Commonly Used Terms | Individuals with Disabilities

Glossary of Commonly Used Terms

We compiled this extensive list of commonly used terms and acronyms in our industry for your reference.

Penn-Mar Specific Terms

AON (Awake Overnight) – A Direct Support Professional who works overnight in a Penn-Mar operated home

Career Ladders – Our Direct Support Professional credentialing program, in partnership with the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals

CE (Customized Employment) – A program in which we work with the people we support and area businesses to develop customized jobs that suit both parties

DSP (Direct Support Professional) – A professional who supports a person with an intellectual or developmental disability

Penn-Mar North (Formerly known as Far Hills) – Penn-Mar building in New Freedom, PA. It’s our PA Day Learning location, and also houses some PA program offices. Eventually all of PA will be condensed here

Glen Rock – Penn-Mar building in Glen Rock, PA. Houses some program and administrative offices. We will eventually vacate this building and move to Far Hills

L&D (Learning & Development) – Our department responsible for team member training, among other growth and development efforts

Penn-Mar Central (Formerly known as Maryland Line) – Penn-Mar Headquarters,. It’s one of our Maryland Day Learning locations and also houses several offices

Nonprofit Center (NPC) – Our Westminster offices

PM (Program Manager) – A professional that oversees various programs at Penn-Mar, typically Residential

QC (Quality Coordinator) – A professional who helps a person identify and monitor progress for their personally defined goals

RA (Residential Assistant) – A DSP who works in a Penn-Mar operated home

RS (Residential Supervisor) – A DSP who supervises a Penn-Mar operated home

Penn-Mar West (Formerly known as Westminster/WM/Stoner Avenue) – Penn-Mar building in Westminster, Carroll County touchpoint

General Terms

AAIDD (American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) – Organization focused on intellectual disability and related developmental disabilities

ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) – A scientific approach requiring the implementation of established principles of learning, behavioral strategies, and environmental modifications to improve and teach new behaviors

ABLE Act (Achieving a Better Life Experience Act) – Federal legislation that aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation

ACM (Alternate or Augmentative Communication Method) – A communication system individually developed for a person who is non-verbal, such as sign language, picture symbols, etc.

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

ADL – Activities of Daily Living

ANCOR (American Network of Community Options & Resources) – National advocacy organization

ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder

AT (Assistive Technology) – Devices or equipment used to assist people with disabilities to more effectively carry out activities of daily living (sometimes referred to as Enabling Technology)

BP (Behavior Plan) – A plan designed to modify (challenging) behavior that interferes with a person’s quality of life, through the use of clinically accepted techniques

CE (Competitive Employment) – Paid work at minimum wages in accordance with DOL (Department of Labor) regulations or in a setting where the majority of employees are not disabled

CFC (Community First Choice) – The program provides assistance with activities of daily living to Medicaid recipients who have a chronic illness, medical condition, or disability

CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) – The US federal agency that works with state governments to manage the Medicare program, and administer Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance program

CQL (Council on Quality and Leadership) – Provides accreditation, training, certification, and customized consultation to human service organizations and systems that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people

DD/IDD (Developmental Disability/Intellectual and Developmental Disability) – A diverse group of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments that arise before adulthood and can be persistent for the lifespan / A disability characterized by significant impacts in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills

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

DSP (Direct Support Professional) – A professional who supports a person with an intellectual or developmental disability

Dually Diagnosed – Having more than 1 diagnosis

EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) – Federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination

EI (Early Intervention) – Individualized services for infants and toddlers who are at risk for or are showing signs of developmental delay

HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) – Provides opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community rather than institutions or other isolated settings

HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act– National standards to protect an individual’s medical records and other personal health information

IDEA (The Individual with Disabilities Education Act) – A federal law mandating that state and local education agencies provide a free, appropriate public education and related services for all children with disabilities

IEP (Individualized Education Program) – A written plan for a child with a disability that is developed and implemented in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

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

NADSP (National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals) – Organization that provides DSP training and credentialing

NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) – A nationwide grassroots advocacy group, representing families and people affected by mental disorders in the United States

NCIL (National Council on Independent Living) – The longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities

PCP – Person Centered Planning

Pre-ETS (Pre-Employment Transition Services) – Provided specifically for students with disabilities through the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS). The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act requires vocational rehabilitation agencies to set aside 15% of their federal funds to provide Pre-ETS

Respite – Care for an individual while caregivers are away for several hours or days

SSA (Social Security Administration) – U.S. government agency that administers social programs covering disability, retirement and survivors’ benefits

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

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

TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury

Maryland Specific Terms

ALU (Alternative Living Unit) – A Maryland agency operated home where people with disabilities reside

CCS (DDA’s Coordination of Community Services) – Assists individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families in learning and gaining access to resources in their community, planning for their future, and accessing needed services and supports

CDS (Community Development Services) – Support provided in a chunk of time during the day to provide community connections, skill building, and supporting people’s daily goals

CP (Community Pathways) – One of the DDA Medicaid Waiver options

DDA (Developmental Disabilities Administration) – The State agency mandated to provide services for individuals with developmental disabilities in Maryland

DHMH (Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) – The Maryland agency concerned with the physical, mental and social health of Marylanders. Contains the Developmental Disabilities Administration, Mental Hygiene Administration, Local and Family Health, Medicare and Medicaid Policy and Compliance and the Office of Health Care Quality Administration (OHCQ)

DHS (Department of Human Services) – The state agency Maryland’s citizens in economic and social matters. Includes the Child Care Administration and Community Services Administration

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

DRM (Disability Rights Maryland) – Formerly Maryland Disability Law Center; an organization designated as the State Protection and Advocacy System for protecting and advocating for the rights of children and adults with disabilities. DRM provides legal representation to individuals who have legal problems due to their disability

EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) – System that verifies services are delivered in real time to an individual

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

LISS (Low Intensity Support Service) – DDA program to allocate low-level funding of various support services for persons on the DDA Waiting List

LTSS (Long Term Services and Supports System) – DDA’s new management information system

MACS (Maryland Association of Community Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Inc) – A professional association whose membership is comprised of agencies that provide community-based services to individuals with disabilities in Maryland

Maryland Works, Inc. – A statewide membership association that expands employment and business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Members include nonprofit community service organizations and individual workforce development professionals who specialize in creating workforce and economic opportunities for thousands of motivated and qualified Marylanders with disabilities and other barriers to employment

MSDE (Maryland State Department of Education) – The State agency responsible for ensuring that all children with disabilities residing in the State are identified, assessed and provided with free, appropriate public education consistent with state and federal laws

OHCQ (Office of Health Care Quality) – An independent office of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, responsible for inspecting, licensing and, if warranted, decertifying various programs and facilities funded and/or regulated by DHMH, including nursing homes, medical testing labs and all of the developmental disability community programs

PCIS2 (Provider Consumer Information System) – DDA’s old management information system, now LTSS

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

TY (Transitioning Youth) – A special category of eligibility and priority for services. Through the Governor’s Transitioning Youth Initiative, the DDA, in collaboration with the Division of Rehabilitative Services (DORS), has been able to fund supported employment and other day services for eligible graduating students who otherwise may not have received DDA services

Pennsylvania Specific Terms

ADS – Adult Developmental Services

CLA (Community Living Arrangement) – Pennsylvania agency operated home for adults with an IDD

CPS – Community Participation Supports

DHS – Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (formerly Department of Public Welfare)

DOH – Department of Health

DRP (Disabilities Rights Pennsylvania) – A statewide advocacy organization

FLA (Family Living Arrangement) – Type of residential service; also called Life Sharing

ISP (Individual Support Plan) – Annual planning document for individuals receiving federal funded services

ODP (Office of Developmental Programs) – PA entity responsible for oversight of programs for individuals with developmental disabilities

OMAP – Office of Medical Assistance Programs

OVR – Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

PAR – Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability

PCPA – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association

P/FDS (Person and Family Directed Support Waiver) – A type of funding

SC – Supports Coordinator

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