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Alphabet Soup

Terms and Abbreviations - Test

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American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Founded in 1876, this leading advocate promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Americans With Disabilities Act

ADA took effect in 1992. It prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, condition and privileges of employment.

Arlington Developmental Center

One of three DIDD developmental centers. ADC is in Arlington in west Tennessee, 20 miles east of Memphis. The facility opened in 1969 and closed 2010.

Administration on Developmental Disabilities

ADD ensures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to culturally competent services, supports, and other assistance and opportunities that promotes independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion into the community.

Adult Protective Services

APS is a cooperative program with local prosecutors that protects aged or disabled persons from abuse, neglect or exploitation.


The Arc is a leading national organization of and for people with intellectual disabilities and related developmental disabilities and their families. It is devoted to promoting and improving supports and services for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. The Arc also fosters research and education regarding the prevention of intellectual disabilities in infants and young children.

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Arlington Developmental Center Remedial Order

In January 1992, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the State of Tennessee for violations of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) at the Arlington Developmental Center. Since November 1993, the facility has been under a U.S. District Court order to correct conditions at the facility. A court-appointed monitor ensures that Arlington Developmental Center complies with the terms of the remedial order.The lawsuit was dismissed in December 2013.

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

Originated in 1974, CAPTA is Federal legislation that addresses child abuse and neglect. Provides funding to states in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities, and also provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for demonstration programs and projects. Additionally, CAPTA identifies the Federal role in supporting research, evaluation, technical assistance, and data collection activities; establishes the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect; and mandates the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect information.

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

CARF promotes the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served.

Clover Bottom Developmental Center

One of three DIDD developmental centers. CBDC is located in Nashville. The facility opened in 1923.

Community-based Day Services

Community-based day services allow the person supported to participate in meaningful and productive activities in integrated settings with other community members who may or may not have disabilities.

The Consortium on Citizens with Disabilities

CCD brings together all the major disability advocacy organizations in the United States to influence legislation and administrative policy at the Federal level.

Centers for Independent Living

Independent Living Centers are typically non-residential, private, non-profit, consumer-controlled, community-based organizations providing services and advocacy by and for persons with all types of disabilities. Their goal is to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum potential within their families and communities.

Community Living Arrangement

Individual premises in which 24-hour care is provided to one or more persons with intellectual disabilities.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

CMS administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with the states to administer Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and health insurance portability standards. Other responsibilities include the administrative simplification standards from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, quality standards in health care facilities through its survey and certification activity, and clinical laboratory quality standards.

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act

Enacted in 1980, CRIPA ensures that the rights of persons in institutions are protected against unconstitutional conditions.

Developmental Disability

A severe, chronic disability of an individual five years of age or older that: is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments; is manifested before the individual attains age 22; is likely to continue indefinitely; results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self-care; receptive and expressive language; learning; mobility; self- direction; capacity for independent living; and economic self- sufficiency; and reflects the individual’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, supports, or other assistance that is of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated; except that such term when applied to infants and young children, means individuals from birth to age five, inclusive, who have substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental disabilities if services are not provided.

Department of Children’s Services

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services was established in order to provide the best possible care for those children and youth who are in state custody, or at risk of entering custody, and their families. Services provided by DCS include child protective services, foster care, adoption, programs for delinquent youth, probation/aftercare, and treatment and rehabilitation programs for identified youth.

Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities

State office that promotes public policies to increase and support the inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities in their communities. The Council works with public and private groups across the State to find necessary supports for individuals with disabilities and their families, so that they may have equal access to public education, employment, housing, health care, and all other aspects of community life.

Department of Education

The Tennessee Department of Education’ s responsibility is to ensure equal, safe, and quality learning opportunities for all students pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Its mission is to help teachers teach and children learn. The department consists of four primary divisions: Special Education, Vocational-Technical Education, Resources and Support Services, and Teaching and Learning.

Durable Medical Equipment

Items of medical equipment owned or rented which are placed in the home of an individual to facilitate treatment and/or rehabilitation. DME generally consist of items that can stand repeated use. DME is primarily and customarily is used to serve a medical purpose and is usually not useful to a person who is absent of illness or injury.

Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities is responsible for system planning, setting policy and quality standards, system monitoring and evaluation, disseminating public information and advocating for persons of all ages who have mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.

Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

DIDD, is responsible for providing services and support to Tennesseans with intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilities, and to their families. Services and support are provided by the DIDD, either directly or through contracts with community providers, in a variety of settings. These settings range from institutional care to individual supported living in the community. The department also provides support to the Council on Developmental Disabilities, which consists of members appointed by the Governor, and represents a broad spectrum of disabilities.

Division of Rehabilitation Services

A division of the Tennessee Department of Human Services. DRS helps disabled persons become self-sufficient, gain employment, or receive timely and accurate decisions on their applications for disability benefits.

Direct Support Professional

Individual who provides guidance and support to persons who require assistance to be self-sufficient. A DSP’s job demands complex skills and knowledge, ethical judgment and the ability to create relationships of trust and mutual respect.

Finance and Administration

Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, provides continually improving financial and administrative support services which enhance state government’s ability to improve the quality of life for Tennesseans. The department also acts as the chief corporate office of government.

Greene Valley Developmental Center

One of three DIDD developmental centers. GVDC is located in Greeneville in East Tennessee.

Home and Community-based Waiver Services

HCBS is approved for Tennessee by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It provides services to a specified number of Medicaid-eligible individuals who have intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities, and who meet the criteria for Medicaid reimbursement of care in an intermediate care facility for intellectual disabilities.

Health Care Financing Administration

Federal agency that administers the Medicare, Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Programs. HCFA also regulates all
laboratory testing except research in the U.S.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Federal agency for protecting the health of Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are lease able to help themselves.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Federal law which ensures consumers’ rights over their health information and sets rules and limits on who can view and receive that information.

Inventory of Client & Agency Planning

An assessment tool used to determine funding of individuals in DIDD programs.

Intermediate Care Facility/intellectual disabilities

A licensed facility approved for Medicaid vendor reimbursement that provides specialized services for individuals with intellectual disabilities or related conditions and that complies with current federal standards and certification requirements for ICF/IIDs.

intellectual disabilities

Below normal intellectual development as a result of congenital causes, brain injury, or disease and characterized by any of various cognitive deficiencies, including impaired learning, social and vocational ability.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

A Federal law that requires public schools to make available to eligible children, birth through 21 years of age, with disabilities a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their individual needs.

Individual Family Support Plan

The Individual Family Support Plan is a plan for a person with intellectual disabilities and his/her family implemented by MR care professionals. An IFSP includes: Short and long-term goals for treatment and support services for the person and family, the roles and responsibilities of team members, clear and measurable steps to identify goals, monitors for monthly progress and identification of formal and informal resources. The plan can be revised by all team members on a regular or as needed basis.

Independent Living

The purpose of Independent Living is to maximize the leadership, empowerment, independence and productivity of individuals with disabilities and to integrate these individuals into the mainstream of society.

Independent Support Coordinator

An Independent Support Coordinator oversees the Individual Support Plan. The ISC works with the person with intellectual disabilities and his/her family. ISC’s are trained and skilled in how supports and services work for persons with disabilities in the community.

Independent Support Plan

An individualized written plan that identifies enrollee preferences, capacities, needs and resources and that identifies supports and services to meet such needs; and by which enrollees and their families are assisted to access Waiver and other necessary services.

Learning Disabled or Disability

A condition characterized by difficulty processing information.

Least Restrictive Environment

One of the principles of normalization. It requires that people with disabilities receive services and support in environments that do not limit their life activities unnecessarily. For example, environments that do not limit their life activities unnecessarily. For example, children with disabilities should be educated in a way that meets their needs and least limits their opportunities to be near and interact with other children.

Level of Need

The application of tying the ICAP to the staffing ratio that converts to a DIDD LON / funding structure.

Long Term Care

Long-term care encompasses a broad range of help with daily activities that chronically disabled individuals need for a prolonged period of time. These primarily low-tech services are designed to minimize, rehabilitate, or compensate for loss of independent physical or mental functioning. The services include assistance with basic activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, eating, or other personal care. Services may also help with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), including household chores like meal preparation and cleaning; life management such as shopping, money management, and medication management; and transportation. The services include hands-on and stand-by or supervisory human assistance; assistive devices such as canes and walkers; and technology such as computerized medication reminders and emergency alert systems that warn family members and others when an elder with a disability fails to respond. They also include home modifications like building ramps and the installation of grab bars and door handles that are easy to use.

National Institute of Mental Health

Leading Federal agency for research on mental and behavioral disorders.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy means diagnostic, therapeutic, and corrective services, which are within the scope of state licensure. OT services provided to improve or maintain current functional abilities, as well as, prevent or minimize deterioration of chronic conditions leading to a further loss of function are also included within this definition.

Personal Assistance

The provision of direct assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, eating, meal preparation excluding cost of food), household chores essential to the health and safety of the enrollee, budget management, attending appointments, and interpersonal and social skills building to enable the enrollee to live in a home and community. It also may include medication administration as permitted under Tennessee’s Nurse Practice Act.

Pre-Admission Evaluation

The Pre-Admission Review Unit processes Pre-Admission Evaluations (PAE's) to determine medical eligibility for admission to Nursing Homes, Intermediate Care Facilities for people with intellectual disabilities, and to the Home and Community Based Services waiver programs that provide home and community-based services for people with intellectual disabilities in lieu of institutionalized care.

Primary Care Provider

Typically the residential provider for the person supported . However, depending on the supports and services a person receives, the primary provider could be the day services provider, personal assistant provider or support coordination/case management provider.

Parents Encouraging Parents

Non-profit organization consisting of parents and professionals concerned about the quality of family life. It’s purpose is to promote the health of families in all aspects: physical, mental, social, and emotional; strengthen family structures; provide education in health, safety and nutrition; increase parenting skills; prevent child abuse and neglect; decrease future incidence of juvenile delinquency and substance abuse; and provide a support system for parents.

Protected Health Information

HIPAA regulations define health information as “any information, whether oral or recorded in any form or medium” that (1) “is created or received by a health care provider, health plan, public health authority, employer, life insurer, school or university, or health care clearinghouse,” and (2) “relates to the past, present or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.”

Plan of Care

See Individual Family Support Plan

Physical Therapy

Diagnostic, therapeutic and corrective services, which are within the scope of state licensure. Physical Therapy services provided to improve or maintain current functional abilities, as well as, prevent or minimize deterioration of chronic conditions leading to a further loss of function are also included in this definition.

Quality Assurance

Specifically, the DIDD Quality Assurance group is responsible for surveying contracted community-based providers to determine levels of performance related to the quality of services provided. Types of providers surveyed include Day and Residential providers, Independent Support Coordinator agencies and Clinical Service providers.

Qualified intellectual disabilities Professional

An individual who meets current Federal standards, as published in the Code of Federal Regulations, for a qualified intellectual disabilities professional. A person who is licensed in the state, if required for the profession, and who is a psychiatrist; physician with expertise in psychiatry as determined by training, education, or experience; psychologist with health service provider designation; psychological examiner, or senior psychological examiner; social worker who is certified with two years of mental health experience or licensed; marital and family therapist; nurse who has a Master’s degree in nursing who functions as a psychiatric nurse; professional counselor; or if the person is providing service to person supported s who are children, any of the above educational credentials plus mental health experience with children.

Request for Proposal

An invitation for providers of a product or service to bid on the right to supply that product or service to an individual or entity that submitted the RFP.

Regional Office

The DIDD has three main regional offices: Arlington in West Tennessee, Nashville in Middle Tennessee and Knoxville in East Tennessee. The DIDD also has satellite offices in Jackson, Chattanooga & Greeneville.

Self-Determination Waiver

This waiver is intended to assist individuals with moderate needs that can be effectively met with home and community based services that complement other community services. The Self-Determination Waiver allows participants the opportunity to lead the person-centered planning process to recruit and directly manage certain service provisions.

Supervised Group Living

Supervised Group Living serves adults with intellectual disabilities in a group home setting usually located in a community neighborhood setting. Residents are provided with services and training in behavior management, communication, adult daily living skills, employment and community interaction.

Speech Language Pathologist

Speech Language Pathologist is a rehabilitation specialty that is provided by a licensed individual. The SLP assists persons with varying disabilities. Some of the areas they assist persons are in: Chewing, swallowing, speech, comprehension, communications and memory loss.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is the corrective or rehabilitative treatment of physical and/or cognitive deficits/disorders resulting in difficulty with verbal communication. This includes both speech (articulation, intonation, rate, intensity) and language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, both receptive and expressive language, including reading and writing).

Social Security Administration

Federal agency which implements social programs, including Federal old-age pensions and disability insurance. SSA was founded in 1944.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Cash benefit program that provides Federal disability insurance benefits for workers who have contributed to the Social Security trust funds and become disabled or blind before reaching retirement age.

Supplemental Security Income

Cash benefit program that provides monthly cash income to low-income persons with limited resources on the basis of age and disability.

Tennessee Community Organizations

TNCO is a statewide, nonprofit trade association providing membership services to more than 80 member agencies. TNCO members are community agencies that offer a full spectrum of services including residential, day employment and direct support to nearly 10,000 persons with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities. As a membership organization, TNCO provides education, e-communications, publications, conferences and peer networking opportunities to its members. Established in 1977 under a different name, TNCO has been in existence for as long as or longer than most provider agencies. TNCO has an affiliated education-organization, TNCO ACTs, which provides education and training opportunities to provider agency staff members from executive directors to front-line employees.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, located in Nashville, is one of the premiere national resources for knowledge about the causes and treatments of intellectual disabilities. The VKC is one of 14 national developmental disabilities research centers supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Over its 40-year history, Center researchers have worked with State leaders to improve services for Tennesseans with intellectual disabilities. VKC focuses on early education, supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, health and mental health, and recreation and the arts. Center researchers represent more than 15 disciplines, including genetics, neuroscience, pharmacology, psychology, psychiatry, and special education, and a wide array of programs. In 2005, the VKC was designated a University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Services to help people with disabilities enter or return to employment. Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) is a Federal/state funded program.

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