication partner, to demonstrate the use of those strategies in ongoing communication to the person with disabilities. In particular, it is important to model "special" forms of communication like communication boards and voice output devices, as well as signs and gestures.
Moderate Intellectual Disability A classification applied to people with an I.Q. score of about 40 to 54. About .2% to .25% of all people have moderate intellectual disability. People with moderate intellectual disabilities usually have substantial adaptive behavior problems in several areas. Most are first diagnosed in the preschool years. Although complete independence is not usually achieved, people with moderate intellectual disability often learn important self-care, domestic, work and other skills.
Molestation Any act of sexual harassment or touching that is unwanted by an individual or is forbidden because of the nature of the relationship or characteristics of the individuals involved (e.g., sexual contact between a child and an adult even if the child is willing).
Modification This usually means a change in what is being taught. It can also be a change to what is expected from a student. It reduces the size and difficulty of a student's workload. An example might be giving a student more time to turn in a project than the rest of the students in class.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) A type of antidepressant medication used to treat depression. MAOI's are powerful drugs which should be used as a last resort after other medications or treatments have been tried unsuccessfully.
Monogamous Having one mate or romantic relationship at a time.
Moral Model A dominant belief in early Western history that believed disabilities were a "special gift" or "punishment" from God. Depending upon how one viewed the disability, one could either suffer persecution and harm or be given kindness and charity.
Moron The word moron comes from the Greek moros, meaning "stupid." The term was used to refer more to foolish rather than ignorant behavior. In the early 1900s, the word moron was used to categorize persons with mild intellectual disability who were considered "mentally equivalent" as an adult to a child between 8 and 12 years of age. Today, this word is offensive and not used by professionals.
Morse code A way of sending information over telegraphic lines. Invented by Samuel Morse in the 1890's, it is a standardized sequences of short and long elements often called "dits" and "dahs". These "dits" and "dahs" represent letters, numerals, punctuation and special characters of the alphabet.
Motivation This is that inner excitement and energy that drives employees to do well in their job, accomplish great things, and go beyond what is expected.
Movement Disorders These are common side effects of antipsychotic medication. These disorders can be mildly annoying or they may be very disturbing. These effects usually show up early on in treatment. The most common of these movement disorders are Akinesia, Dystonia, Akathesia, Dyskinesia and Tardive Dyskinesia.
Muscle spasticity A condition in which a muscle is hyperactive; it becomes rigid and maintains a muscle contraction or spasm.
Musculoskeletal System the organ system made up of bones and muscles that provide form, support, stability, and movement to the human body.
Mutually voluntary All people involved have agreed to participate.
Myth a commonly held belief that has been proven not to be true.
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The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) This national organization is a coalition of organizations that works to improve the quality of human service support by making the direct support workforce stronger.The mission of the NADSP is to promote the development of a highly competent human services workforce which supports individuals in achieving their life goals."
Narcissistic Personality Disorder A mental health disorder characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance and need for recognition and admiration. A person living with this disorder may look down on others, but often have a fragile self-esteem.
National Alliance for Direct Support Professional Code of Ethics See code of ethics for direct support professionals.
National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals The NADSP is a voluntary coalition of organizations and individuals from the fields of mental health, developmental disabilities, child welfare, education, and other human services, whose mission is to promote the development of a highly competent human services workforce which supports individuals in achieving their life goals. For more information go to the website: http://rtc.umn.edu/dsp/projects/nadsp.html
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) A national advocacy organization with state and local chapters that provides advocacy, support, training, and education on mental illness.
Natural disasters and weather related emergencies Emergencies that come from different types of weather. Earthquakes and floods are examples of natural disasters.
Naturally-occurring gestures The use of hand movements and body movements (including facial expressions) by many communicators, including communicators with and without disabilities. Naturally-occurring gestures are NOT universal, but are widely understood within a culture. Naturally-occurring gestures are often used "unconsciously" to emphasize or clarify a message.
Natural Supports Supports which naturally occur in all people's lives. Some examples include, a friend who helps paint your house, a neighbor who picks up your mail when you are out of town, a coworker who picks up your paycheck when you are sick, the family member who introduces you to a potential new employer.
Needs Assessment Structured review of a situation in which the gap between what is available and what is necessary to accomplish something is identified.
Negative In the context of understanding the consequences to behavior (reinforcement and punishment), negative means removing something from the environment and can apply to both the types of consequences. In common language, it means something bad or undesirable. Be careful not to confuse the two definitions.
Negative Reinforcement Taking something out the environment that makes it more likely that a behavior will occur, such as turning off the radio when someone asks.
Neglect The failure to provide goods or care that is needed for a person's physical and/or mental health to the extent that his or her well-being is impaired or threatened.
This term is one that is commonly defined very specifically by state laws or regulations. You must be familiar with your state definitions. States that have specifically provided links to definitions or information regarding this term through special CDS customizations content include: PA, KS, MN.
Nervous System The body system that includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that send and receive messages throughout the body.
Network A group whose members are connected at various points and that together create a defined whole that has more strength, resources, and abilities than any one member alone.

In managed care: A group of service providers assembled by an Managed Care Organization or who come together independently to increase their competitiveness and to assure a clientele. The providers share responsibility for the network's smooth performance. Often service recipients are limited to using providers in the network, or have to pay additional costs to use an out-of-network provider.


Networking A process in which social contacts are identified for the purpose of gathering information and creating opportunities. Networking can be very helpful in job hunting, dating, and finding companions with similar interests. Networking can also be a general approach and ongoing process for getting to know the resources and people who might be helpful in various situations. For example, a professional job developer would be wise to see every meeting with a potential employer or community member as a networking" opportunity.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome This is a life-threatening syndrome. It can occur after taking an antipsychotic. Symptoms include sudden high fever and sweating. They also include changes in blood pressure and muscle stiffness. A person needs immediate medical attention if this syndrome is suspected.
Neurological Having to do with the central nervous system. The central nervous system includes the brain, the spinal cord, and nerves.
Neurologist A doctor who specializes in brain and nervous system disorders.
Neurological disorder A disorder that affects the central and/or peripheral nervous system. This includes nerve roots, the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscles.
Neurologist A doctor who specializes in brain and nervous system disorders.
Neuropsychologist A type of psychologist that is specifically trained to assess cognitive or thinking ability.
Neurosurgeon A doctor that specializes in operations focusing on the brain and central nervous system.
Neurotypical Have a normally functioning brain in terms of the way in which information is processed. A term used within the autism community to refer to people whose neurological development is normal.
Noncompliance This occurs when a person chooses not to take medication and/or participate in treatment as prescribed by a medical practitioner.
Non-controlled drugs Drugs that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) do not monitor or track due to a low likelihood of abuse or risk to the user.
Non-directive Spoken input designed to give or share information with the communication partner, rather than to direct his or her behavior.
Non-intentional communication Any unconscious or involuntary act (motor or vocal, symbolic or non-symbolic) that serves to communicate an individual's internal state or meaning to another person, even though the individual is not aware of the act and does not anticipate that it will have an effect on the other person.
Non-speaking A term used to describe individuals who do not use speech as a communication mode, either because they cannot produce speech, sustain speech, or have speech that is so unintelligible that they cannot be understood by even familiar communication partners.
Non-verbal communication A process of communication that uses wordless messages. Messages are instead communicated through gesture; body language or posture; facial expression and eye contact.
Nonspecific: Something that may be produced by a variety of conditions. Challenging behaviors are not categorically the result of any specific cause but rather can be produced by a variety of conditions
Non-speech Ways of communicating that do not use speech, includes sign language, facial expression, eye gaze, gestures, communication devices, picture boards, and other approaches. Sometimes referred to as "nonverbal" communication.
Non-standard Unusual gestures used by an individual to indicate a specific meaning that is understood by only familiar communication partners.
Non-Standardized surveys Instruments that have not been tested for reliability or validity or for which norms have not been established.
Non-symbolic communication Communication in which the message is conveyed solely through direct physical action, indicative gestures, facial expression, and/or vocal intonation other than speech.
Non-verbal Communication Any way of communicating from one individual to the other that does not include speech. Examples: hand gestures, facial expressions.
Norepinephrine A hormone that works with adrenaline to create the "flight or fight" response to stress. One of three brain chemicals believed to be linked to depression when imbalanced. The others are serotonin and dopamine.
Normalization A social commitment; a process to assist people with disabilities to experience patterns of life and conditions of everyday living that are as close as possible to the regular circumstances and ways of life of society.
Norms A standardized test will have information about what the scores or answers given by typical respondents. For example, a standardized job satisfaction survey may provide information about how direct support professionals in supports for persons with disabilities in the United States typically reply to the survey items.
Nourishment Any substance that is necessary to support the life and growth of an individual, including a variety of sustaining foods and water.
Nurse practitioners or nurse midwives Nurses with specialized degrees that allow them to practice more advanced medicine than a traditional RN, including prescribing some medications.
Nutritional Supplement Vitamins, minerals, and other substances, like protein or fiber, that people take to ensure good balance in their daily diet.
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Obesity Excessively overweight by 20% or more of a person's recommended body weight.
Objective Facts that are not affected by personal bias or personal feelings.
Obligation Something owed or agreed to.
Observed When a person sees something occur.
Observation What a person sees when they watch something occurs. A way to watch what is going on in the environment.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) An anxiety disorder. People living with OCD experience upsetting thoughts or obsessions and cope with these thoughts by performing rituals or compulsions.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) A federal agency under the Department of Labor that was created in 1971 to ensure safe and healthful workplaces in America. http://www.osha.gov/
Occupational therapist Therapist that are knowledgeable about finding ways for people with disabilities to perform basic activities of daily living.

A licensed professionals who support people with injuries or disabilities to improve their ability to perform necessary tasks in school, living, and job settings.


Occupational Therapy A treatment using specific adaptations, assistive devices, and lifestyle adaptations. It is designed to help a person perform activities of daily living as independently as possible. Therapeutic activities include improving the ability to walk, eat, drink, dress, and other personal cares or activities. In the beginning, consultations should be with a trained professional called an occupational therapist.
Ombudsman This is a person designated to investigate complaints and suggest solutions. Long-term care ombudsman's offices were designated by the federal government in the US. Certain acts and situations must be reported to this office if a person lives in a long term care facility. http://www.ltcombudsman.org/
Olmstead Decision An anti-discrimination lawsuit (Olmstead v. L.C., 1999) based on the ADA which was won by two women with disabilities in Georgia. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that using institutional care in place of community based supports for people who could benefit from community based supports was a discriminatory practice. This lawsuit could have a long-reaching impact on the service delivery system and could potentially call into question our standard practice of institutionalizing or re-institutionalizing people with challenging behaviors who could benefit from community services. To learn more about Olmstead and the ADA, go to a site maintained by the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/olmintro.htm
Omission NA
Omission The act of not doing important actions, or the failure to say or record an important item. The failure to act or document risks to service participant's health, safety, or well-being is considered a type of neglect.
On the Job Assessment An evaluation of a person's ability to perform his or her work related responsibilities and duties. Assessment may be very focused (e.g., testing a person's ability to perform specific tasks as part of a performance review) or more general, for example, a thorough assessment identifying the person's strengths (tasks or performance that they are good at, assets), weaknesses (tasks or performance that the person may need more training and direction in, deficits), and preferences, (task that the person enjoys and would like to do more of or learn more about) in the workplace, in general, as part of exploring potential employment options.
Oncologists A doctor who specializes in cancer treatments.
Open-ended questions These are questions that can not be answered with a simple yes" or no" response. They require the person to explain, discuss or give more detail in order to answer the questions being asked.
Operational Definition An operational definition is used when what you want to define cannot be seen. Operational definitions are agreed upon by people. They tell us what we should look for, when we are trying to describe the things we cannot see. For example, an intellectual disability is something we cannot see. Since it cannot be seen, professionals use tests. The tests look at skills in reasoning, remembering, and doing certain things. The results of the tests tell us if peoples' skills fall into a category or not. Operational definitions help make sure that classifications are reliable.
Opportunity A situation or circumstance that allows a person to do something positive or enriching for him/herself.
Opthamologist A physician who specializes in the diagnostic and treatment of all conditions relation to the eyes.
Optometrist A professional who specializes in eye care and vision.
Oral Of or relating to the mouth.
Oral Medication This is medication taken through the mouth that is generally a liquid or pill and that is meant to be absorbed in the digestive system.
Oral penetration A sex act involving insertion of the penis into the mouth area.
Oral Piercing Pierced areas of the mouth, such as a pierced tongue, pierced lip, etc.
Originators The people who started something.
Orthodontist A dental surgeon who specializes in straightening teeth and oral surgery.
Orthopedic surgery Surgery involving the bones or muscles.
Orthotic A support, brace, splint, or other device used externally to support or align a body part.
Osteoarthritis A type of arthritis that involves a breakdown of joint cartilage, the part of the joint that cushions the ends of bones. When cartilage wears away, bones rub together causing pain and loss of movement.
Osteoporosis a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue; a common condition among older adults which typically is a result of hormonal changes or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.
Outcome The actual achievement of something (as opposed to the process of trying to achieve it). Outcome-based support services takes the emphasis off the particular method or process of trying to achieve goals, and measures success in the achievement of actual benefits to the person being supported.
Outside (External) Agencies Agencies that are not connected to the agency that provides supports, such as Adult or Child Protection agencies.
Over-the-counter medication. A medication that is purchased without prescription.
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Paid Service Relationships Relationships in which it is one person's paid job to interact with another. These relationships typically have a very specific purpose, roles, and boundaries. Because of the defined purpose of the relationship, it is not necessarily important that the people involved in these relationships share the same values, beliefs, or interests. Despite the generally limited commitment to each other, people who develop relationships with paid service providers experience benefits. For example, a regular customer at a restaurant, bar, or store, can often expect to be treated better than a new customer.
Paid Staff People who are hired to provide specific types of support to a person(s) with a disability. Direct Support Professionals are always considered paid staff.
Pairing In behavioral support, this is the process of combining primary reinforcers with events or objects that could be secondary reinforcers, for the purpose of establishing the event or object as a reinforcer. For example, combining a sip of juice (assuming the person is reinforced by the juice) with a gentle touch on the hand, in the hopes that the gentle touch will eventually become an effective reinforcer for the person.
Palliative care To help relieve pain and symptoms without curing the illness. Pain medications or extra oxygen could be used to make a person more comfortable.
Panic Disorder An anxiety disorder characterized by panic attacks. Panic attacks consist of an overwhelming fear or terror that is accompanied by physical symptoms such as sweating, dizziness, chest pain, and a racing heartbeat. Panic disorder is a chronic, debilitating condition that can have a devastating impact on a person's family, work, and social life.
Pandemic Infectious disease that spreads across large amounts of people in a geographic region or regions.
Pap Smear A test of the woman's cervix to check for cancer.
Paradigm A way of viewing things. A filter of beliefs through which we assess, understand, organized, and make judgments about things that happen or other information. In services to people with developmental disabilities our services paradigms in this century have moved from the "care model" where the emphasis was on daily care, to the "medical model" where the emphasis is on "fixing" people, to the current understanding of the "community support model", where the emphasis is on providing needed resources and supports to help people achieve a satisfactory life in communities they choose.
Paranoia Exaggerated suspiciousness. Irrational or delusional thoughts of fear or anxiousness.
Paraphrasing Is telling the speaker in your own words the main points of what was said. This clarifies the message. The speaker may agree or disagree with how his or her words have been interpreted, and may use the opportunity to further express the idea. This ensures that information has been received and understood. Some examples of paraphrasing may begin, Do you mean...?" or What I hear you saying is..."
Paraprofessional/s Another name for direct support professional. Most often used to describe people in direct service roles in educational settings.
Parasites An organism that lives in or on another organism and uses it as a host. It thrives by getting its nutrients at the host's expense.
Parking lots A technique group facilitators use to capture important ideas that are not part of the formal agenda. These ideas may take the group to far off track if discussed at this point. However, they need to be captured and not forgotten. By putting the ideas in the 'Parking lot' the idea is maintained for later, but the group can move on.
Parkinson's Disease A motor system disorder caused by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. This may cause difficulty in walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. This typically affects people over the age of 50.
Participant A person who participates in something. Often a term used to indicate that the person receives direct or indirect services or supports. Also see: consumer.
Participant-directed supports A service option in which people with disabilities and elders, their families, or their allies manage and direct their own services and supports. This can also be referred to as "self-directed" or consumer-directed" supports.
Participant-driven managed supports A variety of strategies for administering systems to increase their effectiveness and efficiency, while maintaining a commitment to community integration and self- determination for people with developmental disabilities. Also see: consumer directed.
Participant Observation A process for carefully watching a given situation, sharing the results with others and learning together to make changes.
Participation Engaging with others, having a wide variety of relationships being known and knowing others, being part of the event--not just an observer.
Partnership People working together cooperatively to achieve a common goal for the individual being supported. Partners honors the strengths, cultures, traditions and expertise that each party bring to the relationship.
Paternalism A policy or practice of treating people as if they were children, that is, providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities. Also see: "Eternal Child" relationship.
PATH stands for Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope. It is a method of person-centered planning that helps groups be focused on goals. It can be helpful with groups that are stuck. It was developed by Jack Pearpoint, John O'Brien, and Marsha Forest.
Pathogen anything that can cause a disease (especially micro-organisms such as bacteria, virus or fungus).
Pediatrician A licensed health care practitioner who works with infants and children and their specialized diseases and conditions.
Peer Support Group People of approximately equal social status who have reciprocal relationships; friends, colleagues or others who have common bonds.
pension a payment made to a person on a regular basis (usually a fixed sum) after the person's retirement from employment.
Persistent depressive disorder (Dysthymia) A form of depression, which lasts longer but has milder symptoms than major depression. Persistent depressive disorder (Dysthymia) is a more chronic condition, which must occur for at least two years.
Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) A handheld electronic device used to keep track of appointments and addresses. Most typically, PDA's are usually cell phones called "smart phones" that can perform a number of organizing tasks.
Penis The primary sexual organ for a male. Some males will be circumcised and others will not. Circumcision means that the foreskin on the penis has been partially removed, usually when the person is a child.
People-first language Respectful forms of address which avoid labeling or describing an individual in terms of a diagnosis or other attributes or characteristics. In all forms of communication, including spoken and written communications the person precedes his/her attributes. (for example: The person with mental retardation. NOT- the mentally retarded person.)
peptic ulcers open sores that develop on the inside lining of the esophagus, stomach or the small intestine, which typically results in abdominal pain. These may be caused by a bacterial infection or some medications. Also called stomach ulcers.
Perceived Risk The amount of risk that individuals feel an activity has. Perceived risk may or may not be closely related to real risk.
Perception How a person understands something or interprets something.
Performance coaching Is a training strategy that will help direct support professionals meet or exceed job expectations. It involves one or more of the following styles: counseling, mentoring, confronting and coaching employees to improve work behaviors. It can be used to teach new skills, reinforce current skills and to expand career opportunities.
Performance indicators Specific occurrences, including service results, to be measured to determine the success of service quality.

Benchmarks (points of reference) or measures of performance in a work setting, that help clarify which duties an employee can perform and which he or she may need more training or support to be able to achieve.


Performance reviews Formal written evaluation document of job performance that give the direct support professional feedback about how well they are doing on the job as well as identifying areas that need improvement, timelines, resources, and support for improvement.
Peri-anal The area of the body between the genitals and the anus, including the anus.
Pericardial Fluid The fluid that surrounds the human heart.
Perimenopause The stage prior to menopause (see menopause).
Perineal Relating to the perineum, which is the area between the anus and genitals.
Perineum The skin and area between the scrotum and the anus on a man and between the vaginal opening and the anus on a woman.
Periodontal Disease Disease of the soft tissue surrounding the teeth and jaw bone.
Periodontitis A serious gum disease caused by poor oral hygiene. The symptoms include inflamed, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and mouth pain. Professional dental treatment should be sought if any of these symptoms occur. Preventive care and treatment can reverse some of the problems caused by this disease. Without treatment and daily oral hygiene the condition will get worse.
Peritoneal Fluid The fluid which surrounds the human intestines.
Perseveration Continually repeating a thought or an action such as getting stuck on a topic.
Person-Centered An approach to supports and services that looks at a person's unique strengths, needs and personal goals as a basis for determining how to identify services and supports.
Person-Centered Approaches An approach to supports and services that looks at a person's unique strengths, needs and personal goals as a basis for determining how to identify services and supports.
Person-centered planning A planning process which looks at the person's strengths, needs and desires. There are formalized processes for person centered planning such as Essential Lifestyle Planning, MAPS, PATH and Personal Futures Planning. There are also informal ways of gathering information and listening to a person to learn what they want regarding services and supports. This planning process results in an action plan that is developed to help the person achieve his or her goals.
Person-centered support An approach to supports and services that looks at a person's unique strengths, needs and personal goals as a basis for determining how to identify services and supports.
Personal assistance One person assisting another with tasks individuals normally would perform for themselves if they did not have a disability.
Personal culture The accumulation of personal experiences and choices that lead to a person's understanding of appropriate behavior and lifestyle.
Personal effectiveness A person's capacity to take actions that lead to positive results. This requires the ability to accurately assess situations. It requires the ability to think about others. With the vision or big picture in mind, the person identifies the most important things that are likely to have a positive influence the outcome. He or she works on the ones that are in his or her control.
Personal Factors These factors are the traits that a person has that can influence his or her work experience. These factors may be similar from one person to another, or they may be different. A few personal work factors include one's social skills, motor skills, and problem solving skills. Personal work factors are important to consider when developing a career plan.
Personal Futures Planning (PFP) is a person-centered planning method developed by Beth Mount. It is primarily for adults. It uses the foundation of the five accomplishments identified by O'Brien and Lyle O'Brien to envision a positive future: Community participation and presence, valued social roles, and experience with choice, and contribution. PFP is based on the values of seeing people as whole, with both needs and capacities. It rejects defining a person by the methods and terms of the system.
Personal Goals A person's desires, wishes, or goals for him or her self, which may include relationships, activities, vocations, and other opportunities or experiences.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Refers to any clothing or equipment used to reduce employee exposure to hazards in the workplace. This creates a protective barrier and reduces the risk of exposure on the job. (See also Protective Barriers)
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) The broad diagnostic category which refers to a group of disorders defined by delays in the development of communication and social skills.
Pervasive Support Pervasive support is part of a disability classification system. (Published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, AAIDD). It refers to people who need constant direct support in all their life activities.
Petty cash This is a small amount of cash money that is accessible to designated people so they can make small purchases. These purchases must be documented and receipts must be kept.
Pharmacist A licensed health care provider who is trained to gather and package (dispense) medications and other treatments as they are prescribed by health care providers.
Phenylketonuria (PKU) A genetic disorder that prevents the normal use of protein food. The disease can be screened at birth and successfully prevented by diet modification. In this disorder the body has difficulty breaking down certain types of food. In the United States, one baby out of every 10,000-15,000 is born with PKU. People with PKU need to follow special diets. If they do not follow their diets serious damage to their bodies can occur, causing many problems, including problems with learning and intellectual development.
Phobia An intense and irrational fear of a particular thing or situation. When the fear interferes with a person's functioning, it is recognized as an anxiety disorder.
Physical abilities Related to the ability to move and control one's body.
Physical capabilities Are the physical requirements or physical demands placed on a person doing the job. For example, if the job requires the direct support professional to lift 50 pounds of weight frequently during their shift, a physical capability for the job would be "Must be able to lift 50 pounds."
Physical Abuse Any act of violence, force, or rough treatment done knowingly, recklessly or intentionally whether or not actual physical injury results.
This term is one that is commonly defined very specifically by state laws or regulations. You must be familiar with your state definitions. States that have specifically provided links to definitions or information regarding this term through special CDS customizations content include: PA, KS, MN.
Physical Injury Injury to someone's physical body such as: broken bones, scratches, cuts, bruises, etc.
Physical Restraint Any time the staff restricts a person's movement, either mechanically or with their own body, through holds, "escorts," and the like. Physically assisting someone (to learn a new skill) or minor, temporary physical interventions, such as blocking people from touching something dangerous and then explaining the danger to them is not considered a physical restraint. (Although frequent and repetitive use of even minor and temporary procedures may be considered restraint due to the restraining effect on the person's life.)
Physical therapist A health care practitioner who is knowledgeable in methods of speeding up recovery or enhancing strength and flexibility after an injury.
Physical Therapy A treatment using specific exercises and physical activity to help improve muscle coordination, strength, and mobility for patients. It also includes activities like how to properly use and select mobility and postural equipment. In the beginning, these exercises must be designed by a professional called a physical therapist. They are based on the specific needs of the individual.
Physical Well-Being The state of health that is maintained by the choices we make about how we live our lives. The choices are related to exercise, nutrition, rest and sleep, stress management, management of injury and illness, and the uses of treatments and prescription drugs.
Pica A condition where a person eats items that are not edible and may be harmful such as dirt, paper, chemicals or cigarette butts.
Picture Communication Book A method of communication sometimes used by people who do not speak. Contains words and phrases commonly used by the person.0
Piety Showing devotion or reverence to God.
Plaque A layer of bacteria on the teeth that causes tooth decay and gum disease.
Pleural Fluid The fluid that surrounds the human lungs.
Pneumococcal A bacteria that causes respiratory disease, often pneumonia.
Pneumonia An infection in the lung often caused by a bacteria or virus.
Pointing The use of a body part to refer to a present person, object, or location of interest. Usually involves the isolated index finger, but may be accomplished through eye gaze ("eye pointing").
Poisonous An element of a plant or substance that may cause or may be capable of causing death or illness if taken into the body.
Policies The way things are handled.
Polio Polio myletis is an acute infectious disease most often affecting children. It is caused by a virus that attacks the gray matter of the spinal cord and can cause paralysis in its victims.
Political rights Political rights are related to civil rights. They allow people to exercise democratic control over governmental powers and public policy. This includes freedom of expression, freedom of association, the right to run for office, and the right to vote.
Polypharmacy Using more than one medication at the same time. This practice can cause an increased risk for side effects, interactions, and errors. In some cases it can achieve better outcomes (e.g., bipolar disorder)
Population Risk Risks that are associated with societal expectations and perceptions of people based on their circumstances.
Portability The ability to carry something with you. Portability of training means that training that is meaningful to one employer will be equally meaningful to the next.
Portfolio A collection of work by an individual that is placed in an organized manner that demonstrates the person's abilities and talents.
Positive In the context of understanding the consequences to behavior (reinforcement and punishment), positive means adding something to the environment and can apply to both the types of consequences. In common language, it means something good or desirable. Be careful not to confuse the two definitions.
Positive Behavioral Supports The use of ongoing methods of support that prevent or diminish the use of challenging behaviors, through emphasis on quality of life, person-centered supports, and the proactive teaching of skills for success.
Positive Behavior Support Plans a written plan outlining how staff are to interact with someone who communicates using challenging behaviors. The plan identifies target behaviors and suggests ways direct support professionals can mimimize these by using strategies that emphasize quality of life, person-centered supports, and the proactive teaching of skills for success.
Positive Reinforcement Adding something to the environment that makes it more likely that a behavior will occur, such as telling someone they did a good job.
Postpartum Depression A form of depression which can occur after the birth of a child. Can occur in both men and women, but more often women. Adoptive parents can also experience this type of depression. This can be quite serious and often requires treatment.
Postpartum psychosis This is much rarer and more serious than postpartum depression. The symptoms of postpartum psychosis can include loss of reality, hallucinations, and/or delusions. It can also include suicidal or aggressive thoughts. Professional treatment is needed immediately.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

An anxiety disorder that is triggered by a horrific or traumatic event. People living with post-traumatic stress disorder relive the terrible experience, sometimes through flashbacks, and often in nightmares. People may have physical symptoms such as headaches and insomnia. Cognitive behavior therapy is considered to be the most effective kind of treatment for this disorder.

An anxiety disorder characterized by a terrifying physical or emotional event (trauma) causing the person who survived the event to have persistent, frightening thoughts and memories or flashbacks of the ordeal. Symptoms can include nightmares, flashbacks, sweating, rapid heart rate, outbursts of anger, sleeplessness, and more.


Power of Attorney One party gives to another party the authority to make any number of decisions on his or her behalf. The person granting the power of attorney must be mentally competent to enter into the contract and the power of attorney remains in effect if the individual becomes mentally incapacitated. Power of Attorney also refers to a document that prepares for the end of life stage. People who are independent and have made their own decisions as an adult choose one person to make decisions. This one person has the power to make decisions when the person supported is no longer able to make decisions.
Power generation A way to produce electricity to operate machines and other things that require electricity.
Power generator A machine that generates electrical current to run equipment that requires electrical power.
Power outage No electricity due to no power supply..
Prader Willi a genetic disorder of chromosome 15, which impacts the physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral aspects of a person's life. A major medical concern with this syndrome is the issue of voracious overeating that often leads to extreme obesity, which can be life threatening.
Pre-diabetes Occurs when sugar levels in the blood are higher than normal, but not high enough to diagnose Type 2 diabetes. There may be things a person can do to prevent getting type 2 diabetes.
Precautions An action taken that helps to protect against something not wanted. It could also mean steps taken during and after an illness that will prevent or stop the illness from spreading or causing illness to happen again. In health, an example of a precaution to prevent spread of illness is frequent hand washing.
Predisposition An increased likelihood that something will happen given a set of circumstances.
Preferred Provider Organizations Patients enrolled in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) can select their own doctor from a list of "preferred" physicians and hospitals that are members of the group.
Preferences Things that one prefers or likes best.
Pregnancy Pregnancy is a condition where a woman is going to have a baby. Pregnancy occurs after the male sperm unites with the female egg and results in conception of a baby.
Prejudice A negative judgment or opinion regarding the value of a person, thing, or experience, formed beforehand without knowledge or facts, or formed as a result of insufficient experiences. Prejudice against people is usually based on easily observable characteristics or circumstances, often out of the person's control, such as poverty, race, gender, or disability.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) A set of emotional and physical symptoms women experience at different phases of their menstrual cycle (will vary by the individual). For some women these symptoms interfere with their daily lives.
Preparing (in relationship to emergency preparedness) A plan of action before a disaster strikes
Presbycusis A medical condition that frequently occurs among older people, and results in the inability to hear certain sounds. Consequently, speech may not sound clear and may be difficult to understand. People may confuse similar words like "pat' for "bat" and "dinner" for "thinner." Presbycusis is more common among young adults.
Presbyopia A vision impairment of farsightedness that is caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye, which typically occurs in middle and older age. People experiencing this condition typically use reading glasses.
Prescription Medication A medication for which you need a medical professional's written approval to purchase and to take legally. Not all medical professionals can write prescriptions.
Presence Participating in all settings where people without disabilities are present, including classrooms, board rooms, businesses, neighborhoods, and community events.
Preventative Trying to stop something before it happens.
Primary Emotion The first emotion felt in a situation, for example, fear, sadness, or disappointment. A person under stress or with emotional regulation problems may replace this emotion with anger.
Primary language The first language the person learned. The one he or she uses to communicate with family.
Primary reinforcers Reinforcers that do not require learning in order to be effective because there is a biological drive behind them. Examples include: food, drink, relief from pain, sleep, etc. For people who have not learned to be motivated by social events (such as a smile or praise in response to a behavior) it may be necessary to use primary reinforcers. However, it is desirable to find or develop secondary reinforcers because primary reinforcers are things that people should have access to without needing to earn" them and because of their use may not be practical or may add to stigma.
Primary Relationships The most important relationships a person has.
Privacy The right to be left alone, the condition where confidential information about an individual is not made known to others.
Privacy officer A privacy officer is an employee at a covered entity who is responsible for developing and implementing all required policies and procedures under the HIPAA rules.
Privacy Right Notice A form used to let the people you support understand their right to privacy.
Privacy Rule The Privacy Rule is a rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This rule sets national standards for how Protected Health Information (PHI) in any format can be used and shared safely between professionals, including DSPs. It also allows people to understand and control how their PHI is disclosed.
PRN Medical shorthand for "as needed," meaning a medication or treatment that is approved and available to the person at any point when he or she needs it.
Proactive Consistently planning for and responding to daily events in a manner that sets the stage for success and achievement of goals. Anticipating and intervening prior to a problem. Making changes in support strategies to prevent challenging behaviors.
Probing questions are used to follow-up on the candidate's answers where more information and details are needed.
Problem routines Times or situations where a person frequently displays challenging behaviors. Identifying the times and situations that challenging behaviors are most likely to happen (problem routines), and then carefully observing the behavior to identify the relevant antecedents and maintaining consequences to the behavior, helps to identify the function of the behavior and provide information for a well-developed hypothesis statement regarding the behavior.
Problem Solving Model A systematic approach that identifies a solution and a plan for solving problems using the following steps:
  1. Identify the problem;
  2. Think solutions;
  3. Evaluate options;
  4. Create a plan;
  5. Implement the plan;
  6. Assess outcome;
  7. Modify plan as needed.

Procedures Standard ways in which a situation is handled.
Profession Work that requires special training to acquire the skills, knowledge and ethical principles of the occupation.
Professional Being a qualified individual in a field that requires considerable training, experiences, and specialization. Having the qualities that are connect with trained and skilled people, such as effectiveness, knowledge, organization, competence, and ethical understanding and practice.
Professional Standard An expected practice by professionals working in a field.
Profound Intellectual Disability or Profound Mental Retardation An older classification applied to people based on IQ scores. People with this label have IQ scores below 20. They often need significant physical and social support.
Program Analysis of Service Systems (PASS) A method of evaluating services through the lens of normalization principles.
Programs, or Program Plans A written document or plan that identifies specific goals and objectives that when implemented are designed to assist someone in achieving something they want or learning a new skill.
Progress Notes are an official record of a direct support professional's contact with the person being supported. Entries are usually focused on the goals and objectives set forth in the Individual Support Plan. They function as a communication tool between support team members.
Progress Reports a summary of progress made on individual goals as outlined in an individual support plan using measurable data collected over a specified period of time (e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.)
Progressive discipline Is a strategy to use when dealing with repeated poor performance. It is a series of increasingly more formal responses by a supervisor that encourages employee performance improvement.
Promiscuous Having sex with different people in a short period of time.
Prompting Verbal, visual, or physical reminders and supports to help the person understand or remember how to perform a skill, over and above a discriminative stimulus (which is a naturally occurring prompt in the situation).
Professional Practice Working in a manner that is effective, skilled, organized, and demonstrates commitment to the chosen work.
Prostate A gland that is located at the end of the man's urethra.
Protected Health Information (PHI) Is defined by HIPAA as any individually identifiable health information. This includes Social Security number, all diagnoses, treatment history, services provided and service eligibility.
Protection and Advocacy The Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) are a nationwide network of congressionally mandated, legally-based disability rights agencies. P&As maintain a presence in facilities that care for people with disabilities, where they monitor, investigate and attempt to remedy adverse conditions. Website: http://www.protectionandadvocacy.com/
Protective Barriers Items used when taking precautions against being exposed to potentially infectious agents to create a barrier between the infectious agent and others. Protective barriers should be provided by your place of employment and can include, latex or rubber gloves, aprons, goggles or masks, as well as other necessary items. Usually these items are single use and need to be thrown away after each exposure incident.
Protective Service Agency (Protective Services): The county or state agency, which investigates the reports of abuse, neglect, and injury to individuals that rely on others for care and are considered vulnerable. Often adult and child protective agencies are separate.
Providing interesting new objects Objects in the environment that are interesting, new or unusual, and that promote shared focus and turn-taking.
Proximity The location of one thing to another. A characteristic of a positive social relationship: being physically close enough to be friends.
Psychiatric Social Worker A person with a degree in social work who has additional training and/or experience working with people living with serious mental illness.
Psychiatrist A doctor who specializes in mental and emotional problems.
Pyschoeducation A movement in mental health focusing on educating consumers or patients about their mental health condition. Pyschoeducation provides accurate and realistic education about the disease, symptoms, treatment, and reality.
Psychological Anything related to an individual's mind or emotions.
Things that have to do with the mind such as thoughts, feelings, and moods.
Psychologist A professional with a specialty in the science of the mind, behavior, and emotions. A psychologist will usually have a PhD and is licensed in most states.
Psychological Abuse Acts, which may inflict emotional harm, invoke fear and/or humiliate, intimidate, degrade or demean an individual.
This term is one that is commonly defined very specifically by state laws or regulations. You must be familiar with your state definitions. States that have specifically provided links to definitions or information regarding this term through special CDS customizations content include: PA, KS, MN.
Psychosis A severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.
Psychotherapy This is also known as talk therapy. It is a process used in treating mental illness that focuses on communication between the person living with the mental illness and a therapist. Psychotherapy is often used as a broad term to include a variety of different techniques.
Psychotic Depression A less common form of depression in which a person may experience symptoms of a major depression along with psychosis. These may include hallucinations or delusions. Psychotic depression is serious and requires immediate treatment.
Psychotropic Medication A medication that alters a person's moods, thoughts, or behavior. These are sometimes called "psychotropics." These medications are used in the treatment of mental illness or mental health problems. A misuse of these medications is to alter behavior when there is no treatable mental health condition. This is called "medical restraint." Medical restraint is usually not allowed. When used there must be a proper plan in place. This plan includes the following 3 components. Use these only when other positive behavior support methods have not worked. Use these only when behaviors are extreme, dangerous, or are a barrier to a person's quality of life. Use these only in conjunction with a plan to support learning new behavior. Some drugs have a psychotropic effect but are given for other medical purposes. An example of a medical purpose could be controlling high blood pressure. Psychotropics are meant to treat symptoms of a diagnosed mental illness. These uses are not considered medical restraints.
Puberty The time in the life a person when a child's body turns into the body of an adult. It is the time of growth and development of sexual characteristics caused by hormones.
Punisher Any event, action, activity or object that when consistently used as a consequence to a behavior, decreases the likelihood of that behavior occurring in the future.
Punishment The relationship between a behavior and a consequence, in which the presentation of the consequence decreases the likelihood that a behavior will occur again in the future. Punishment can be positive (something is added to the environment) or negative (something is taken out of the environment).
Pupil The dark circular opening in the center of the eye, which changes in size to regulate the amount of light that reaches the retina.
Purchasing Alliance A formal pact or union of service recipients in a managed care system, where they act cooperatively to purchase or acquire needed services or supports from potential providers.
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Quackery False promises of medical expertise or medical benefits. A person who practices quackery is referred to as a quack.
Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional (QIDP) (Also called Qualified Developmental Disability Professional). A position defined by the federal ICF/ID regulations. It requires a four year degree in a human services field and a minimum of two years’ experience working with people with ID. The regulations require that a QIDP review and approve any programs developed for people receiving services.
Quality Assurance This term is generally used to refer to the complex web of regulations and standards, that have been determined to define quality, as well as the licensing and certification processes that enforce them. The focus of these programs is changing to include quality of life outcomes and quality assurance programs are starting to include expectations for quality improvement. Within managed care environments this means an organized set of activities intended systematically to ensure minimal safety of service recipients and to foster performance improvements.
Quality of Life The sum of a person's overall life experience. In general, people are thought to have a high quality of life if their basic needs, such as food, shelter, and safety are met, along with opportunities for growth, choice, new experiences, and development and maintenance of personal relationships. A poor quality of life is one in which basic needs are not met, or people are isolated, lonely, bored, or frustrated on a regular basis.
Quarantine Strict isolation to prevent the spread of contagious disease.
 
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Race A race is a group of people who have shared physical and genetic traits. These similarities can include skin color, eye color and shape, hair texture, blood type, or other hereditary qualities.
Radiologist A doctor that specializes in taking and interpreting X-rays. These are pictures of the inside of the body.
Railings Support bars that are made up of horizontal and vertical support material used to create a protective barrier or supportive aid along sidewalks, yards, pools, walls, stairways, shower stalls, etc.
Rape The crime of forcing a person to submit to unwanted sexual relations, or of engaging in sexual activity with someone who can not resist such as a young child, or an adult who has serious physical or cognitive disabilities.
Rape Kit A set of items used by medical personnel for gathering and preserving physical evidence of a sexual assault. The collected evidence for a case concerning sexual assault.
Real Risk The amount of risk that can reasonably be expected given the experiences of all people who engage in an activity.
Realistic Job Preview (RJP) Any method an employer uses to help a prospective employee get a balanced picture of the positive and negative aspects of work he or she will be doing as well as the organizational climate prior to the offer of a position.
Receptive language Understanding or comprehension of spoken, written, or sign language.
Receiver The communication partner to whom the message is transmitted by the sender.
Reciprocal or Reciprocity: A relationship in which there is a give and take, that is, the both people in the relationship feel that they are both giving something to the other person, and getting something from the other person.
Recognition Is a strategy for acknowledging DSPs and other employees.for a job well done, for special accomplishments, for years of service, for sharing creative ideas and for completing other notable activities.
Recommended dose The amount of a medication that the person taking the medication is instructed to use by a health professional or the company that makes the medication. The recommended dose is written on the bottle or box that holds the medication. Using more than the recommended dose can cause serious health problems.
Recovering (in relationship to emergency preparedness) Actions that help restore things back to normal or as close to normal as possible.
Recovery When referring to mental illness, recovery is an individually defined process that guides the development of new skills, attitudes, and goals that will support the individual to live a meaningful life in the community.
Recovery-oriented Focusing on people regaining skills, abilities, and roles they previously had or developing new ways of achieving life satisfaction.
Refrigeration The act or process of cooling a substance to make it frozen or cold. A way to preserve items.
Registries A system of voluntary registration of people who might need extra help during an emergency situation.
Recruitment and hiring bonuses effectiveness analysis This is an assessment of whether recruitment or hiring bonuses offered by an employer increase retention or recruitment success. The basic analysis examines the percent of new hires who left during the first six or twelve months for those who did earn a bonus compared to the percent of new hires who left who did not earn a bonus.
Recruitment source cost-benefit analysis This is an analysis of which recruitment sources were most effective. It has several parts. First, it examines the proportion of applicants who heard about the job from each source. Second, it examines the proportion of new hires who heard about the job from each source (to see which sources produced the most qualified applicants). Third, it examines how long recruits from each source remained in their jobs (e.g., the proportion who stayed six months or twelve months)
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 This law was designed to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability. This applied to any program or activity that received federal funding.
Rehabilitative service model0 An orientation to delivering supports to people with disabilities or other service needs that focuses on correcting the identified problem or deficiency.
Rehearsing Practicing something until you can do it well.
Reinforcement The relationship between a behavior and a consequence, in which the presentation of the consequence increases the likelihood that a behavior will occur again in the future. Reinforcement can be positive (something is added to the environment) or negative (something is removed from the environment)
Reinforcement schedule A plan for how often and how soon to deliver reinforcers after a person displays a desirable behavior.
Reinforcer Any event, action, activity or object that when consistently used as a consequence for a behavior, increases the likelihood of that behavior occurring in the future.
Related Injuries Injuries that are related to something else. Injuries that are the product or consequence of precautionary steps not being followed.
Relationship The way people become connected with one another and get along. These connections are created and maintained through a set of behaviors or skills such as, good communication, acceptance of differences, good listening skills, kindness, common courtesies, flexibility and problem solving, etc.
Relationship Map A drawing of a person's relationships.
Release of Information Forms a document signed by the individual or their legal decision maker that specifies what information about the person and his or her supports can be shared with other parties. These are time limited and outline specifically what information can be share, with whom, and for what reason.
Reliability The extent to which the test produces results that can be replicated. This is tested a variety of ways such as by having the same person complete the test more than once, or by having two different people respond to the items referring to the same subject.
Reliable Something that is the same each time. Operational definitions, tests and procedures for assessing developmental disabilities or other conditions are said to be reliable if they come up with the same general conclusions when the same individual is evaluated by two different people or at two different times.
Religious Affiliation Being connected to a spiritual group or religious ideology.
Remedy Something that is done or taken to cure a condition or illness.
Remote Far away or isolated.
Replacement Behaviors Specific appropriate behaviors that have the same function as challenging behaviors. These behaviors are meant to replace the challenging behavior by teaching an appropriate alternative for communicating and having a need met. Also see functional equivalence. Replacement behaviors may also be called: replacement skills, positive alternative behaviors, competing behaviors, or desired behaviors.
Reportable Accident or Incident Accidents and incidents that need to be reported as described in agency policies or as mandated by local, state, or federal rules and regulations. Usually these reports are required in order to track and understand problems and issues so that steps can be taken to protect people from harm. Some examples of reportable accidents or incidents include: deaths, accidents or incidents of a serious nature, injuries of unknown origin, suspected abuse or neglect, or unusual situations (e.g., a fire, even if no one was hurt).
Reporting Telling or notifying the appropriate people about an incident or accident. People to report to may include a supervisor, the individual's family members, a guardian, a social worker, protective service personnel, emergency response team members, or others. You may be required to report both verbally and on a written report and will usually have to do so as soon as possible after the incident.
Representative or Protective Payee A person who is appointed to manage Social Security, Veterans' Administration, Railroad Retirement, food stamps or other state or federal benefits or entitlement program payments on behalf of an individual.
Reprisal Take action against someone because of their behavior.
Respect An attitude shown towards another person. It is an open-minded understanding and regard for the rights, values, beliefs and cultural traditions of another. Respect is something you show and give to others. It is often shown through culturally sensitive common courtesies and behaviors.
Respect and Valued Roles Being seen as a person--as well as a person with a disability, being valued by others, not being seen as out of the norm or as a "curiosity."
Respiratory the lungs and other organs that control breathing and the body's intake and distribution of oxygen and elimination of carbon dioxide.
Respiratory Droplets These come from sneezing and coughing. These droplets contain virus germs if someone is infected with the flu or a cold. The droplets can infect another person or sometimes even an animal.
Respite Care For family's who have an individual with a developmental disability living at home, the state pays for a certain number of hours a month for someone outside of the family to take care of their family member so that they make take a break, have a small vacation, or get some errands done.
Respite services Services that give family or other caregivers a break from caregiving duties.
Responding (in relationship to emergency preparedness) Actions that are taken when an emergency happens.
Response rate The percentage of people who complete a survey out of the total number of people who are asked to complete a survey.
Responsibility An obligation or duty for which one is in charge of seeing through.
(In a self determined service approach): The person with a disability and his/her supporters have control of the funding and selection of supports and also bear the responsibility for budgeting, planning, evaluating, and covering additional costs.
Restraint Any method for restricting a person's movement or behavior. For more information see medical restraints, mechanical restraints, and physical restraints.
Restrictions/Restrictive Procedures Restrictions are limits on access to items, environments, people, choices, or freedoms. Restrictive procedures are any procedures that restrict access to items, environments, people, choices, or freedoms, to which people would normally have access, or to which they have rights. Restrictive procedures are sometimes used in response to challenging behaviors. Aversive and deprivation procedures can be restrictions, but restrictions can also include procedures that are in place to prevent behavior from happening in the first place. Caution! People with developmental disabilities have the same rights as people without disabilities, therefore, restrictions cannot be made without taking measures to understand the affect on rights and protecting rights. Restrictive procedures should not be planned as the only or as permanent interventions for challenging behaviors.
Restrictive Procedures see Deprivation Punishment
Retina A layer at the back of the eyeball containing cells that respond to light and pass nerve impulses to the brain to form visual images.
Retinopathy A condition of the eye in which the retina is damaged either by the blood vessels in the retina leaking or by the blood vessels being blocked. This condition can occur often in people who are diabetic and in premature infants.
Review committees Committees sometimes at an agency level, sometimes at a state level, that are empowered to review, comment, and ask for revisions on the content of policies, behavior support plans, and other other issues that have to do with the rights of people being supported. Common types of committees are human rights committees, surrogate decision making committees, or behavior management committees.
Right The ability to act, or not act, in a certain way or to compel someone to do or not to do a particular thing that is protected by law. Rights come from many sources including: the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, legislation, court decisions, contracts, regulations, rules etc.
RIGHT Decision Model An approach to solving ethical dilemmas where each letter of the word RIGHT signifies a step in the process. The steps are:
1. Recognize the dilemma
2. Identify points of view
3. Gather information and resources
4. Have a plan
5. Take action
Rights Violation An action that denies or prevents the person from making the decision themselves; restricts their choices or access to their belongings or otherwise infringes upon their human rights.
Risk Unknown or understood parts of a situation that may be harmful. The possibility or likelihood that loss or damage will occur.
Risk Management Making choices that make necessary risk less likely to be harmful. For example, wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
Risk Management Plans See Individual Risk Management Plan.
Ritual: A ceremonial act or custom; any act or event which is practiced on a regular basis. Rituals can be religious, but they do not need to be, a person may have a ritual of exercising every morning, or going out to dinner with the same group of people every Friday.

A usually unnecessary behavior that a person feels compelled to engage in when given a certain set of circumstances, for example, repeated rubbing of his or her palms after shaking hands with someone.


Robbery Taking the property of another from his or her person or in his or her immediate presence, against his or her will, by violence or intimidation.
Robert Perske Internationally known for his work on behalf of people with disabilities. In 1968 he received a Rosemary Dybwad International Award, which provided him the opportunity to travel throughout Sweden and Denmark and study attitudes toward people with disabilities. He has received awards on behalf of his work for people with developmental disabilities and has contributed to reports to US presidents, regarding supports to people with developmental disabilities.
Role Model Someone that a person can look to for guidance and advice; someone that has done something in an admirable way such that other people may look at his or her actions as a model to guide their own actions. Someone, who by virtue of his or her status (for example movie stars, famous musicians, politicians, and sports figures), is looked to as a person to imitate. Direct support professionals are often role models for the people they support and as such should demonstrate positive characteristics in their professional life.
Role-Play To assume or represent in a drama.
Route A path or road for travel.
Routine An ordinary sequence of events; an activity that is usual and predictable. Routines are the things people do as part of their daily activities, like getting ready to go to work, preparing a meal, calling a friend on the phone, playing cards, etc.
Rubella Rubella is a virus commonly known as German Measles. It usually is a mild respiratory illness. Rubella is dangerous to pregnant women and their fetuses. If a pregnant woman gets Rubella, she can pass it to her fetus. Children born to mothers with rubella often have a variety of birth defects.
Rule of Thumb A general guide on how to do something.
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Safety Check Precautionary steps of inspecting, examining or reviewing procedures, protocols, rules, tasks, or environments to prevent accidents or injuries from happening.
Safety Mats Mats or rugs with rubber backing that are used to help prevent slippage, falls, and/or unnecessary accidents/injuries.
Salmonella A type of bacteria that passes from animals and people to other animals and people and causes diarrhea in people. It is the most frequently reported cause of food-borne illnesses in people.
Sampling Strategy Is a decisions about who should be asked to participate in assessments. This is a balance between resources and information needed. You want to ask enough people to ensure you get a good representation. However, you need not ask every person to participate.
Satiation When the person has had too much of a reinforcer, making it less desirable, and therefore less reinforcing (or even aversive!)
Schizoaffective Disorder A serious brain disorder that includes signs and symptoms of both schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions, and a mood disorder, such as mania or depression.
Schizophrenia Schizophrenia a disease of the brain that has a biological basis. An estimated one percent to one and a half percent of the U.S. population are diagnosed with it over the course of their lives. While there is no known cure for schizophrenia, it is treatable disease. The symptoms include thought disorder, delusions, and hallucinations.
Screenings A way of testing or measuring something to look for early signs of health problems.
Screening Documents are forms complete to assess a person with a disability evaluate the level of care needed. Depending on the funding source for services these assessments help to qualify individuals for services.
Scrotum The area at the base of the penis that contains the testes. This may more commonly be called the "balls.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) A type of mood disorder in which a person's mood is affected by reduced sunlight. A person may experience a depressed mood or depressive symptoms when the season turns to winter. Mild forms may not require treatment.
Seasonal Flu Respiratory illness that can be transmitted from one person to another. Most people have some immunity or resistance. A vaccine is available.
Secondary Condition A condition in addition to a disability. This can include things like pain, depression, and a greater risk for certain illnesses.
Secondary reinforcers Reinforcers that a person has learned to find valuable. Secondary reinforcers are diverse and can include special events, interactions, privileges, recognition, items, etc., (for example, going to an amusement park, listening some favorite music, someone saying thank-you" or you did a great job", tokens, badges, trading cards, etc.).
Security Rule The Security Rule is a rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This rule sets a national standard for how Protected Health Information (PHI) can be shared safely in electronic formats. This rule outlines administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that organizations must use to protect electronic PHI.
Sedentary Lacking exercise or activity.
Segregated An environment where only people with a certain label or defining characteristic work, live, or play.
Segregation Imposing social separation based on ethnic, class, racial or ability differences.
Seizure Disorder A disorder that includes seizures.
Seizures A sudden attack on the nerve cells in the brain by too much electrical activity in the brain, resulting symptoms such as uncontrollable twitching, blackouts, snorting, foaming at the mouth, blinking, or other symptoms. These symptoms will vary from person to person and also each time the person seizures. Many different things can cause seizure disorders, but the most common causes are brain injury, epilepsy, and high fever. While seizures can be scary to witness, they are rarely life-threatening. Staying calm and making the person comfortable by supporting him or her as needed and moving dangerous objects out of reach, can help prevent injury during a seizure.
Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy A surgery that involves cutting the nerves to reduce spasticity in children who have cerebral palsy.
Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors (SSRI) A more common form of antidepressant medication used to treat depression or others disorders. SSRI's affect the levels of serotonin in the brain.
Self Abuse Behavior that is injurious to one's self: physical, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, financially, etc.
Self-Administer A person who has the ability to take their own medications, herbals, and nutritional supplements in a safe and effective manner after successfully completing a prescribed set of training information and demonstration of behaviors and attitudes related to medications.
Self-Advocacy The act of standing up and speaking out for oneself.
Self-Advocate A person with a developmental disability who is active in standing up and speaking out for his or her own rights or for the the rights of all people with developmental disabilities.
Self Care Skills The basic ways that people take care of themselves and their hygiene.
Self-Determination The attitudes and skills needed to take control over and responsibility for one's own life, and to make choices without undue external influence. Self-determination includes the ability to make things happen in one's life by applying problem-solving and decision-making skills, while understanding when assistance is needed.
Self-Determining Adult: A person over 18 who acts as the principal decision-maker in his/her own life, especially around choices regarding lifestyle, occupation, and social interaction. While all people with developmental disabilities have the capacity to be self-determining adults in some capacity, very few are provided the opportunities or experiences necessary to do so.
Self-directed learning Learning that is directed by the learner. It may be completely independent or guided by an instructor or mentor. Motivation to learn is higher in self-directed learning than traditional instructor-led learning.
Self-Direction Self-direction refers to the ability of people to lead themselves in age-typical ways in carrying out age-typical activities. A limitation is self-direction means that a person needs unusually great amounts of assistance, supervision and reminders from others to perform the activities that are typically performed by someone of the person's age or cannot perform those activities at all.
Self-Directed/High Performance Teams Although this type of team has been uncommon at the direct-support level, it is now becoming more prominent in the field as the roles of DSPs change. These teams work to create an environment that empowers employees to contribute to the improvement of services by giving them the authority to improve the work itself. This results in more satisfying jobs that offer employees greater challenge, variety, and opportunity for enhancement.
Self-Esteem A confidence and satisfaction in oneself.
Self-evaluating and/or opinion questions Ask the candidate what they think about a certain topic thus revealing information about likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses as well as information about goals, values, and philosophies.
Self-Injurious Behaviors (SIB) behaviors that are harmful to oneself, including deliberate self-injury, such as hitting oneself, or behaviors that indirectly cause injury or harm, such as repeatedly rubbing an area of skin until it bleeds.
Self Medicate When a person uses conventional or unconventional methods to treat a disease, disorder, or symptoms. The method may or may not be advised by a doctor; the person uses the method because it feels good. Commonly used to express when a person uses alcohol or drugs to mask symptoms of mental illness rather than receive sanctioned treatment.
Self-respect Having healthy well rounded self-esteem and confidence in ones abilities.
Self-Stimulation or Stereotypic Behaviors These are repetitive, sometimes odd-looking behaviors that people engage in such as rapid flapping of hands, sniffing objects inappropriately, pacing, spinning, or rocking. They can become challenging behaviors when they are harmful or limit the person's ability to obtain or maintain a high quality of life.
Semi-independent Living Services (SLS) A funded support program for people with disabilities. This program provides a few hours of services each week.
Seminal A critical or highly influential event, publication or research that forms the foundation of future related work .
Seminar An intensive study group, or specialized conference.
Sender The communication partner who is transmitting the message.
Sensory abilities Related to use hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste to perceive and interpret stimuli.
Sensory Impairments Sensory impairments exist when people have substantially below average abilities to see, hear, taste and feel. The sensory impairments that are most common and of greatest concern are those in which people have major vision and hearing difficulties that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or hearing aids.
Serotonin A brain chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter by sending messages across synapses from one neuron to another. Low levels of serotonin are thought to be associated with depression.
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) A type of antidepressant medication used to treat depression and other disorder. SNRI's affect serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
Service A paid support to a person who needs it, such as transportation, homemaking, job assistance.
Service Animal An animal that is necessary for assisting an individual in activities of daily living.
Service coordination Service coordination is a way of assisting people disabilities and their families through choices in meeting support needs by explaining what services the person qualifies for. See also Case management.
Service Evaluation a written document summarizing the services and supports provided to an individual with disabilities and the outcomes of those services and supports.
Service Recipient Rights The rights of a person receiving services. Not all services provide a rights statement, however, some do. The purpose of these rights is to clearly identify, prior to a service arrangement, what rights are maintain and how, during the period of services, so that the person receiving services understands his or her rights and how to make a complaint, if needed. An example would be "resident rights" in long-term care facilities. Some regulations for services require a statement of rights for service recipients, others do not.
Service Relationships Someone who is paid or volunteers to provide a service to a person.
Service plan An agreement or contract between a supported individual and his or her support team. The plan outlines services that will be provided for the individual. These are based on his or her needs for safety and support. The service plan may be referred to by different names. This will depend on the support setting. A service plan may be called an Individual Educational, Program, Habilitation, or Service Plan (IEP/IPP/IHP/ISP). Please refer to the entry IEP/IPP/IHP/ISP for further information.
Service substitution A process requiring the use of a lower cost but equally effective service in place of a higher cost one, most often used in managed care systems.
Setting Event Events, situations, or experiences that influence the likelihood that challenging behaviors will occur in response to a stimulus. The presence of setting events will make challenging behaviors more likely to occur. These events can be social, environmental, or physical events (for example, being asked to sit next to someone who is disliked, being in a room that smells of paint fumes, being tired.). Setting events can be present at the time the behavior occurs, although they may or may not be obvious (for example, having a headache or being in an unfamiliar place, may make a person more likely to feel frustrated and therefore, more likely to engage in challenging behaviors). They can also be things that occur earlier or in another environment but still have an effect on the behaviors (for example, being late for the bus and feeling rushed earlier in the day, may leave a person feeling irritated or worried and lead to undesirable behaviors).
Severe Disability A severe disability is one that makes it very difficult for an individual to perform activities that are typical for a person of the individual's own age. Usually severe disabilities need to be accommodated by providing special equipment of devices, by redesigning the physical or intellectual demands of the activity, or by providing assistance with the activity.
Severe Intellectual Disability People identified as having severe intellectual disability have IQ scores from about 20 to about 35. They also have substantial limitations in all areas of adaptive behavior. People with severe intellectual disability are usually identified in first two years of life and their disability is identified continuously throughout life. Language is usually limited; understanding is often better than speaking. Physical disabilities and seizure disorders are also common.
Severity The intensity or seriousness of something that occurs.
Sex Education Education related to sexual activity and feelings, sexual anatomy, safer sex practices, rights and responsibilities of sexual behavior and legal versus illegal sexual activity and other important areas regarding sexuality and its expression.
Sexual Abuse Any sexual activity that takes place when a person is vulnerable due to being under the age of consent, physically or mentally unable to defend his or herself, or unable to understand and give informed consent regarding sexual activities, and when another person or persons who are not equally vulnerable, take advantage of the vulnerability to engage in sexual behavior with the vulnerable person. In addition, acts that restrict the rights of sexual expression, identity, or reproduction.
This term is one that is commonly defined very specifically by state laws or regulations. You must be familiar with your state definitions. States that have specifically provided links to definitions or information regarding this term through special CDS customizations content include: PA, KS, MN.
Sexual Assault Any form of sexual contact without voluntary consent.
 
Sexual Development The growth and changing of an adolescent's body including sexual organs and characteristics such as body hair, impulses, and awareness.
Sexual Expression Behaviors that allows a person to express his or her sexuality. Positive expressions of individual sexuality will vary depending on the person, but some examples include wearing certain types of clothing, methods of grooming such as wearing make-up or cologne, or actions such as holding hands with a partner.
Sexual Intercourse Genital contact, especially the insertion of the penis into the vagina followed by orgasm.
Sexuality (Human) The various states human beings express and show their sexual desires, interests, and preferences.
Sexually Transmitted Infections A disease that is given from one person to another person through contact with sexual organs or sexual fluids.
Sexually Transmitted Disease A disease that is given from one person to another person through contact with sexual organs or sexual fluids.
Shaping Prompting and rewarding behaviors that are more like the desired behavior at each step, with the desired outcome being to teach a new behavior.
Shelter A place to stay for a short time until the disaster or emergency is over.
Shelter in place To stay in a place during an emergency until help arrives. Usually there is a designated spot in a building that everyone knows about where people gather until they receive help to evacuate the building.
Shelter Plan A plan that outlines where to go for cover or protection during an emergency.
Sheltered work A work setting in which only people with disabilities work. Also see: sheltered workshop.
Sheltered Workshop A place where paid work and work-like activities and recreational activities are available to people with developmental disabilities. Work available at a a sheltered workshop often pays below a competitive wage and does not provide opportunities for people to meet and get to know members of the community without disabilities as coworkers and employers.
Shock the failure of the cardiovascular system to keep adequate blood circulating to vital organs. May be caused by loss of body fluids, severe injuries, burns, heart attack, stroke, and allergic reactions.
Sick Visits A visit to a health care professional when a person is experiencing symptoms of illness.
Sickle Cell Anemia A chronic and often fatal disease where malformed red blood cells result in pain, fever, yellow skin color and open leg sores affecting people of central African heritage.
Side Effects 1. the adverse conditions sometimes caused by a drug working within the body system(s). (for example, fever, itching, bowel changes, confusion, etc.)

2. undesirable effects of taking a medication that are different than the intended positive effects for which the medication was given. Common side effects include dizziness, headache and upset stomach.


Sigmoidoscopy A medical procedure that uses a flexible lighted instrument to inspect the colon for potential diseases and abnormalities of the intestines.
Sign of illness Visible (something you notice) that would tell you someone is sick or not feeling well. It can include things like bruises, swelling, rashes, excessive sweating, etc.
Sign language A formal language and system of communication in which signs made with hands and facial expressions convey meaning. American Sign Language is the most common form of sign language used in the United States. Sign language is its own language and not a direct translation of spoken English.
Situational questions Ask the candidate for information about actions they will take by choosing between equally desirable and undesirable actions in various situations and to get at the person's values, ethics, beliefs and attitudes.
Skill An ability that usually requires instruction and practice in order to achieve.
Skill Gaps The difference between what an employee needs to know to perform their job effectively and what skills they currently have.
Skilled Questioning Skilled Questioning is the art of asking questions to get good information from someone.
Slang Informal words that have meaning to certain groups. The meaning of these words is not understood by people outside the group. Some are not real words. Others have a different formal meaning.
Sleep Apnea A disruption of breathing resulting from obstruction of the air waves.
Smegma Dead skin and oils that collect under the foreskin and can cause infection if it builds up.
Sobriety The act of staying sober.
Social Anxiety Disorder An anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of extreme stress in situations that require interacting with others. People living with this disorder may appear to be afraid when introduced to people and may go to great lengths to avoid social situations.
Social Class The distinctive economic and cultural group that a person identifies with.
Social Control Refers to societal processes that regulate individual and group behavior. This can lead to conformity and compliance to the informal or formal rules of a given society, state, or social group. It involves internalization of norms and values, and the experiences of external sanctions, such as positive or negative consequences of behavior.
Social Disruption The interruption or stopping of services and social gatherings.
Social Isolation: When an individual is kept from interacting with others (peers, family, etc.) because of his/her individual differences.
Social Model of Disability This was born out of the 1960 Disability Rights Movement. It views disabilities from a societal perspective. It recognizes that some people have physical or mental conditions or impairments. While these conditions may affect how a person functions, these do not cause the disability. Rather, it is the societal barriers that create the disability for the person. It is also these barriers that negatively affect the person's quality of life. It supports equality for people with disabilities by removing barriers and making community and services more accessible.
Social Networks All the people who know a person.
Social norms Unwritten social expectations or social rules that most people pick up on automatically during social development. Social norms are culturally relevant meaning that different cultures and families have different social norms.
Social rights Social rights are the rights a person has based on permissions or entitlements agreed to by the society he or she is a member of. These agreements may or may not be written into laws and include things like the right to have a job of one's choosing, a home, and adequate healthcare, etc.
Social Roles The roles that people participate in when they have social interactions. People with developmental disabilities typically have had very few opportunities to participate in valued social roles where they are looked up to and seen as capable, competent, and valued contributors to the interaction.
Social routine A usual, predictable interaction between familiar communication partners where the goal of the activity is to maintain the interaction.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Is a widely used federal entitlement program in the United States. It provides a monthly cash payment to people with disabilities. To be eligible a person (or their parent or spouse) must have paid into the Social Security system for enough time. They must also have a qualifying disability and be unable to meet substantial gainful activity (SGA). In 2009, a person earning below 0 a month was not meeting SGA. SSDI continues to provide cash payment until a person is able to reach SGA or their disability improves. For people with vision impairment, the amount of work to be consider substantial gainful activity was ,640 in 2009. The amount of money a person receives depends on how much they (or their parents or spouse) have paid into the system.
Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefits: A type of financial assistance provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration to older adults. To qualify for this benefit program, a person must meet all of the following requirements: (1) Have earned enough Social Security credits through earning income and paying taxes, and (2) Be at least age 62 throughout the first month of entitlement. Visit http://ssa.gov/ for more information.
Social Services Government or private services available to people in need of extra support in order to function and thrive. This may include mental health services, residential services, day activity services, vocational placement, rehabilitation services, etc.
Socialization Any activity that is social in nature, interacting with others.
Social/Emotional Well-Being A state of getting along with others in a comfortable manner. It is about feeling good about yourself and your importance to others.
Spastic (spasticity) stiff muscles.
Specialized supports This includes anything an individual needs to function in life. Examples include communication boards, and service animals. It includes special information that is critical to know about an individual such as an anxiety attack protocol and durable medical equipment.
Special transport Transportation that is equipped to accommodate individuals who use durable medical equipment that would not be accommodated on regular transportation.
Special diet A diet for a person who can only eat certain foods due to a diagnosed medical condition.
Special Education Special education refers to a special modification of the normal curriculum and/or instruction methods in schools to respond to specific needs of students with disabilities.
Speech The oral expression of language.
Speech-language pathologist An allied health professional who works with the full range of human communication and its disorders. This includes the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of speech and language disorders. In addition, because of the relationship of the oral mechanism to speech production, the speech-language pathologist may also address swallowing disorders. These individuals may be known as speech therapists or "SLPs".
Speech Language Pathologist or Therapist A licensed professional whose primary job duties include assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of communication issues such as speech problems and language disorders. Also referred to as speech therapists.
Speech Therapy A treatment designed to help someone improve communication with others. Therapeutic activities include improvement in speaking, language skills, oral motor skills, and swallowing skills. It also includes activities like learning sign language or using augmented communication devices. Treatments are developed and designed by a trained professional called a speech therapist.
Spina Bifida a congenital physical disability in which part of the spinal cord is exposed through a gap in the backbone.
Spiritual Well-Being A state of being where a person has purpose and meaning. It is finding ways to be in touch with what you value and discovering what is important to you. It is feeling good about what you are doing.
Spoken languages A formal system of communication in which words and sounds are used to convey meaning. English is the primary language spoken in the United States. There are many other languages spoken by Americans. Spanish is the second most common language spoke in the United States. American English is slightly different than British English. Within the United States, there are local differences. Some words are pronounced differently. Other words are used differently. African American Language (sometimes called Black English) is a type of English spoken by some African-Americans.
Sputum The substance that a human coughs up after coughing or choking.
Staff competence Staff competence is a measure of whether the staff member can perform the tasks required of them on the job.
Staff satisfaction Staff satisfaction is the opinion a specific employee has about the organization as a whole and about various parts of their job.
Staff communication log (or book) is a tool using written documentation (handwritten, hardcopy or electronic) to convey important information between staff team and across shifts.
Stakeholders People who are invested in something (for example, because it has a direct impact on their life, because they paid for it, or because they responsible for making it happen) and who can affect it.
Standardized surveys A standardized instrument is one that has been tested for reliability and validity and for which norms have been established.
Staff roles and responsibilities The plan specifically outlines duties that staff members have to do their job. In the case of emergencies, it clearly states what is expected of the DSP during and after various types of emergencies.
Staph Infections (Short for staphlococcus) is a common bacteria often found living on human skin which are usually harmless until they enter the body through a cut or break in the skin and causes a pus-producing infection.
Stakeholder Involvement Including the individual, his or her support team including family members, and others who are important to the person in the planning process. In emergency planning for individuals this would mean including the individual and his or her close family and/or friends in creating the person's emergency plan.
Stereotype the belief that because some individual members of a group have certain characteristics or traits, all members of the group have them.
Stereotyping Stereotyping is believing things about a group of people based on how some people in that group look, dress, talk, or act. Stereotyping can limit or even block a person's ability to understand and appreciate others.
Sterilization Medical procedures or interventions that prevent a person from being able to reproduce (i.e father or bear children).
Stigma: The negative way others view a person because of his/her difference that are not culturally valued. Stigma can have a profound effect on a person's ability to make friends because it can reduce other's interest or desire in interacting with the person.
Stimuli Something that causes a response.
Stimulus (singular)/Stimuli(plural) Events or objects that are present in the environment or internally, that can have an effect on a person's behavior. These include things that are sensed (smelled, heard, seen, felt, tasted), as well as interactions and situations (for example, being approached by someone or being yelled at) that have been consistently linked to certain consequences and, therefore, have an effect on behavior.
Stop, Drop & Roll: Steps to take when someone you support is in danger: STOP: Intervene to stop immediate harm. Make sure the person is safe; DROP: Drop the urgency once the person is safe. Don't make hasty decisions or recommendations; ROLL: Roll together all the personal resources the person has. Make sure the people who care about the person have the opportunity to help.

Also a method for teaching fire safety that is useful for helping people understand how to put out a fire which is on his or her clothing or hair by immediately stopping, dropping to the ground, and rolling on the fire until it is smothered. This method helps contain the fire quickly by depriving it of oxygen, whereas running to seek help will often cause the fire to grow swiftly and cause more harm.


Storm surge An abnormal rise in the level of the sea along a coast caused by the onshore winds of a severe cyclone.
Straight-line Winds Very strong winds that produce damage.
Strategic Alignment How a team charter supports and is connected to the organization's mission and vision.
Strengths Attributes, skills, conditions, abilities, knowledge, available supports or other circumstances or entities that improve the ability of an individual to lead a satisfactory lifestyle.
Strengths-Based Planning A method of planning that emphasizes building on strengths when planning for needed supports rather than focusing on deficits or challenges. Strength based planning is usually more effective in producing results because of increased motivation on the part of the person being supported.
Stress A state in which there are changes in a person's body which can include a more rapid heartbeat and breathing, perspiration, and more focused attention in response to environmental or psychological factors. Stress can be caused by a variety of factors including physical exertion, perceived danger, extreme difficulty, pressure, or strain. While stress can be a positive force in achievement and safety, high levels of stress can be damaging to a person's ability to think and react appropriately and prolonged stress can cause physical and emotional damage.
Stroke A sudden loss of brain function caused by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel to the brain. Characterized by loss of muscular control, loss of sensation or consciousness, dizziness, slurred speech, or other symptoms that vary with the extent and severity of the damage to the brain.
Structure A constructed building.
Structural Having to do with a building and it's parts. This includes the plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling, as well as the materials that make up the building.
Structured questions Are planned and organized before you interview. These are the list of questions that are intended to yield responses that will help you make a judgement about the candidate's ability to meet specific job requirements and work expectations or how the individual will fit in" with the work team. Each candidate would answer the same set of structured questions during the interview so you can more easily and efficiently compare one candidate with another.
Subjective Information that is affected by personal bias, feelings, values and beliefs.
Sublingual Medication This is a medication that enters the system through membranes in the mouth and need to be dissolved under the tongue.
Substance use disorders This is when people misuse things like alcohol and drugs on a regular basis. Often people do this to handle feelings and thoughts that are painful.
Substance Abuse Using drugs, alcohol, or another substance in excess or inappropriately. Substance abuse can result in an impairment in one's ability to meet responsibilities, interact with other people, and engage in behavior than can hurt the person or others. A person may be addicted to a substance. Or the person may use the substance to cope with problems or issues.
Substantial gainful activity (SGA) Refers to the specific dollar amount that the federal government uses as a determination point for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. In 2009, for people with vision impairment, the amount of work to be consider substantial gainful activity was ,640. For people with other disabilities, the SGA level was 0 per month.For SSDI and Medicare, SGA is the point at which benefits may be affected. For example, they may be cut off. For SSI and Medicaid, SGA is a point used to determine eligibility.
Substantial limitations The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines "substantial limitation" as "significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a person can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person of the same age/grade level in the general population can perform the same major life activity." Interpretations of this vary. However, in general a person must be unable to do things that would be expected. Or they may have a lot more trouble than doing things than would be expected. This limitation may be at home, school, or at work. It may be in a variety of areas from physical to mental abilities. Accommodations can often improve the situation and help the person participate effectively.
Sudoku A game where numbers are arranged in certain patterns.
Suicide Taking one's own life. Intentionally killing oneself. Usually this is a result of untreated or unresponsive depression or similar mental health condition. .
Sugaring A method of hair removal. Sugaring is a process that is similar to waxing. Sugar is applied to skin and rolled off with the hands. This process removes hair for up to two months and can be less painful and irritating than waxing. This is most often done in a salon.
Summarizing Summarizing is the process of briefly restating the main ideas concerning an issue being discussed. This summary would include essential points while omitting unimportant details.
Supplemental Needs Trusts (SNT) Trust funds that are funded through an individual account. These can help with housing payments and other expenses not covered by government funds. Extra funds will go back to the state after the person passes away.
Supplemental Trusts (ST) Trust funds that are funded through other people's accounts. Creating a trust fund is taking a more active role in planning for the future. This provides funding for expenses not covered by government programs. Extra money can be donated to a person or an organization after the person passes away.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) A type of financial assistance provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration to people with disabilities based on financial need. It is designed to help citizens who are aging and/or have disabilities, who have little or no income. It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. Visit http://ssa.gov/ for more information. Understanding government benefits and navigating the Social Security system can be challenging. To make sure that you have the most accurate, updated information regarding a person's social security benefits, please go to http://ssa.gov/pgm/getservices-change.htm. Another resource you may find helpful is the online benefits planning Estimators found at http://www.db101.org/. This can help a person prepare for changes in work or benefits, or to learn how benefits rules apply to the person.
Support Assistance, encouragement, emotional help, guidance. Assistance from others that a person needs in order to maintain best health, stay connected to others, maintain employment, or otherwise participate in the activities of life. Supports can be formal or informal and paid or unpaid. Paid supports are sometimes called "Services."
Support Broker This is a professional who can help a person to develop and implement an individualized plan for participant direction. The support broker's primary function is to help a person build connections with people or organizations that can provide supports. This involves assisting with paperwork and planning based on the individualized budget. This also involves acting as a liaison between the person and financial management services.
Support coordination A paid service that includes coordinating professional services and community resources that a person needs to achieve desired goals.
Support Network Support networks are defined as family, friends, paid supporters and other people who play a role in providing everyday or support to an individual. These are people who have give and take relationships with one another and together they serve as a source strength for the person with a disability.
Support plans Support plans are written documentation outlining the details of supports, services, activities, methods and resources needed for an individual with disabilities to achieve individual goals. These goals are based on a person's dreams and preferences. The plan details who is responsible to provide supports. It also delineates how, when, and where supports will be provided. A person's individual support team and/or network along with the person develop the plan using a person-centered approach develop the support plans.
Support Team The group of people who help the individual organize and maintain his or her supports, both paid and unpaid. Core members of the team are typically the individual, involved family members, friends, and advocates, direct support professionals, and other professionals who have regular contact or responsibilities regarding the person's support. Support teams can grow or shrink in number and meet at various intervals depending on the person's needs. Other members, such as specialized professionals, may join the support team for a limited time as an advisor.
Supported employment Describes services to help individuals with disabilities to find and keep a paid job in a regular community business (not counting employment in sheltered workshops or similar service environments). Paid staff can: (a) work with the individual to determine the type of job preferred, (b) find appropriate employment, (c) work with the employer to modify the job, apply assistive technology, or otherwise assure that the individual can perform the job, (d) provide support to the individual on the job or to his or her coworkers, and (e) monitor quality and provide support as needed.
Supported living A residential service model which is based on the provision of only those supports which the person needs. Tailoring services to meet individual needs.
Surrogate decision maker People or committees, who are not legal guardians or conservators, but who are sanctioned by law to make a decision in the place of a person who does not have the capacity to make an informed decision on his or her own. State laws vary regarding the types of decisions that the surrogate can make. Most often used for consent for medical treatment and interventions, many states do not allow surrogate decisions makers to consent to restrictive procedures such as may be found in some behavior support plans.
Surveys Surveys are sets of questions that are asked of employees or others that seek information about attitudes, opinions, characteristics, suggestions and other topics. Survey questions can be close-ended (providing the possible answers and having the respondent select from the list) or open-ended (providing the question and having the respondent answer using his or her own words).
Swallowing difficulties There are a large number of possible swallowing problems related to cerebral palsy. There may be difficulties closing lips, moving tongue to control food during chewing, or to push food from the front to the back of the mouth.
Symbol Words, pictures, or items that "stand for" the things or concepts they represent. Symbols vary from very concrete (a red cup that stands for Bobby's own cup or a photograph of a cup that stands for "cup") to abstract (the printed word, "cup").
Symbolic communication Communication in which the message is conveyed through symbols that are distanced from the thing(s) they represent.
Symptoms These are observable characteristics. They include things such as sensations and changes in behavior or mood that are out of the ordinary. These are an indication there may be something wrong with a person's physical or mental health.
Symptoms of illness Something someone tells you about what they are feeling or experiencing such as high temperature, feeling sick to your stomach, weakness, or being very tired, etc.
Syndromes Syndromes are conditions with a specific set of health related characteristics that define the condition such as Tourette Syndrome or Fragile X.
Synovial Fluid The fluid surrounding the human joints, where separate bones connect.
System-centered planning is a method of planning that is designed to meet the requirements of regulations. It usually is a list of interventions and goals. These are organized around what is wrong with the person. The goal is to improve functioning and achieve independence (or minimized dependence on support from others). The plan is achieved when the person enhances his or her functional skills to the level identified on the plan.
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Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) This is a movement disorder. It can be a side effect of antipsychotic medication. A person will exhibit unusual or abnormal movement. It may include blinking or grimacing. It may include twisting and rolling of the tongue. Fingers, legs, and arms may also be affected. This disorder can become permanent. Early identification of symptoms is important. Reduction or discontinuation of the medication may stop or reduce symptoms if done early enough.
  • Persistent Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) is when symptoms have been noticeable for at least three months or longer
  • Masked Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) is when the symptoms are masked or covered up by the use of prescribed medication. This can be confusing because you really can't see these symptoms and must look for other signs or clues.
  • Withdrawal Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) is witnessed during the reduction or discontinuation of anti psychotic medication and the movements dissipate within three months.

Tardive Dyskinesia This is a movement disorder. It can be a side effect of antipsychotic medication. A person will exhibit unusual or abnormal movement. It may include blinking or grimacing. It may include twisting and rolling of the tongue. Fingers, legs, and arms may also be affected. This disorder can become permanent. Early identification of symptoms is important. Reduction or discontinuation of the medication may stop or reduce symptoms if done early enough.
Targeted Behaviors The specific challenging behaviors that are being tracked so that a change in their frequency or intensity can be noted and behaviors support plans or interventions adjusted accordingly based on the data.
Tartar A hard yellowish substance that develops on the gumline and edges of teeth when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth. Tartar makes teeth look yellow, but it also creates pockets where bacteria and food can collect. This can increase dental health problems. Tartar control toothpaste will not remove tartar. Daily brushing and flossing will reduce or prevent tatar build-up.
TASH A national membership association of professionals, families, and individuals with disabilities who are concerned with the education, employment, and self-determination of individuals with significant disabilities.
Task analysis Breaking down a complex skill, behavior, or activity into individual steps.
Tax-ID number A number given to an organization that provides publicly funded services. This number allows the service to not pay taxes on certain purchases. It is restricted to purchases for the services and cannot be used for personal purchases.
Tay-Sachs A hereditary disease in which an enzyme is lacking in a person's body which causes mental retardation, seizures, blindness and death at a young age.
Team Charter A statement that sets a direction for the team, clarifies its purpose and specifies what it intends to accomplish. It could include the team's mission or purpose, specific and measurable goals the team commits to achieve, and the desired end product.
Technical knowledge Questions ask the candidate about what they know about technical subject areas such as the ability to use computers and software or how to complete a task with or without a set of instructions.
Temporary Guardianship A temporary guardianship expires on a set date, usually within a few weeks to a few months of the time it takes effect. It is rarely used for people who have a disability that permanently affects their ability to make decisions. It is more often used when a person is temporarily incapacitated.
Tenure Tenure of stayers describes the average amount of time employees have stayed on the job. It is usually measured in months or years. Tenure of leavers is a specific form of tenure.

Tenure of leavers can be described as the proportion of people who remained in their jobs for a certain amount of time before leaving (for example the percent who leave before completing 6 months of employment).


Terminology The set of words that includes ideas and definitions that have specific meanings and uses for professionals working in a field.
Terrorist The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
Thalamus The part of the brain involved in processing sensory information and regulating wakefulness.
Thalassemia An inherited form of anemia, which is a condition where red blood cells are not reproduced in the body as they are supposed to be.
Thunder A loud noise produced by the explosive expansion of air heated by a lightning discharge. Lightning produces thunder.
Thunderstorm A form of turbulent weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder.
thyroid gland a large gland in the neck that produces hormones to regulate the body's metabolism.
Ticket to Work Program Is a voluntary, federal program allowing individuals using Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to receive employment supports. The program allows individuals to chose a support provider that best meets their support needs. These providers are then paid based on an individual meeting certain employment milestones, which assist the individual in reducing their dependence on Social Security or SSI.
Tide The periodic rise and fall of the waters of the ocean and its inlets. The inflow and outflow.
Tics A persistent trait of character or behavior demonstrated by such things as repetitive phrases, sudden and jerky movement of the head, arms, and other body parts.
Time delay A fading procedure where the form of the prompt remains the same (verbal, visual, physical), but there is a longer time before it is given to allow the person to engage in a behavior without prompts.
Timely When something happens at the right time.
Time Out A behavior intervention that includes taking someone out of the current situation in order to stop the challenging behavior or temporarily limiting access to reinforcers in the environment. In many cases this will be the short-term (minutes) restriction of a desired item, or the short-term removal of the person from the environment. This practice should only be used in emergencies or when developed as part of an approved behavior control plan.
Time Stamps A way to denote the exact date and time at which an event, incident, or situation occurs. A common format for time of day will use HH:MM with AM or PM indicator at the end. Dates commonly use MM/DD/YYYY formats.
Tinnitus A medical condition that frequently occurs among older people, and causes a person to hear a buzzing, swishing, tingling, or clicking sound even though there is no such sound in the environment. It can result from earwax, damage to the inner ear, or high or low blood pressure, and it may be aggravated by stress and tiredness. Tinnitus is hard to treat and difficult to diagnose in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who may have difficulty explaining the symptoms.
Token Something, such as a poker chip, a check mark, or a sticker, that can be exchanged for something else.
Tooth Decay The breaking down or rotting of a tooth enamel, cavities or holes in the teeth caused by acid from the plaque bacteria.
Tornado A violent destructive whirling wind accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud that progresses in a narrow path over the land.
Tornado warning This is issued when a tornado has been spotted in the area.
Tornado watch This is issued when weather conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to produce tornadoes in and close to the watch area.
Total task presentation teaching someone to perform all of the steps in a task in the right order.
Tourette Syndrome a neurobehavioral condition that is often visible through sudden, jerky, and often dramatic behaviors that are typically considered "inappropriate". These behaviors include involuntary movements and sounds, as well as compulsive rituals and behaviors.
Toxic Capable of causing injury or death, especially by chemical means. Poisonous.
Toxic exposure Exposure to a toxic substance such as a chemical
Toxins Things that can poison you or harm you. These can be breathed or eaten. Some can be absorbed through the skin. Common toxins in our environment include: lead, nicotine, mercury. Substances that are not toxic to a woman may be toxic or harmful to an unborn baby she is carrying. These may include alcohol, medications, and street drugs. In addition, toxins like mercury may have a minimal effect on the woman in small doses, but cause damage to an unborn child.
Tradition Something that is done because it has been done before, and carries with it emotional or psychological significance to the participants. The passing down of culture from generation to generation. A custom that has been passed on to one from one's ancestors or has developed over time.
Traditional Medicine Ways of protecting and restoring health that existed before the arrival of modern medicine. As the term implies, these approaches to health belong to the culture and heritage of each country, and have been handed down from generation to generation. In general, traditional systems have had to meet the needs of the local communities for many centuries.
Training needs assessment This is an assessment of a group of employees to identify high priority training needs. This uses competency assessments to identify skill gaps that need to be addressed.
Trans-fat Trans fat is a man-made fatty acid created by a process called hydrogenation. This stabilizes certain oils and prevents them from spoiling at room temperature. Trans fats can be harmful to the heart and have been linked to some cancers. Trans fats can be found in foods like margarine and processed fried and fast foods.
Transgender A person who feels the biological sex they were born into is not correct or does not match with the way he or she identifies as. Includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag kings, drag queens, etc.
Transportation A means to move from one location to another. Examples includes cars, buses, helicopters, trains, and bicycles.
Transportation plan A plan that includes cars, vans, buses, or any other mode of moving that moves people away from an emergency to a safe place. This includes walking. Various roads or routes should be part of the transportation plan. The plan should include alternate routes. The plan should take into account who will be transported and what their specific accessibility needs might be. It should also consider any durable medical equipment or other specialized needs the individual would needs that need to be accommodated while in the vehicle.
Trauma

Trauma is an injury or event that causes harm to a person or harm to a person's body.

A physical, emotional or psychological injury. This can result in long-term consequences that are physical, emotional, or psychological in nature. Trauma can come in a variety of forms but is more often a result of some sort of violence, threats, or injury made to or witnessed by a person.


Trauma-Informed Care Trauma informed care is based on several principles. The first being acknowledgement of the very high rates of trauma in people seeking services. Another being that trauma can create symptoms and behaviors that mimic or interact with those of other disorders. Another being that aspects of how services are delivered can increase trauma or support healing. With these principles in mind, trauma informed care seeks to create service and treatment environments that respect people's histories and support healing. These efforts are applied universally. They are combined with specific outreach and clinical support to those with significant trauma needs.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Traumatic Brain Injury is any injury cause to the brain that damages parts of the brain. It is estimated that 5.3 million Americans are currently living with a TBI-related disability. The effects from traumatic brain injury can be mild to severe but often causing changes in a person's personality and abilities. Short term memory is often affected.
Treatment Administration Record (TAR) A record kept to help people track when medical treatment is given.
Triad Three elements related in some way.
Triad of Challenges Group of three challenges observed in people with autism.
Trial Work Period (TWP) Is an employment support provided to people accessing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare. It allows recipients the opportunity to test their ability to work and earn as much as possible. During this time a person can earn as much as they want and they will not lose their benefits. As of 2009, a trial work month is any month a person earns over 0 or works over 80 hours at their own business. Ultimately, a person can have nine trial work months in a five year period.
Tricyclics A type of antidepressant medication which affects neurotransmitters in the brain.
Triggering Events Events that occur before a challenging behavior that may cause the behavior to occur.
Triglycerides Triglycerides are how most fat is stored in the body. Body fat is almost entirely made up of triglycerides. Fats are mostly transported in the blood in this form as well. Triglycerides can come from fat we eat or fat which is made in the body from carbohydrates.
Tropical storm A tropical cyclone with strong winds of over 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour but less than hurricane intensity
Trauma-informed An approach to engaging people in human services that recognized the profound effect of trauma on a person’s ability to function and communicate. It promotes universal approaches physical, psychological, and emotional safety of both providers and survivors. These approaches support people in maintain positive control in the support environment. It connects people to clinical level support for trauma when they feel they would benefit.
Trust A trait where one believes in the honesty, integrity and reliability of others. In a relationship trust is shown by having confidence in the other person's words and deeds. Trust is something you earn by doing what you say you will do and is based on past experiences.
Tsunami A great sea wave produced especially by submarine earth movement or volcanic eruption
Tuberculosis A disease which effects several parts of the body, but primarily attacks the lungs. This disease is spread through the air.
Turnover A method of counting the number of staff leaving employment and is referred to as the crude separation rate or percentage that describes the number of people who have left employment during a specified time period at the worksite divided by the average number of people who worked at the site during the same time period.
Tweezing A method of hair removal. Plucking hair with a tweezers is a way to remove one or only a few hairs at a time. This method is most frequently used to remove hair around a person's eyebrows or the stray hair on the chin or upper lip. It is a clean, effective and safe way to remove hair at the root.
Type 1 diabetes Occurs when the body does not produce any insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually, but not always, is diagnosed in children or young adults. Type 1 diabetes was previously called juvenile diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes 1. This is a mild form of diabetes, a disease in which a person's insulin levels are not managed properly by their own body, which does not have symptoms or require medication.

2. Occurs when the body does not use insulin that is produced by the body. This is most commonly diagnosed in adults and often occurs as people get older. Type 2 diabetes was previously called adult-onset diabetes.


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Ultraviolet Ultraviolet - Non-visible light that is harmful to eyes and skin in excessive amounts. It causes sunburn and long term exposure can cause cataracts.
Unaided Describes the use of symbols and signals for communication that require no external device or item for sending or receiving messages. Unaided communication approaches use body parts (e.g. the face or hands) to enhance meaning and improve the effectiveness of communication. Unaided approaches include sign language, naturally-occurring gestures, actions, and eye gaze.
Understanding Having an appreciation for a set of circumstances without passing judgment about the people or circumstances involved. Understanding is shown when you take the time to learn about the facts and details of a particular situation and remain unbiased and professional in your encounters with the family support network.
Unethical Actions that are considered wrong or self-serving to the detriment of others. Actions that are in conflict with established moral or ethical codes.
Unintelligible Difficult to understand; poorly expressed.
Universal Design Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
Universal Precautions A standard set of procedures designed to protect individuals from coming into contact with contaminated blood or bodily fluids. Because anyone can be a carrier of these diseases and symptoms do not have to occur for a person to be contagious, universal precautions greatly reduce the chances of exposure because they require that all human blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, and other bloodborne pathogens.
Universal Risk 1) Universal risk --Risks that apply to everyone, regardless of ability, personality, or status.
Universal safety standards Standards of behavior regarding safety that apply to everyone, such as requiring all passengers in a car to wear a safety belt.
University Affiliated Program Programs at institutions of higher education designed to learn about (research) and share information (dissemination & training) about the best possible services that will support people with developmental disabilities to achieve independence, productivity and community integration. These programs are authorized under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance Bill of Rights Act and are now called University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education (UCE).
University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education (UCE) See University Affiliated Program.
Unpredictable When something unexpected happens. It is often difficult to know exactly when challenging behaviors are going to occur, they are unpredictable.
Unusual or Major Incidents: Infrequent but serious situations that lead to harm or injury or could have lead to harm or injury.
Urethra The tube through which urine passes to leave the body.
Urinary Tract Area of and around the body parts in which urine passes as it is released.
Utilities Electrical and/or natural gas, found in both residential and commercial buildings.
Utilization review Evaluation by an outside party of the appropriateness, necessity, and/or efficiency of a given service for an eligible recipient.
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Vacancy rate The proportion of positions that are open or unfilled on a specific date.
Vaccine or vaccination The process of administering weakened or dead pathogens to a healthy person. This promotes the person's immunity against a pathogen such as the flu. This is administered as a shot (or injection), but can often be administered in other forms such as a nasal spray.
Vagina The female opening for sexual intercourse. Monthly menstrual blood passes out of the body through this opening. Babies are born through this opening.
Vaginal Area of and around the vagina or female genitals.
Vaginal penetration A sex act involving insertion of the penis into the vagina.
Valid Assessment A valid assessment is an assessment that actually measures what is trying to measure. Assessments are not valid when they are not completed the way they should be. For example a problem in validity happens when people cannot understand the language in which the test is written or when they have not had the chance to learn the words or concepts in the assessment.
Validity The extent to which the test accurately measures the concept it is designed to measure. This is tested in a variety of ways. For example, subject matter experts might review it to see if the items are accurate measures of the concept. Validity may also be tested by examining whether scores on the test are correlated with scores on other tests that measure the same concept or by examining whether scores are correlated with other outcomes.
Valued Roles Roles that are perceived as having social value by others, such as being able to contribute financially or in other ways to positive causes and betterment of community, family or organizations. Many people with disabilities are shut out of valued roles due to inaccessibility of accommodations, service barriers, and stigma.
Values Principles or standards which people use to guide them in daily life choices.
Verbal Commonly used to describe people who have functional use of speech; may also refer to cognitive ability related to symbol use.
Verbal Abuse Any communication that diminishes a person's dignity or self-worth or cause the person emotional anguish or pain.
This term is one that is commonly defined very specifically by state laws or regulations. You must be familiar with your state definitions. States that have specifically provided links to definitions or information regarding this term through special CDS customizations content include: PA, KS, MN.
Verbal Report Telling someone what happened.
Vigorously With physical energy and force.
Viral Related to virus, which is a type of germ that causes infection and is spread through the air and by touching contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs, another persons' hand, and countertops. Viruses include the common cold and flu.
Virus A very small thing that enters a human or plant cell and multiplies. Viruses cannot be seem with the human eye. In humans, the virus enters a cell in the body and multiples very quickly, causing a person to get sick.
Viruses Any one of a number of simple infectious agents that cause disease in living things. Viruses need to be in a living host to replicate and are typically not considered to be living themselves.
Vision The ability to see through the eyes.
Vision impairment is a condition where a person has difficulty seeing with their eyes. The condition may range from mild (needing only corrective glasses) to severe, where a person cannot see at all.
Vocabulary a set or body of words from a particular language. These words must be known to each communication partner for effective communication to take place.
Vocal inflection Vocal inflection is combination of pitch, cadence, volumn, speed, starts and pauses in someone's voice as they speak. It is the modulation of words during speech or how a person alters or varies the sound of what they are saying.
Vocabulary selection The selection of words (or phrases) to be included on an individual's communication device or signs to be taught to a person who uses an AAC approach. Selection should be based on several factors including context, partner, and relevant topics.
Vocalization The use of non-word utterances that convey intentional or non-intentional meaning. Vocalizations include attempts at speech, as well as utterances such as "ooh," "aaah," etc.
Vocational rehabilitation counselor A licensed professional who supports individuals with conditions such as disabilities, physical injuries, substance abuse issues, and mental illness in finding and keeping meaningful employment.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR) State agencies that provide employment-related services, support, and/or funding to assist individuals with disabilities with work preparation, attainment, and maintenance.
Volcanic eruption The sudden occurrence of a violent discharge of steam and volcanic material
Voluntary An action or decision made by a person freely and without force.
Volunteers People who are often solicited by an agency to provide a certain type of support. The agency takes responsibility to coordinate their schedule, accepts liability for their actions and usually provides volunteer orientation and training programs. Sometimes other organizations (churches, clubs, etc.), use volunteers to conduct some of their charitable programs.
Vulnerable At risk for injury or harm. Unable to defend or care for oneself.
Vulnerable Adults Persons 18 years of age or older who: are a resident of a facility; receive licensed services from a home care provider or personal care assistant provider; or regardless of residence or if any service is received, have physical or mental infirmity or other physical, mental or emotional dysfunction, that impairs the individual's ability to provide adequately for his or her own care without assistance, including the provision of food, shelter, clothing, health care or supervision, and/or because of the dysfunction or infirmity and need for assistance, the individual has an impaired ability to protect him/herself from maltreatment.
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Wage/benefit market analysis This is an analysis that compares the wages and benefits offered by a particular organization to wages and benefits offered by direct competitors in the same geographic region, and to wages and benefits offered to persons with similar educational and experiential backgrounds in other types of organizations or companies. The purpose is to check whether significant discrepancies exist that might contribute to relatively high turnover or recruitment difficulties.
Waiting A strategy used to enhance communication by allowing the person with a disability time to understand the message, process the response that may be required, formulate and produce a message. Sometimes called "expectant time delay", this strategy requires the communication partner to act as if she expects the person with a disability to respond. The communication partner should refrain from repeating the question or providing other cues or prompts until a set period of time (e.g. a count of "5") has elapsed to make sure the person with a disability has had a chance to respond.
Waiver (The) A formal set aside of certain regulations for a specific purpose. Also see: The Home and Community Based Waiver.
Ward A person for whom a legal guardianor representative has been appointed.
Waxing A method of hair removal. A warm strip of wax with a strip of cloth over it is placed on the skin. Once it cools and hardens the cloth is pulled back to remove the hair at the root. This method is often used for larger areas of hair to be removed. This process should not be done by a direct support professional.
Wellness Being aware of all the things it takes to live a healthy life and then making choices to reach the goal of living a healthy life style.
Wind Chill A combination of wind speed and air temperature that feels cooler than the actual temperature on the skin.
Wind Chill factor A phenomenon that makes us feel colder in winter than the air temperature really is.
Women's Rights Movement Women's Rights Movement: the struggle for the freedoms inherently possessed by women and girls of all ages which may be ignored or suppressed by law, custom, and behavior in a particular society.
Work Factors These are the many aspects that are specific to a job. They can influence a person's success on the job. These factors may be similar from one job to the next, or they may be different. For example, a few work factors include the work tasks of a job, when and where the work is done, level of supervision afforded on the job, and the amount of social interaction allowed on the job. Work factors are important to consider when developing a career plan.
Working Relationship The state of connectedness, affiliation or association between direct support professionals, the people they support, frontline supervisors, families and support networks which describe the interdependency or connectivity between these groups who must work together to provide support to individuals with disabilities.
WRAP Plan A self-directed plan developed by a person with serious mental illness that is designed to ensure they have plans in place in case symptoms become difficult to manage independantly.
Writing The production of meaningful letters or other graphic symbols that can be read by others.
Written language Formal systems of communication in which written symbols are combined to convey meaning. English is both a spoken and a written language.
911 Emergency phone number that works anywhere in the United States. This number can be called for any kind of emergency.
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