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Rehabilitation Terms & Acronyms Glossary


504:  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects various civil rights of people with disabilities.  [ARCDallas]


AA = Alcoholics Anonymous  [Snelling Center]

AAA (sometimes referred to as “triple-A”) = Area Agency on Aging  [DAIL]

AABD = Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled  [Snelling Center]

AARP = American Association of Retired People  [Snelling Center]

AB = Aid to the Blind  [Snelling Center]

ABA = Applied Behavioral Analysis   “A style of teaching which uses a series of trials to shape a desired behavior or response. Skills are broken down into their simplest components and then taught to the individual through a system of reinforcement.”  [Easter Seals]

ABL = Adaptive Behavior Level. [ARCDallas]

Abt Associates: “a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and economic policy, and international development.  Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates was ranked 19th among the top U.S. research organizations and as one of the top 25 global research firms in 2010.”  []  Abt Associates was awarded the contract to lead the Benefits Offset National Demonstration (BOND) study;  see

ACCD; see CCD (below).

Accommodation / “Reasonable Accommodation”: “Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [ADA – see below] requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment, unless to do so would cause undue hardship.  ‘In general, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.’   There are three categories of “reasonable accommodations”:

“(i) modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or

‘(ii) modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or

‘(iii) modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity’s employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.’”

Active Case: a case that has been certified as meeting basic eligibility requirements, accepted for vocational rehabilitation services, and has not been closed for any reason.  [IHDI]

Activities of Daily Living (ADL): “means self-care activities such as toileting, bathing, dressing, eating, and mobility.” [DVR Manual]  Various routine activities that are performed day to day, such as putting on clothes, preparing meals, household chores, working at a job, going to school, using transportation to get from one place to another, etc.  [ATNet]

Acute Condition: injuries or illnesses of short duration (30 days or less).  [IHDI]

ADA = Americans with Disabilities Act, 1991: Provides civil rights protection to people with disabilities and guarantees those covered by the law equal opportunity in employment, state and local government services, transportation, places of public accommodation, and telecommunications services.  [NSIP]   A federal law that protects employees from discrimination on the basis of disability, and imposes upon employers the requirement that they make “reasonable accommodations” for their employees’ disabilities.  (ELG)

ADA Information Line: The Department of Justice’s toll-free hotline. Call to obtain answers to general and technical questions about the ADA and to order technical assistance materials: 800-514-0301 (voice) 800-514-0383 (TTY)  [NSIP]

ADAP = Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs – Part of the Vermont Department of Health.  [ADAP’s] mission is to help Vermonters prevent and eliminate the problems caused by alcohol and other drug use…. [SOV]

ADD = Attention Deficit Disorder, once simply labeled “hyperactivity” or “hyperactive.”  A neurobehavioral disorder that affects 3 to 5 percent of all American children. It interferes with a person’s ability to sustain attention or focus on a task and some patients may be unable to control impulsive behavior.One variant seen is “ADHD” – Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder  [ARCDallas]

ADEA.  See Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

ADHD = Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (cf. ADD).  A neurobiological disorder. Symptoms include hyperactivity, distractibility, impulsiveness, developmentally-inappropriate behavior and appear in early childhood, typically before seven years of age and usually lasting at least six months. [ARCDallas]  Developmentally inappropriate behavior, including poor attention skills, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. A person can be predominantly inattentive (often referred to as ADD), predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, or a combination of these two. [LD Online]

Adjustment Services:  ongoing rehabilitation services individually designed to establish, reinforce, or modify behaviors to enable the individual with a disability to achieve a functional level of personal, social, and vocational development.  [IHDI]

ADL = Activities of daily living (see above).

ADM = Average Daily Membership [VCDR]

Administrative Review:  “an informal hearing conducted by a DVR Supervisory Counselor or Manager designated by the DVR Director.  The review officer may have been involved in some aspects of the case but, in no circumstance, shall s/he have participated in the decision/issue under review unless the person agrees to such a designation.”  [DVR Manual]  “[A]n informal process conducted by an Agency administrator to resolve disputes prior to an impartial hearing. It is not a requirement that the applicant or eligible individual use this process.”  [IHDI]

Advocacy: 1) The act or process of defending or maintaining a cause or proposal. An organization may have advocacy as its mission (or part of its mission) to increase public awareness of a particular issue or set of issues. 2) The act of working toward a goal or defending a cause.  [NGPG]  Cf. “Lobbying”.

AFDC = Aid to Families with Dependent Children; former name for TANF (see below).  [Snelling Center] Affirmative Action:  efforts made by an employer to actively recruit for employment individuals with disabilities, women, older individuals, or minorities and to develop a policy of nondiscrimination in all employment practices, i.e., advancement, rate of pay, and selection for training.  [IHDI]

Affirmative Action Plan:  a detailed description, by an agency or business, of policies related to equal employment and advancement opportunity for individuals with disabilities, women, older individuals, or minorities. The plan includes specific action steps, timetables, and compliance and enforcement procedures to assure equal opportunities.  [IHDI]

Age Appropriate: “Individuals who meet the age requirements to participate in paid employment.”  [CWS]

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA):  A federal law that protects older employees from employment discrimination on the basis of age. (ELG)

AHS = Vermont Agency of Human Services [VCDR; CWS]

Allocation: “A part of a lump-sum appropriation which is designated for expenditure by specific organizational units and/or for special purposes, activities or objects.” [DFM]

ALS = Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): More commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disease that causes degeneration of the motor neurons, nerve cells that control the movement of voluntary muscles. Motor neurons extend from the brain to the spinal cord (the upper motor neuron) and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body (the lower motor neurons). The disease causes the motor neurons to degenerate and eventually die. As they die, the corresponding muscles are paralyzed.  [IDC]

Alternative Formats: Having alternative formats available to people with disabilities ensures that information is accessible to them. Examples: text files on a computer disk, large print, books on tape, Braille.  [NSIP]

AOE Committee = the Advocacy, Outreach and Education Committee, currently one of the four standing committees of the SRC.

Appeal:  a course of legal proceedings to resolve disputes available to consumers carried out in accordance with established rules and principles.  [IHDI]

Appeals Process: “It is anticipated that almost all disagreements between the individual and the VR Counselor will be resolved through open communications.  When a difference of opinion persists, the individual may use one or more of the following appeals options:

  1. Mediation
  2. Administrative Review
  3. Fair Hearing
  4. Civil Action

“The individual may start with any option, although some choices will eliminate other options….”   [DVR Manual]

Applicants:  individuals who have signed a letter or document requesting vocational rehabilitation services and who are available to complete an assessment.  [IHDI]

Appropriate:  meets the requirements or needs of the occasion or circumstances and is fitting; suitable; compatible.  [IHDI]

Appropriate Heights: Refers to legal requirements to install water fountains, bathroom amenities, telephones at heights that enable their use by people who use wheelchairs.  [NSIP]

Appropriation: “An authorization granted by the constitution or the legislature to make expenditures or to incur obligations for a specific purpose. An appropriation is usually limited in amount and as to the time when it may be spent, normally calendar or fiscal year.” [DFM]

APRIL = Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living. Mission Statement:  “The purpose of APRIL is to provide leadership and resources on rural independent living. As a national membership organization, APRIL is dedicated to advancing the rights and responsibilities of people with disabilities in rural America by serving as a center of resources and by leading systems change.”  (website at

APSE (sometimes pronounced “AP-see”) = Association for Persons in Supported Employment  [Snelling Center]

ARAN = American Rehab Action Network: a network of concerned public and private professionals, educators, persons with disabilities and their families, friends, and businesses working together to positively affect the public vocational rehabilitation program; website at  Cf. VRAN.

ARD = Annual Review or Dismissal:  Parent/teacher meeting for all students in Special Education.  Can be called by school or family to discuss plans for the student.  [ARCDallas]

Area Work Incentives Coordinator (AWIC): “…a Social Security Administration employee who serves as an expert on SSA’s work incentives and employment support programs in a specific geographic area of the country. He/she manages and coordinates work incentive training; conducts public outreach; and provides public support services to beneficiaries with disabilities who want to start or keep working and to other members of the community.”  [SSAG]

ARRA = The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, abbreviated ARRA (Pub.L. 111-5) and commonly referred to as the Stimulus, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009. The Act followed other economic recovery legislation passed in the final year of the Bush presidency including the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 and the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 which created the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).[]  The ARRA funds for VR services have now been virtually all spent.

AS = Asperger’s SyndromeA developmental disorder that effects a persons ability to understand other people and socially interact with them. People with AS, while having trouble making eye contact, are unable to read and respond to social cues and body language. Persons with AS tend to repeat certain phrases or words repeatedly. Symptoms of the syndrome can include: clumsiness or lack of coordination, extreme self-absorption, limited interests, unusual preoccupations, ritual or repetitive routines, speech and language peculiarities and non-verbal communication difficulties. AS is a Spectrum Disorder which means that symptoms range greatly.  [ARCDallas]

ASD = Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD):  This refers to a range of neurological disorders that most markedly involve some degree of difficulty with communication and interpersonal relationships as well as obsessions and repetitive behaviors. As the term “spectrum” indicates, there can be a wide range of effects. Those at the lower-functioning end of the spectrum may be profoundly unable to break out of their own world and may be described as having Kanner’s Autism. Those at the higher-functioning end, sometimes diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, may be able to lead independent lives but still be awkward in their social interactions.  []

Assessment:  a comprehensive examination of an individual’s physical, intellectual and emotional functioning in order to determine appropriate service needs.  [IHDI]

Assistive Technology Device: “Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether required commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capacities of individuals with disabilities.” (Taken from the Technology Related assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988)  [NSIP]

Assistive Technology Service: “Any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Service includes evaluation of need; selection, purchase; coordination of related services; training and technical assistance.”  [NSIP]  See VATP.

AT = Assistive or adaptive technology – Equipment or systems developed to provide solutions to problems confronting people with disabilities. These solutions can be high-tech or low-tech. By developing new products or re-engineering current ones, rehabilitation technologists can assist a person with a physical, mental or sensory impairment to function independently at home or on the job.  [ORSC]  See VATP.

AT Coach: A relatively new DVR staff position; a person who “coaches” VR customers who might benefit from assistive technology.  Compare Car Coach.

Audit: “A systematic collection of the sufficient, competent evidential matter needed to attest to the fairness of management’s assertions in the financial statements or to evaluate whether management has efficiently and effectively carried out its responsibilities.” [DFM]

Attendant Care:  “assistance needed for self-care and in performing activities of daily living such as getting dressed, toileting, and eating.  [DVR Manual]

AWP = average wholesale price (of drugs).

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Device (AAC): Electronic and mechanical devices used by individuals with speech disabilities to communicate.  [ATNet]

BAC = [local] Business Advisory Coalition

Baldrige Award:  “The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizes U.S. organizations in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors for performance excellence. The Baldrige Award is the only formal recognition of the performance excellence of both public and private U.S. organizations given by the President of the United States. It is administered by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which is based at and managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Up to 18 awards may be given annually across six eligibility categories—manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit. As of 2010, 91 organizations had received the award….”  []  DVR has won the Baldrige Award, and has used the Baldrige process as one of its evaluation tools.

BAM = Business Account Manager.  “[A] newly-created position in each [DVR] region dedicated to serving employers in their district and facilitating CWS coalitions.” [CWS]

“Historically we have had employment consultants who both work with customers in the office and outreach to employers in the community. We are moving to identify an employment consultant on the team who could become a VR Business Account Manager who would handle all of the employer outreach and not carry a caseload of VR job seekers.   We anticipate covering the employer community more effectively and maintaining employer relationships over time….”  [Diane Dalmasse, “Director’s Report,” December 2009]

Barrier-Free Design: An approach to design that aims for buildings, transportation systems, and outdoor environments that people with disabilities can access and use independently and safely.  See universal design.  [NSIP]

Barriers: Obstacles that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in society.  [These include:]

Attitudinal Barriers: Attitudes, fears and assumptions that prevent people with and without disabilities from meaningfully interacting with one another.

Physical Barriers: Physical obstacles that hinder people with physical disabilities from gaining access.  [NSIP]

BC = Benefits Counselor (see below).

Behavior Modification:  a therapeutic approach in which the focus is on the person’s observable behavior. This approach is used to change maladaptive behavior through systematic manipulation of the environment.  [IHDI]

Benefits Counselor:  a person who assists SSI and SSDI disability beneficiaries, family members, and professionals in understanding complex work incentive program requirements and related issues.  [IHDI]  “Professionals who can help people understand how earned income will affect other public and private benefit programs.”    [CWS]

Benefits Offset National Demonstration (BOND):  “The purpose of the Benefit Offset projects [sic] is to determine the effect of various interventions, in combination with a benefit offset, on employment outcomes including wages, benefits, hours worked, and job retention. In the benefit offset demonstration, SSA will test a $1 reduction in benefits for every $2 in earnings over substantial gainful activity (SGA) levels, in combination with benefits counseling, with the goal of helping beneficiaries with disabilities return to work. The project will allow beneficiaries to face this gradual reduction in their benefits, eliminating the abrupt loss of cash benefits in the SSDI disability program when a beneficiary works and has earnings over a specific amount. Participants will maintain ongoing eligibility for health care benefits and other supports linked to SSDI eligibility.”  [Go to for more detailed information.]

Best Practices: “A best practice is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive, or reward which conventional wisdom regards as more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. when applied to a particular condition or circumstance. The idea is that with proper processes, checks, and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered with fewer problems and unforeseen complications. Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.”  []

BISHCA = Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration, Vermont Department of (BISHCA):  BISHCA touches most Vermonters in some fashion, through its regulation and monitoring of a broad spectrum of financial and health industry activities. Regulated entities/areas include, for example: banks, licensed lenders, credit unions, insurance companies and their products, agents, securities firms, broker/dealers and investment advisors, HMO’s and hospital finances.  [SOV]

Blindness.  See Legal Blindness (below).

Blue Book:  the Budget and Program Recommendations for the Vermont Agency of Human Services for each fiscal year.  []

BOG = Board of Governors (of the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights (VCDR))

BOND = Benefits Offset National Demonstration (see above).

Break-Even Point (SSI) – The dollar amount of total income that will (after applicable deductions are applied) reduce the SSI payment to zero in a given set of case facts. Your break-even point depends on your earned and unearned income, living arrangements, applicable income exclusions, and state supplement, if any. While useful for discussion purposes, this term does not appear in the SSI rules.  [SSAG]

Bridges Out of Poverty: “a training program that leads to a new way of thinking about poverty and economic diversity, helping to end generational poverty in our communities. … the Champlain Initiative [in] March 2007 launch[ed] of a Bridges Out of Poverty Employer workgroup.  In partnership with the Vermont Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM], 15 employers from around the state will spend 18 months looking at ways to incorporate the Bridges Out of Poverty teachings into their workplaces, while making other changes to improve recruitment, retention and promotion of low-wage workers.”  []

Budget: “A plan of financial operation embodying an estimate of proposed expenditures for a given period or purpose and the proposed means of financing them. NOTE: The term “budget” is used in two senses in practice. Sometimes it designates the financial plan presented to the legislature for adoption and sometimes the plan finally approved by that body. It is usually necessary to specify whether the budget under consideration is preliminary and tentative or whether it has been approved by the legislature. The term is also sometimes confused with the budget document.” [DFM]

CAFR = Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (see below).

CAP: (1) Client Assistance Program (CAP) – part of [Vermont Legal Aid] that provides advocacy, information and referral services to applicants and consumers of [DVR] services. CAP helps individuals obtain information concerning the [DVR] system and assists with problems that arise between counselors and consumers. CAP involvement occurs only when the consumer, counselor or other individual requests its assistance. [ORSC]  A federally mandated program providing information and advocacy for people with disabilities who are seeking or receiving services from any state programs which are funded under the Rehabilitation Act, such as Vocational Rehabilitation Division of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Vermont Center for Independent Living. Burlington Office, (802)-863-2881 / 1-800-747-5022; Rutland Office (802)-775-0021 / 1-800-769-7459  (VCW) (2) Community Action Program, under the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Car Coach: A relatively new DVR staff position; a person who “coaches” VR customers through the process of acquiring or repairing an automobile.

CARC = Champlain Association for Retarded Citizens  [Snelling Center]

CARF = Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities [NCWD/A

Carry-Forward: “A portion or total of the unspent balance of an appropriation that is made available for expenditure in the succeeding fiscal year.” [DFM]

CART = Communication Access Realtime Translation, also known as realtime captioning: the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and realtime software. The text appears on a computer monitor or other display. This technology is primarily used by people who are late-deafened, oral deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have cochlear implants. Culturally deaf individuals also make use of CART in certain situations.  The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically recognized CART as an assistive technology which affords “effective communication access.”  []

Case File:  an Agency record started at the time of application which records the progression of services provided and events that occur throughout the individual’s involvement with [DVR].  [IHDI]

Caseload:  the total number of individuals with whom a particular counselor works and for whom an individual case file is on record.  [IHDI]

Caseload Management: “the use of techniques (methods or details of procedure) to control the distribution, quality, quantity, and cost of all aspects of casework activities in order to accomplish the program goals of the agency.”   [Grubbs, et al, Rehabilitation Caseload Management: Concepts and Practice, (Springer Publishing Co., 2006), p. 9; accessed at Google Books.]

Case Manager: “A professional who helps individuals in a variety of daily living activities, including housing, healthcare, financial, employment, social and legal activities.”  [CWS]

CBO = Congressional Budget Office  [Snelling Center]

CCD: (1) The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, “a coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the self determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.”  Website at  (2) Historically, the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD or CCD), “in the mid-1970s to early 1980s, a national consumer-led disability rights organization…  Created, governed, and administered by individuals with disabilities – which made it a novelty at the time – ACCD rose to prominence in 1977 when it mounted a successful 10-city “sit in” to force the federal government to issue long-overdue rules to carry out Section 504, the world’s first disability civil rights provisions. ACCD also earned a place of honor in the disability rights movement when it helped to secure federal funding for what is now a national network of 600 independent living centers and helped to pave the way for accessible Public Transit in the U.S. After a brief and often tumultuous history, ACCD closed its doors in 1983.”  [Wikipedia]

CDB-OA = Childhood Disability Benefits based on the Social Security record of a retired, disabled or deceased wage earner. To be entitled to CDB, the individual must be 18 years of age or older and have been disabled prior to age 22. The disability must continue after age 22.  [IHDI]

CDC = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  [Snelling Center]

CDD = Child Development Division – [The CDD] is the state agency charged with improving the well being of Vermont’s children by ensuring safe, accessible and quality services are available for every child.  Its responsibilities include child care, prevention and early intervention, food and nutrition, and communities and partnerships.  [SOV]

Centers for Independent Living (CILS): Community based, consumer controlled, not-for-profit centers governed by a board of directors of whom at least 51% are people with disabilities. Services provided include: peer counseling, information and referral, independent living skills training, and advocacy.  [NSIP]  See also VCIL.

CfC:  (1)  Choices for Care Long-term Care Waiver [VCDR]  (2) Challenges for Change (see below).

CFIDS = Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome:  Chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome, or CFIDS, is a debilitating disorder characterized by profound tiredness or fatigue. Patients with CFIDS may become exhausted with only light physical exertion. In addition, patients generally report various nonspecific symptoms, including weakness, muscle aches and pains, excessive sleep, malaise, fever, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, impaired memory and/or concentration, insomnia, and depression. CFIDS can persist for years.  []

CFR = Code of Federal Regulations  [Snelling Center]

Challenges for Change:  (1) the report, “Challenges for Change: Results for Vermonters,” produced for the Joint Legislative Government Accountability Committee on January 5, 2010.   It is being used by the Douglas Administration as a guide to streamlining State government.  The report can be found at, and updates can be accessed at  (2)  The program of initiatives that has resulted from the report.

CHAMPUS = Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services [Snelling Center]

CHAMPVA = Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Veterans Administration  [Snelling Center]

Chronic:  of long duration or frequent recurrence over an extended period of time.  [IHDI]

CILS = Centers for Independent Living (see above).

Closed, Closure:  termination of [a DVR] case for any reason.  [IHDI]  See 26, 28 (above).

CMS = Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly HCFA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  [Snelling Center]  It “administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.”  Its website is at  [SSAG]

CMS = Case Management System (computerized).  [IHDI]

COBRA = Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.  A federal law that requires employers to allow employees to continue their health insurance coverage after termination, in the same insurance group, at the group rate, and providing the same benefits.  (ELG)

COLA = Cost of Living Allowance (see below).

Community High School of Vermont (CHSVT): Community High School of Vermont, a program of the Vermont Department of Corrections, is primarily designed to serve individuals who:

  • Have not obtained a High School Diploma.
  • Are under the custody of the Vermont Department of Corrections.
  • Have a high need in the area of employment, as identified by the classification procedures of the Vermont Department of Corrections.
  • Additionally, under Vermont State Law (28VSA120), all individuals under custody, under 23 years of age, without a High School Diploma, have a mandatory education requirement – these students are enrolled upon admission.
  • The School also serves special education needs of students with disabilities with Certified Teachers.”


Community Rehabilitation Program: a private for-profit or non-profit program that provides directly or facilitates the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, to enable those individuals to maximize opportunities for employment, including career advancement. [IHDI]

Comparable Benefits: “means services and benefits that are:

  1. Provided or paid for, in whole or in part, by other federal, state, or local public agencies, by health insurance, or by employee benefits; and
  2. Available to the person at the time needed to achieve the rehabilitation objectives of the person’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) in accordance with the policy [in Chapter 103, Section II(B)]; and
  3. Commensurate with the services that the person would otherwise receive from [DVR].” [DVR Manual]


Competitive Employment:  “work in the competitive labor market that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis in an integrated setting.  The individual is compensated at or above the minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals who are not disabled.”  [DVR Manual]


Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR): “The official annual financial report of the state encompassing all funds and component units of the state. It includes an introductory section, management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A), basic financial statements, required supplementary information other than MD&A, combining and individual fund statements, schedules, and a statistical section.”  [DFM]

Confidential Information (Confidentiality): any information of a personal nature relating to the consumer including photographs obtained or developed by the Agency. The concept of confidentiality is based upon the consumer’s right to privacy, expressed or implied, and has both legal and ethical implications. Personal information will not be revealed to others except under specific circumstances and with permission of the applicant or consumer. [IHDI]

Consultation: a conference through which the counselor obtains advice from another professional and views are exchanged concerning an individual’s vocational rehabilitation needs and progress toward goals. [IHDI]

Consumer: “A person who receives services from DAIL, DVR, DBVI, VABIR. Sometimes called a customer or client.  All labels have problems; best practice is to speak long-hand: ‘a person who receives services from…’”    [CWS]  Those individuals who have applied for services or have been determined to meet the basic conditions of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services as defined in the Rehabilitation Act. [IHDI]  A term sometimes used for people with disabilities instead of patient or client to suggest their entitlement to an active role and quality service.  [NSIP]

Cooperative Agreement:  a document setting forth the terms and conditions under which [DVR] and another agency, organization, or private party cooperate in the provision of services.  [IHDI]

Counseling and Guidance:  a helping process within the rehabilitation program by which individuals with disabilities and vocational impediments are assisted in analyzing, understanding, and using their assets to overcome social, emotional, educational, vocational, and physical limitations. Counseling and guidance may include functions such as assessment, adjustment counseling, coordination of services, identification and mobilization of resources, placement, and follow-up.  [IHDI]

Corrections:  the Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC).  [A glossary of terms commonly used in the Department may be found at; click on the “Glossary” link.]

Counseling and Guidance: “the process in which the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) counselor and the customer form a working partnership to assist him/her to achieve an employment goal that is consistent with his/her unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, interests and informed choices.” [DVR Manual]

Counselor:  a trained professional who provides vocational counseling and other services based upon the knowledge of human behavior and the nature of disabilities to help consumers identify and achieve personal goals.  [IHDI]

CP = Cerebral Palsy:  A general term for a group of permanent brain injuries that affect an infant in the womb, during birth, or in the months following birth.  People with cerebral palsy may have limited motor skills, speech difficulties, learning disabilities, or other related conditions.  [IDC]

CPI = Consumer Price Index  [Snelling Center]

CPI-U = Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: An inflation index tabulated monthly by the Bureau of  Labor Statistics, as an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor….  It may be obtained at: Simply check the box at the top of the list for: U.S. All items, 1982-84=100 – CUUR0000SA0; then click the Retrieve data button at the bottom of the page.  []  [NOTE: This is the “CPI” referenced in the Rehab Act.]   “A measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services typically purchased by consumers. The CPI for all urban consumers covers about 80% of the total population.” [DFM]

CPS = Child Protective Services  [Snelling Center]


CR = continuing resolution, the Congressional device by which funding for programs is continued while a budget resolution is still pending.


CRC = Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a certification offered nationally by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.


Creative Workforce Solutions (CWS).  “A [Vermont] statewide initiative of the Agency of Human Services designed to build collaboration between employment programs in order to better serve the needs of AHS jobseekers and the employers who hire them.  By meeting the needs of these two key customers, Creative Workforce Solutions will increase employment outcomes, enhance and grow businesses and provide streamlined access for both jobseekers and employers.”  [CWS]


CRP = Community Rehabilitation Provider [NCWD/A]


CRT = Community Rehabilitation and Treatment Program.  “Program provided by Community Mental Health Centers (DAs [= Designated Agencies]  to people with chronic mental illness; people receiving CRT have case managers and are eligible for Supported Employment programs.    [CWS]


CSAC = Counseling Service of Addison County


CSAVR = Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation

CSNA = Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment.  See Needs Assessment.


CSP = coordinated service plan; community support program  [Snelling Center]; community service program; community service placement.


CSPD = Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (For information, see


Customized Employment:  “[A] flexible blend of strategies, services, and supports designed to increase employment options for job seekers with complex needs through the voluntary negotiation of the employment relationship with an employer. The job seeker is the primary source of information and drives the process. The Customized Employment process begins with an exploration phase that lays the foundation for employment planning. Planning results in a blueprint for the job search, during which an employment relationship is negotiated to meet the needs of both the job seeker and the employer.” [NCWD/A]


CVCAC = Central Vermont Community Action Council  [Snelling Center]


CVH / CVMC = Central Vermont Hospital / Central Vermont Medical Center [Snelling Center]


CVS = Champlain Vocational Services  [Snelling Center]


CWS = Creative Workforce Solutions


CWS/AHS Partners: “State agencies and departments, non-profit organizations and other entities who receive Agency of Human Services funding, either directly or indirectly, to provide employment services to Vermonters.”  [CWS]


CWS Coalitions: “Groups of AHS-funded employment programs, one in each of 12 AHS districts.    [CWS]


D & E = Diagnosis and Evaluation:  Comprehensive test consisting of a psychological exam, a social evaluation/history, a medical history and a cursory exam, and an educational evaluation.  Often a prerequisite to obtaining a variety of services.  [ARCDallas]


DA = designated agency


DAD (or DA&D) = Department of Aging and Disabilities, a department that was merged into the Department of Disability, Aging & Independent Living (DAIL) (see below).


DAIL = Department of Disability, Aging & Independent Living – DAIL provides a variety of services to Vermonters who are over the age of 60 or who have a disability. Within the Department, there are four divisions, each responsible for different areas of service:

Also the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services is located under the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) serves individuals with hearing loss to ensure they have equal access to the services of all departments, divisions and programs within the Agency of Human Services (AHS).  In addition, since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Department has played a leading role in ensuring that the State of Vermont achieves compliance with the Act, providing technical assistance, training, and written materials to assist state government and private sector in understanding and meeting the goals of the law.  [SOV]


Dashboard, DVR:  A web-based tool available to DVR personnel by which they may monitor and compare their performance with that of the Division as a whole.


DBVI = Blind and Visually Impaired, Division of: DBVI has been offering services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired since 1927.  Located within the Agency of Human Services and the Department of Aging and Disabilities, DBVI is the designated state unit to provide vocational rehabilitation services.  DBVI’s Mission is to support the efforts of Vermonters who are blind and visually impaired to achieve or sustain their  economic independence, self reliance, and social integration to a level consistent with their interests, abilities and informed choices.  [SOV]   DBVI’s mission is to assist Vermonters who are blind and visually impaired to achieve or maintain their fullest possible economic independence, self-reliance, and social integration. A wide range of services is offered to accommodate individual needs.  [VCW]


DCF = Department for Children and Families [VCDR]


DD = Developmental Disability: A disability that manifests before a person reaches 22 years of age and that constitutes a substantial disability to the affected individual. Developmental disability is attributable to mental retardation or related conditions, which include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or other neurological conditions when such conditions result in the impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of a person with mental retardation.  [IDC]


DD Council = Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council. (802)-241-2612 TTY / 1-888-317-2006  [VCW] DDAS = Division of Disability and Aging Services: DDAS is responsible for all community-based long-term care services for older Vermonters, individuals with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and physical disabilities.  [SOV]


DD Council/DDC = Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council  [SOV]


DDMHS = Department of Developmental and Mental Health Services (see below).


DDS = Disability Determination Services: The Office of Disability Determination Services (DDS) serves Vermonters who apply for disability benefits under the Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicaid programs. The mission of DDS is to provide applicants with accurate decisions as quickly as possible, as governed by Social Security federal statutes, regulations, and policy, with full and fair consideration of each applicant’s situation and respect and concern for the individual’s well-being and legal rights.  (SOV)


Deaf/Deafness: “a hearing impairment of such significance that the person must depend primarily upon visual communication such as writing, lip reading, manual communication and gestures.  The person is unable to hear and understand speech through the ear alone.” [DVR Manual]


Delta (Δ):  A commonly-used symbol for “change”.  See Plus-Delta (+/Δ), below.

DES = Department of Economic Services.  “The mission of the Economic Services Division is to help Vermonters find a path to a better life. To that end, we administer several state and federal programs that help individuals and families meet their basic needs. These programs, which include assistance-to-work, supplemental nutrition assistance, fuel assistance, and health care, provide a safety net for individuals and families who may be experiencing unemployment, part-time or low-wage employment, family breakup, single parenthood, aging, temporary or permanent disability, the death of a family member, or other life-changing events.  ESD serves more than 95,000 families – that’s about 180,000 people – at any given time. This means that more than one in five Vermonters will receive benefits from ESD programs this year.” []

Developmentally Disabled: Defined in law as a “severe and chronic disability” which is attributed to a mental or physical impairment or combination; is manifested before age 22; and results in substantial functional limitation in at least three major life activities. Is sometimes used to refer to people who are diagnosed with mental retardation.  [NSIP]


DHHS = U. S. Department of Health and Human Services  [Snelling Center]


DHMC = Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center [Snelling Center]

Diagnosis: a decision or opinion, regarding the nature of a condition, resulting from an examination or investigation of symptoms. [IHDI]

DIB = Disability Insurance Benefits (of a disabled wage earner). [IHDI]

Disabilities Law Project of Vermont Legal Aid Client Assistance Program (CAP).  See CAP. Disability: a physical or mental impairment that affects anindividual’s mental or physical functioning and employment potential. [IHDI]

Disability, Person with a: Legally defined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as “ a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.  [NSIP]

Disability Benefits: The Social Security Administration pays disability benefits under two programs: SSDI, and SSI. People who receive either of these benefits may risk losing them due to their participation in national service. The Work Incentives Program is one way that a participant may continue to receive benefits while serving.  [NSIP]

Disability Organizations: Organizations of and/or for people with disabilities and disability issues.  Website:  [NSIP]

Disability Rights Movement: The collective efforts of advocates to secure equal rights, equal opportunities, and a barrier-free environment for people with disabilities.  [NSIP]

Disability Too Severe: the determination that the individual’s residual capacities and abilities are so limited or restricted as the result of a disability that no vocational possibilities can be identified.  [IHDI]

DLP = Disability Law Project  [Snelling Center]

DME = durable medical equipment  [Snelling Center]

DMH = Vermont Department of Mental Health:  “The Department of Mental Health continues to focus on its vision for self-determination, empowerment, recovery and resiliency. It means being responsive to the needs and preferences of consumers and families. The vision challenges DMH to change the culture, philosophy and values, and to embrace fully the concepts of recovery and resiliency.” []

DOC = Department of Corrections [VCDR]  See Corrections, above. DOE = Department of Education [VCDR]


DOL = Department of Labor; may mean either the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) of the Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL).


DOT = U. S. Department of Transportation  [Snelling Center]


DS = developmental services (includes mental retardation and pervasive developmental disabilities) [Snelling Center]


DSM-IV = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Version IV [Note:  Version V is currently being prepared.]

Dual Entitlement: the circumstance in which an individual with a disability is eligible for both SSI and SSDI. [IHDI]

Durable Medical Equipment (DME). Generally, DME is defined as medical equipment which withstands repeated use, is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, is generally not useful in the absence of illness or injury, is appropriate for use in the home and is reasonable and necessary for the treatment of an injury or illness.  [ATNet]


DVAS = Deaf Victims Advocacy Services. DVAS provides advocacy for deaf victims of abuse, as well as information and referral for area agencies, including how to get an interpreter, how to buy certain equipment, or how to use TTY or relay services to talk to deaf people on the phone. In addition, DVAS offers a deaf victim advocate who will work with deaf victims statewide in legal, medical or whatever kind of advocacy needed. DVAS provides trainings to Domestic Violence agencies on how to communicate with deaf people. (802) 479-1934 (phone and TTY)  (802) 479-9446 (f)  [VCW]


DVOP (often pronounced “DEE-vop”] = Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specialist…. [TRC]  In Vermont, DVOPs are located in the Department of Labor (DoL) local offices.


DVR = Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the agency in DAIL responsible for Vermont’s VR program; also VR or VocRehab VT.


Dynabox: assistive technology device used for communication. The user presses buttons and the device “speaks”.  [NSIP]


E&D Transportation Program = Elderly & Disabled Transportation Program [VCDR]


EAP = employee assistance program:  A workplace program provided by the employer to assist employees in recovering from drug or alcohol abuse, emotional problems, job stress, marital discord, or workplace conflict.  (ELG)   Responding to employee health and personal problems that have an adverse effect on job performance and productivity, employers are establishing employee assistance programs (EAP’s) to help employees cope with a wider range of problems than traditional health and welfare benefit plans cover.  []


EBD = emotional behavioral disabilities


EBT = Electronic Benefit Transfer (see below)


EC = in VR, Employment Consultant (formerly “Job Developer”) ECI = Early Childhood Intervention: Birth to three program for children who are developmentally delayed or “at risk” for developmental delay.


Economic Services, Department of. See DES (above).


ECT = electroconvulsive therapy (“shock treatment”).  [Snelling Center]

EDGAR = Education Department General Administrative Regulations.  [IHDI]  (They can be found at

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT): “The electronic transfer of government benefit funds to individuals through the use of automated card technology and automated teller machines (ATM) and point of sale (POS) terminals.” [DFM}

Eligibility:  a determination that a consumer is an individual with a disability and requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain gainful employment.  [IHDI]

EEG = electroencephalogram  [Snelling Center]

EEOC = U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  The EEOC “promotes equality of opportunity in the workplace and enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.”  Its website is at  [SSAG]

EKG = electrocardiogram  [Snelling Center]


Eligibility (for VR services): “An applicant’s eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services shall be based on all the following requirements:

  1. The applicant must be an individual with a disability;
  2. The disability must constitute or result in a substantial impediment to employment for the applicant; and
  3. The applicant must require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.” [DVR Manual]


EMS = emergency medical services  [Snelling Center]

Employer: “Any business or organization in Vermont or our neighboring states who employers works and pays at least the prevailing minimum hourly wage. Private, non-profit and public sector organizations who hire, train, promote and retain workers are considered employers under this definition.  [CWS]

Employment: “Performing tasks for an employer in return for monetary compensation, or oerating and sustaining self-employment that produces income for the individual.  [CWS]

Employment Consultant: “Preferred job title of DVR and VABIR employees; replaces job developer, employment specialist, employment training specialist, job coach.  Simplifies roles for employers.”    [CWS]

Employment Network (EN): A qualified public or private organization that has entered into a contract with [the Social Security Administration (SSA)] to function as an employment network under the Ticket to Work program and assume responsibility for the coordination and delivery of employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services to beneficiaries who have assigned their Tickets to that employment network.  [SSAG]

Employment Outcome:  “means, with respect to an individual, entering or retaining [for a minimum of ninety days] full-time or, if appropriate, part-time competitive employment in the integrated labor market to the greatest extent practicable; supported employment; or other type of employment, including self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership, that is consistent with an individual’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.”  [DVR Manual]

Employment Plan: An individual work plan under which an employment network (other than a State vocational rehabilitation agency) provides services to a Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income beneficiary with a disability under the Ticket to Work program, or an individualized plan for employment under which a State Vocational Rehabilitation agency provides services.  [SSAG]

Employment Supports (Also known as work incentives). Congress developed employment supports to give individuals with disabilities assistance to move from benefit dependence to independence.  [SSAG]

Employment Training Specialist: in the DVR Manual, referred to as “tutor-trainer” – “means a person who assists or teaches another person employment skills such as writing a resume, filing a job application, proper conduct at a job interview, job placement, learning a job, etc.” [DVR Manual]  Compare Tutor-Trainer.


Encumbrance: “An amount of the available balance of an appropriation earmarked for paying anticipated or known obligations.” [DFM]


EOE = Equal Opportunity Employment: a legal term and federal requirement that employer’s not discriminate because of factors unrelated to job qualifications including race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability.  [NSIP]

ESD = Vermont Economic Services Division, a division of the Department for Children and Families.  “The mission of the Economic Services Division is to help Vermonters find a path to a better life. To that end, we administer several state and federal programs that help individuals and families meet their basic needs. These programs, which include assistance-to-work, supplemental nutrition assistance, fuel assistance, and health care, provide a safety net for individuals and families who may be experiencing unemployment, part-time or low-wage employment, family breakup, single parenthood, aging, temporary or permanent disability, the death of a family member, or other life-changing events.”  []

ESRD = end-stage renal disease  [Snelling Center]

Essential Service:  a specific service necessary for the successful achievement of the individual’s rehabilitation program.  [IHDI]

ETA = The Employment and Training Administration, a division of the US Department of Labor (USDOLETA). [TRC]


ETS: employment training specialist; in the DVR Manual, known as “tutor-trainer” – “means a person who assists or teaches another person employment skills such as writing a resume, filing a job application, proper conduct at a job interview, job placement, learning a job, etc.”  [DVR Manual]

Evaluation. See Assessment

Evaluation Criterion:  A written statement (standard) of performance by which the accomplishment of an objective is measured.  [IHDI]

Evidence-Based Practice (in Vocational Rehabilitation):  “Placing the client’s benefits first, evidence-based practitioners adopt a process of lifelong learning that involves continually posing specific questions of direct practical importance to clients, searching objectively and efficiently for the current best evidence relative to each question, and taking appropriate action guided by evidence.”  []

Expenditures: “Payments against appropriations that reduce the cash balance after legal requirements have been met. A fiscal year’s expenditures are payments actually made in that fiscal year, regardless of the state fiscal year in which the appropriations were reserved or encumbered for such payments.” [DFM]


Extended Evaluation:  “means the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, for a maximum of eighteen (28) months, for the limited purpose of determining whether the person meetings the eligibility requirements for vocational rehabilitation services.”  [VR Manual]


Extended Services:  “ongoing support services and other appropriate services that are needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment, and that are provided by a State agency, a private nonprofit organization, employer, or other appropriate resource … after an individual with a most significant disability has made the transition from support provided by DVR.”   [DVR Manual]


EYS = Extended Year Services: “Summer school” required if it can be shown that a child will regress without schooling during the summer. [ARCDallas]


Fair Hearing:  “a formal review conducted by the Agency of Human Services (AHS) Human Services Board according to its rules.  If an administrative review has been held, a request for fair hearing must be made within thirty (30) days of receipt of the administrative review decision.  Individuals dissatisfied with the decision of the Human Services Board may appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court.”  [DVR Manual]


Family Member: “for purposes of receiving vocational rehabilitation services, means a person:

  1. Who either—
  2. Is a relative or guardian of an applicant or eligible person; or
  3. Lives in the same household as an applicant or eligible person;
  4. Who has a substantial interest in the well-being of that person; and
  5. Whose receipt of vocational rehabilitation services is necessary to enable the applicant or eligible person to achieve an employment outcome.” [DVR Manual]


FAPE = Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): A requirement of IDEA; all disabled children must receive special education services and related services at no cost. [LD Online]


FASD = Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD):  An umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur to an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. The term FASD is not intended for use as a clinical diagnosis.  [IDC]


FBA = Functional Behavioral Assessment – A problem-solving process for addressing student problem behavior that uses techniques to identify what triggers a given behavior(s) and to select interventions that directly address them. [LD Online]

Fee: a payment asked or given for services, licenses, tuition, etc.  [IHDI]

Fee schedule:  list of allowable charges for each identified service which the Agency can provide a consumer.  [IHDI]

FEHBP = Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan. [Snelling Center]


FERPA = Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA): A federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. [LD Online]


FFY = Federal fiscal year (=October 1 through September 30.)  See FY, below.


FICA = Federal Insurance Contribution Act which authorizes the Social Security and Medicare payroll tax. [DFM]


FLSA = Fair Labor Standards Act.


FMLA = Family Medical Leave Act: The federal law that requires certain employers to give time off to employees to take care of their own or a family member’s illness, or to care for a newborn or adopted child.  (ELG)

Follow-up:  service provided prior to closure to ensure the consumer has continued success in employment.  [IHDI]

FQHC = Federally Qualified Health Center [Snelling Center]


Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): The requirement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) entitling children with disabilities aged 3-21 to an individualized public education at no cost to parents.  [ATNet]


Freeze. See Hiring Freeze.


FSD = Family Services Division: A division of the Department for Children and Families. In partnership with families and communities, we promote safety, permanency, well-being, and law abidance for children.  Every year, [they] work with thousands of Vermont families who are struggling and need our help in order to keep their children safe from abuse. [They] also work with youth on probation.  [SOV]


FTE = “full-time equivalent” (i.e., the equivalent of one full-time employee), or “full-time equated.”  See Full-Time Equated (FTE) Position, below.


Full-time Equated (FTE) Position: “Full-time equated (FTE) position in the classified service of state government. One full-time equated position is based on 2,080 work hours (26 two-week pay periods times 80 hours).” [FTM]

Functional Capacities/Abilities:  those assets, strengths, and resources which increase or support the individual’s vocational potential.  [IHDI]

Fund: “In governmental accounting a fund may be described as representing a distinct phase of the activities of government and is controlled by a self-balancing group of accounts in which all of the financial transactions of the particular phase are recorded. NOTE: A fund is both a sum of resources and an independent accounting entity. A self- balancing group of accounts must be provided for each fund to show the assets and other resources, on one hand, and obligations, surplus, and other credits, on the other. Accounts must also be set up to permit the identification of revenues and expenditures and receipts and disbursements with the fund to which they apply. Although the General Fund is available for all legally authorized purposes, the definition also applies to it, for the fund can be used for governmental purposes only and expenditures cannot be made from it without legal authorization.” [DFM]


Fund Balance” “The unencumbered cash remaining in a fund at the end of a specified time period, usually the end of the fiscal year.” [DFM]


FY = Fiscal Year.  (DVR follows the State and Federal fiscal year of October 1 through September 30.)  “’Fiscal Year’ is a term that is used to differentiate a budget or financial year from the calendar year. It is commonly abbreviated as FY. The Federal Fiscal Year runs from October 1 of the prior year through September 30 of the next year….  This allows the new Congress (and anyone else newly elected) to participate in January, when they take office, to prepare the budget for the next year.”  []


GA = Emergency / General Assistance, a program of the Economic Services Division.  “The Emergency / General Assistance Program helps individuals and families with their emergency basic needs, including housing (e.g., back rent, temporary housing, security deposit), utilities, food, and burial costs.” []


GAF = Global Assessment of Functioning.  See ABL, above.  [ARCDallas]


GAO = Government Accounting Office  [Snelling Center]


GCEPD = Governor’s Commission for the Employment of People with Disabilities: [The GCEPD] is Vermont’s legally designated leadership and coordination group on issues related to employment of people with disabilities, and has a direct advisory relationship with the Governor…. The GCEPD was established in 1963 when the Vermont legislature passed a law to create a permanent committee to promote the employment of people with disabilities.  [The GCEPD offers] outreach, awareness, support and resources to employers and job seekers on the employment and accommodation of people of all abilities. [SOV]


GED = General Equivalency Diploma. A high school equivalency diploma which is obtained by passing the GED Equivalency Test that measures the application of skills and knowledge generally associated with four years of traditional high school instruction. [TRC]


General Fund (GF): “By statute the State General Fund covers all State appropriation, expenditure and receipt transactions, except those for which special constitutional or statutory requirements demand separate fund accounting. Most of the traditional State services are included in the General Fund.” [DFM]


GF = General Fund (see above).


GMSA = Green Mountain Self Advocates  [Snelling Center]


GNP = gross national product  [Snelling Center]


Goal:  “An elaboration of the mission statement, developed with greater specificity of how an organization will carry out its mission. The goal may be of a programmatic, policy, or fiscal nature, and is expressed in a manner that allows a future assessment to be made of whether the goal was or is being achieved.”  [DFM]


GOVnet: “A network serving government in Vermont.”  GOVnet is the name given to the network infrastructure which serves government offices in Montpelier and Waterbury as well as district offices in twelve cities and towns statewide. The physical backbone consists of fiber optic cable connecting state buildings on the Montpelier and Waterbury campuses as well as high-bandwidth digital circuits connecting district offices statewide….  [SOV]


GP = general practitioner [Snelling Center]


Grant: “In governmental terminology, a contribution to or from a unit of government for specific or general purposes.” [DFM]


HAP = Home Access Program [VCDR]

Harm Reduction:  “… a set of practical strategies that reduce negative consequences of drug use, incorporating a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use to abstinence. Harm reduction strategies meet drug users ‘where they’re at,’ addressing conditions of use along with the use itself.” []

HCFA = Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)  The Federal agency with primary authority for the Federal regulation, approval, and oversight of Medicaid Waiver services.  [DAIL]


HCHS = Howard Center for Human Services  [SnellingCenter]


HCS/HCBS = Home and Community-Based Services: A waiver of many names.  Also known as a Medicaid Waiver.  Some specific waivers are the 191-C, the Katy Beckett and CLASS.  Offers services and/or financial assistance to people with disabilities and their families.  HCS is a Medicaid waiver program designed to build support services based on an individual’s needs. Services may be provided in the family home or within an alternative living residence. An individual must be eligible for Medicaid and have a diagnosis of mental retardation. Habilitative and support services include:

  • Respite care
  • Supervised residential services
  • Supported home living
  • Nursing services
  • Occupational, speech, and physical therapy
  • Psychological services
  • Foster and companion care services
  • Case management [ARCDallas]


HCRS = Health Care and Rehabilitation Services of Southeastern Vermont  [Snelling Center]


HCS = Howard Community Services (DS Program of HCHS)  [Snelling Center]


HELP Committee:  The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions


HHS = U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


HIPAA (sometimes pronounced “HIP-uh”) = Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act  [Snelling Center]

Hiring Freeze: “In a hiring freeze, an employer decides to stop hiring employees for all non-essential positions. A hiring freeze allows an employer to consolidate current employees and potentially restructure departments, to complete the work that is essential for serving the customers of the business. Even in a hiring freeze smart employers continue to strategically continue to hire in areas where skills are difficult to find and in positions that will immediately generate revenue for the business.” []

HIV/AIDS = Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS): A retrovirus that consists of Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) and contains a special viral enzyme called Reverse Transcriptase, which allows the virus to convert its RNA to DNA and then integrate and take over a cell’s genetic material. Once the genetic material has been taken over, the new HIV-infected cell begins to produce new HIV retroviruses. HIV replicates in and kills the helper T cells, which are the body’s main defense against illness. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is caused when the infection advances. Advancement occurs when the viral load is below 200/ml and is characterized by the appearance of opportunistic infections, which take advantage of a weakened immune system.  [IDC]


HMO = Health Maintenance Organization: An HMO is the most common form of managed care. All health services are delivered and paid for through one organization, often under one roof. An HMO requires its participants to use only certain health providers and hospitals, usually those within its own network. See also IPA, PHO, POS, and PPO.  []
HoH = Hard of Hearing – Used to describe a degree of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound for which a person usually receives some benefit from amplification. Most people who are hard of hearing are oralists (communicate by using their voice) although a small number learn sign language. A person who is considered hard of hearing usually participates in society by using their residual hearing with hearing aids, speech reading, and assistive devices to facilitate communication. [IDC]


Home Modification:  “reasonable and necessary additions or alterations to an entrance or room(s) of a domicile of a person with disabilities; the intent is to maximize independence as related to achieving the person’s vocational goal.”  [DVR Manual]


Home Share Vermont provides matching services for homesharing and caregiving. They assist elders and persons with disabilities to live independently in their own homes by bringing them together with persons who seek affordable housing and/or caregiving opportunities. HomeShare Vermont provides a comprehensive screening and matching service and our services are available to anyone in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties in Vermont.  (802) 863-5625  [VCW]

Hostile working environment:  A work environment that is so charged with harassment or similar unwanted behavior that it interferes with the ability to do one’s job and is said to violate anti-discrimination laws.  (ELG)

Human Services Board:  “a citizen’s panel consisting of seven members created by the legislature pursuant to 3 V.S.A., §3090. Its duties are to act as a fair hearing board for appeals brought by individuals who are aggrieved by decisions or policies of departments and programs within the Agency of Human Services.”  []

HR = human resources.

Hsaio [pronounced “chow”], Dr. William: Program Director, K.T. Li Professor of Economics, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard University; consultant to the State of Vermont on health care reform.  “Dr. Hsiao’s health policy research program spans across developed and less developed nations. He and his research team focus their economic studies on five topics: a) a simulation model of the US health sector; b) payment systems for physicians and hospitals; c) comparative health care systems; d) financing health care in developing nations; and, e) interaction between economic development and health care.”  [For a copy of Dr. Hsaio’s 2011 report and recommendations for health care reform in Vermont, go to]

HUD = [Federal] Housing and Urban Development Agency: Offers low income (Section 8) housing.  [ARCDallas]


I & R = information and referral  [Snelling Center]


I Team = Implementation Team, a team within DVR that implements the Strategic Plan.


ICF-MR = Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded: Overseeing body for community homes and larger facilities for people with mental retardation.  [ARCDallas]


ICF-RC = Intermediate Care Facility for Related Conditions: Same as ICF-MR (above), but for people with primary conditions/disabilities other then mental retardation.  [ARCDallas]


ICI = Institute for Community Inclusion, a Boston-based organization “promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities.”  ICI offers training, clinical, and employment services, conducts research, and provides assistance to organizations to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in school, work, and community activities. Website at


ICU = intensive care unit  [Snelling Center]


IDEA = Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (now actually Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act) The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is the law that guarantees all children with disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education. [LD Online]


IEE = Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE): An evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner, who is not employed by the school district at the public’s expense. [LD Online]


IEP = Individualized Education Program (IEP): A written plan for a child with a disability, developed and implemented through the local school system according to federal and state regulations. It includes details about the student’s performance, objectives, and the type and frequency of specific education services. [ORSC]


IFSP = Individualized Family Service Plan: A unique plan worked up for each family [ARCDallas]


IG = Inspector General


IL = Independent living: refers to the ability of a person with a disability to make as many independent decisions concerning his or her own existence as possible.   [ORSC]

Inclusion: The active engagement of people with disabilities in all levels of society. The presence of people with disabilities does not constitute inclusion unless people with disabilities are valued contributing members with a sense of belonging.  [NSIP]

Independent Living Center Movement: Advocacy movement which views the person with a disability as an active “consumer” of services and advocates for personal independence, barrier removal, equal rights and opportunities, and consumer choice and control. Website:  [NSIP]

Individual Plan for Employment (IPE):  “the written program of services developed with an eligible individual to result in an employment outcome.”  [DVR Manual]

“Individual with a disability”: “any person who:

  1. Has a physical or mental impairment which for such individual constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; and
  2. Can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services.” [DVR Manual]


“Individual with a significant disability”: “any person:

  1. Who has a significant physical or mental impairment which severely limits one of more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of employment outcome;
  2. Whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and
  3. Who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or other disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs to cause comparable substantial functional limitation.” [DVR Manual]

Informed Choice: “means making a decision based on adequate information.  As appropriate, such information may include methods, costs, durations, accessibility, consumer satisfaction, probabilities, sources, and consequences.”  [DVR Manual]

Institutional Segregation/ Institutionalization: Until very recently many people with disabilities were removed from communities and put into institutions where they were denied self-determination and access to the opportunities of independent living, education, and livelihood.  [NSIP]


Integrated Setting: “with respect to the provision of services or an employment outcome, a setting typically found in the community in which applicants or eligible individuals have the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with non-disabled individuals other than non-disabled individuals other than non-disabled service providers.” [DVR Manual]


IPE = Individualized Plan for Employment (see above).


ISC = Individual Service Coordinator [ARCDallas]


ISD = Independent School District:  ISD is a commonly-used acronym in education plans to refer to the school system the child attends. [LD Online]


ITA = Individual Training Account [NCWD/A]


IT = Information Technology [DFM]


ITP = Individualized Transition Plan: A plan developed by the IEP team to help accomplish the student’s goals for the transition from high school into adulthood. [LD Online]


ITV = Interactive Television, a distance learning system operated by the University of Vermont.  Also called Vermont Interactive Television (VIT).


JFO = Joint Fiscal Office (see below).


Job Carving: the process of analyzing and identifying specific tasks within a given job that might be reassigned to another position.  [IHDI]


Job Coach.  See Employment Training Specialist (ETS) and Tutor-Trainer.


Job Cueing: The avenue through which the job trainer communicates information to the worker about the job with the most common instructional cues being verbal, physical, gestures, demonstration, and modeling.  [IHDI]


Job-Ready:  “means that most objectives on a person’s IPE have bee completed, and competitive employment at or above the substantial gainful activity level as defined by the Social Security Administration is expected to begin within a year.”  [DVR Manual]


Job Sharing: a situation in which two individuals share or split a job position between them with the employer correspondingly splitting the salary associated with the position between the two employees.  [IHDI]


JOBS = “Jump on Board for Success”:  “A supported employment program for youth who are out of school in custody and/or homeless; jointly funded by DVR, DCF and DMH.  [CWS]


Joint Fiscal Office:  “The Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) was created in 1973. The primary mission of the office is to provide non-partisan financial analyses to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the House Ways & Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the House and Senate Transportation Committees, and the Joint Fiscal Committee. The Office also provides additional non-partisan staff support to committees in a variety of fiscal areas including health care, education finance, institutions and general fiscal analysis.” []


K12net: “A network serving libraries and K-12 education in Vermont.”  K12net is an extension of GOVnet (see above) designed to provide network access to K-12 schools in Vermont. Through K12net, the state is able to provide the “infrastructure” or highway which interconnects all schools and libraries in Vermont.  [SOV]


LCMH = Lamoille County Mental Health  [Snelling Center]


LD = Learning Disability:  A disorder in basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that manifests itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or use mathematical calculations. The term includes conditions such as perceptual disability, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.  [IDC] [A disorder] which affect[s] the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements or direct attention.  [ARCDallas]   A disorder that affects people’s ability to either interpret what they see and hear or to link information from different parts of the brain. It may also be referred to as a learning disorder or a learning difference. [LD Online]


Least Restrictive Environment: The educational setting where a student with disabilities can receive a free and appropriate public education designed to meet his or her education needs while being educated with peers without disabilities in the regular educational environment to the maximum extent appropriate.  [ATNet]


Legal Blindness: “means:

  1. Central acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with corrections; or
  2. The field of vision is restricted to 20 degrees more of less—i.e., there is little peripheral vision.” Compare Visually Impaired. [DVR Manual]


Limitation in Functional Capacity: any physical or mental condition which prevents, impairs, interferes with or otherwise impedes an individual’s ability to perform one or more vocationally related major life activities.  [IHDI]


Lobbying: (1) Efforts to influence legislation by influencing the opinion of legislators, legislative staff, and government administrators directly involved in drafting legislative proposals. The Internal Revenue Code sets limits on lobbying by organizations that are exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3). Public charities may lobby as long as lobbying does not become a substantial part of their activities. Private foundations may neither lobby nor fund lobbying activities.  (2) Lobbying is the practice of petitioning lawmakers to support an organization’s cause.  [NGPG]  Cf. “Advocacy”.


LOU = letter of understanding [NCWD/A]  Compare MOU.


LOC = Level of Care


LRE = Least Restrictive Environment: A learning plan that provides the most possible time in the regular classroom setting. [LD Online]


LVER = Local Veterans’ Employment Representative. [TRC]  In Vermont the LVERs are located in the Department of Labor (DoL) local offices.


LWIB = Local Workforce Investment Board [NCWD/A]


Maintenance (as a VR service): “monetary support provided to an eligible individual or an individual receiving extended evaluation services for those expenses such as food, shelter, and clothing that are in excess of the normal living expenses of the individual and that are necessitated by the individual’s participation in a program of vocational rehabilitation services.”  [DVR Manual]


Maximus: “the organization Social Security has hired to assist in the administration of the Ticket [to Work] Program.  Maximus recruits and monitors employment networks [ENs], facilitates access by beneficiaries to ENs, conducts timely progress review and resolves disputes.”  [DVR Manual]


MD = Muscular Dystrophy (MD): A broad term used to describe a genetic disorder of the muscles. MD causes the muscles in the body to become very weak. Over time the muscles break down and are replaced with fatty deposits. The most common form of MD is called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).  [IDC]

Mediation: “is a process using an impartial third party (a mediator) to help the two parties in a dispute reach a mutually acceptable agreement.  Mediators help define the problem, evaluate possible solutions, and form agreements.  Mediators do not decide who is right or wrong but guide people toward productive communication in informal and confidential settings.  Their goal is to resove the despute….”  [DVR Manual]  “[A]n alternative form of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party facilitates a voluntary agreement between the disputing parties. This process cannot be used to deny or delay the consumer’s right to a hearing.”  [IHDI]

Medicaid Infrastructure Grants (MIG) Section 203 of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 establishes a grant program to support state efforts to enhance employment options for people with disabilities.  [SSAG] Since 2001, the MIG program has provided federal funding for state initiatives to support the competitive employment of people with disabilities. States can use MIGs to develop Medicaid supports for working people with disabilities, such as Medicaid Buy-In programs and greater availability of personal assistance services. The program is administered by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services.  []

MH = mental health [Snelling Center]


MI = Mental Illness (MI): A term used to refer to all mental disorders. Mental disorders are health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.  [IDC]


MIG = Medicaid Infrastructure Grants (see above).


Minority Group:  “A readily identifiable subset of the U.S. population distinguished by racial, ethnic, and/or cultural heritage….”  [NCI]


Mission: “The fundamental purpose for which an organization exists. A mission statement establishes the basis for the goals of the organization by describing in broad terms what the organization intends to accomplish.”  [DFM]

Mobility Issues: When people have to negotiate physical barriers to get around within a place or between places. Usually people with mobility issues have physical disabilities.  [NSIP]

Modernization: In the Department of Economic Services (DES), the process of automating various DES functions in accordance with a December 30, 2010, report by the Change and Innovation Agency, a consulting firm.  [For the Modernization Report, go to]  DVR has perceived major impact on its staff as a result of DES customers coming to DRV offices for information and assistance as a result of “modernization”.

MOU = memorandum of understanding [Snelling Center; NCWD/A]


MR = mental retardation  [Snelling Center]


MRI = magnetic resonance imaging  [Snelling Center]


MS = Multiple Sclerosis (MS): A chronic degenerative disease of the central nervous system in which gradual destruction of myelin occurs in patches throughout the brain or spinal cord (or both), which interferes with the nerve pathways, causing muscular weakness, loss of coordination and speech, and visual disturbances. It occurs chiefly in young adults and is thought to be a defect in the immune system that may be of genetic or viral origin.  [IDC]


MSD = Most significant disability (MSD):  describes someone who’s limited in two or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance and work skills). According to federal law, people in this category must be given priority by state vocational rehabilitation agencies…  [ORSC]


Multiple Sclerosis Society [of Vermont].  The mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is to end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis. Providing accurate, up-to-date information to individuals with MS, their families, and healthcare providers is central to our mission.  1-800-639-1607 / (802)-655-3666  [VCW]


MWPWD = Medicaid for Working People With Disabilities (also abbreviated as WPWD), a program that allows many people with disabilities who are working to get Medicaid coverage for which they might not otherwise qualify because their income is too high.  For more information go to


NAMI (sometimes pronounced “NAHM-ee”) = National Alliance on Mental Illness. The NAMI website is at


NAMI – Vermont:  The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont assists families, friends and individuals living with serious mental illness in Vermont. We provide support through a toll-free information & referral ‘warm line’ and monthly support groups, free publications and classes and an annual conference for family members and professionals, and advocacy for improved services and treatment for over 40,000 Vermonters who suffer from these devastating illnesses.  Phone: 800-639-6480 (toll free) or (802) 244-1396  [VCW]

Nature and Scope: Refers to the range of vocational rehabilitation services that the State Plan must assure is available as appropriate to the needs of each individual.  [IHDI]

NCIL = National Council on Independent Living (sometimes referred to as “Nickel”). Motto: “Not Just Responding to Change, but Leading It!”  “As a membership organization, NCIL advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities through consumer-driven advocacy. NCIL envisions a world in which people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully.”  (Website at

NCLB (sometimes pronounced “NICK-ul-bee”) = The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education act of 1965. The act contains President George W. Bush’s four basic education reform principles: stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods based on scientifically-based research. [LD Online]


NCSRC = National Coalition of State Rehabilitation Councils, an organization formed in 1908 to promote best practices among SRC’s nationally. They hold their conferences in conjunction with those of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR).


NCWD/A = National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult [NCWD/A]

NDRN = National Disability Rights Network. NDRN “is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. Through training and technical assistance, legal support, and legislative advocacy, the National Disability Rights Network works to create a society in which individuals with disabilities are afforded equality of opportunity and are able to fully participate by exercising choice and self-determination.”  (Website at

Needs Assessment: “a process for determining and addressing needs, or ‘gaps’ between current conditions and desired conditions, often used for improvement in individuals, education/training, organizations, or communities. The need can be a desire to improve current performance or to correct a deficiency.  The idea of needs assessment, as part of the planning process, has been used under different names for a long time. In the past 50 years, it has been an essential element of educational planning.  Over the past four decades, there has been a proliferation of models for needs assessment with dozens of models to choose from.”  []  The State VR agency is required to complete a Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) every three years in cooperation with the SRC.

NISH = National Industries for Severely Handicapped. [IHDI]

NICHCY = National Information Center for Handicapped Children and Youth  [Snelling Center]


NIDA = National Institute of Drug Abuse [Snelling Center]


NIDRR = National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research [Snelling Center]


NIH = National Institute of Health [Snelling Center]


NIMH = National Institute of Mental Health [Snelling Center]


NKHS = Northeast Kingdom Human Services  [Snelling Center]


Non-apparent Disability: Most disabilities are not visible. Non-apparent disabilities include mental and cognitive disabilities, some hearing and visual disabilities, alcoholism and addiction, Epilepsy, Diabetes, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  [NSIP]


NT = neurotypical – A term used, particularly by individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their advocates, to describe people without ASD.


NTAR = National Technical Assistance and Research Center to Promote Leadership for Increasing Employment and Economic Independence of Adults with Disabilities, website at


NTO = Non-traditional Occupation. Occupations or fields of work of which individuals from one gender comprise less than twenty-five percent of the individuals employed in such occupation or field of work. [TRC]


OAA = old age assistance  [Snelling Center]


Objective:  “A sub-goal identified in specific, well-defined, and measurable terms that contributes to the achievement of an organization’s goal.”  [DFM]


Occupational Grouping:  one of the three-digit groups listed in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Fourth Edition.  [IHDI]

OCD = Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A neurobiological anxiety disorder affecting more than 2% of the population, equally distributed among males and females. Symptoms typically begin during the teenage years and early adulthood, but up to one-third of cases begin in childhood. Sufferers of OCD experience both obsessions and compulsions. Sufferers are usually aware of their problems and struggle to control their obsessive-compulsive symptoms, but their resistance usually weakens over the years.  []


OCS = Office of Child Support [SOV]


ODEP = The Office of Disability Employment Policy, “an agency within the U. S. Department of Labor. ODEP provides national leadership to increase employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities while striving to eliminate barriers to employment.” []   The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy provides national leadership by developing and influencing disability-related employment policy and practice affecting the employment of people with disabilities.  [SSAG]


OEO = Office of Economic Opportunity [Snelling Center]


OHI = Other Health Impairments: A category of special education services for students with limited strength, vitality or alertness, due to chronic or acute health problems (such as asthma, ADHD, diabetes, or a heart condition).  [LD Online]


OIG = Office of the Inspector General [Snelling Center]


OJT = on-the-job training: “means a type of vocational training with the instruction delivered by one employed in the vocation. The training takes place while the trainee is engaged in real work activities at a real worksite.  The trainee shall receive wages from the employer in accordance with Fair Labor Standards Act while being trained.”  [DVR Manual]


Olmstead Commission: “Vermont’s Olmstead Commission is a group of individuals representing consumers, family members, state government, advocacy organizations, and providers, created by the Vermont Legislature in 2002 in response to the United States Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead V. L.C., June 1999. In that case, the Court was asked by two women from Georgia who had spent years in institutions whether the anti-discrimination provision in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires a state to discharge people with disabilities to community settings once their treatment providers determine community placement is appropriate.”  (From the “Preface” to The Olmstead Plan, February 6, 2006.  The 105-page Plan may be accessed at


OMB = Office of Management and Budget [Snelling Center]


On-the-Job Training (OJT):  “a type of vocational training with the instruction delivered by one employed in the vocation.  The training takes place while the trainee is engaged in real work activities in a real worksite.  The trainee shall receive wages from the employer in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act while being trained.”


Order of Selection: the order to be followed in serving individuals with disabilities when services cannot be provided to all persons who have otherwise been determined eligible. The order is determined based upon the priority category and service needs of the consumer. [IHDI]  See OSS, below.


Organization:  “An entity of any size, established for a particular purpose. An organization may be, for example, an agency, a department, an office, a commission or a board.”  [DFM]


OSEP = Office Of Special Education Programs (OSEP): An office of the U.S. Department of Education whose goal is to improve results for children with disabilities (ages birth through 21) by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. [LD Online]


OSERS = Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, within the U. S. Department of Education; RSA (see below) is a part of OSERS. [RSA]  OSERS “is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. … OSERS provides a wide array of supports to parents and individuals, school districts and states in three main areas: special education, vocational rehabilitation and research.”  [OSERS]


OSS = Order of Selection for Services:  “means, if the Division cannot serve all eligible persons, the order in which a person will receive services.”  [DVR Manual]


OT = Occupational Therapy (OT): A rehabilitative service to people with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental impairments. Services can include helping a student with pencil grip, physical exercises that may be used to increase strength and dexterity, or exercises to improve hand-eye coordination. [LD Online]


Outreach: proactive method of making connections and getting information to people.  [NSIP]


OVHA = Office of Vermont Health Access (OVHA): [OHVA] is responsible for the management of Vermont’s publicly funded health insurance programs.  [SOV]


P&A = protection and advocacy [Snelling Center] P2P = Parent to Parent


P&P Committee = the Policy and Procedures Committee, currently one of the four standing committees of the SRC.


Paratransit:  Paratransit is the “comparable service for people with disabilities who cannot use the regular service” that public entities that operate fixed-route services are required to provide. Whether or not the services provided are comparable determines whether paratransit is considered an effective accommodation or another barrier (“separate but unequal,” see No Pity by Joseph P. Shapiro)  [NSIP]

Partners, see CWS/AHS Partners.

PAS = Personal Assistance Services (PAS): Consumer-directed basic ancillary services which enable with a physical;, mental or sensory disability to live in his/her home and community and carry out functions of daily living, self-care and mobility. [NSIP]


PASS = Plan for Achieving Self-Support.  Under Social Security, “[a] plan for achieving self-support (PASS) is a plan for your future. A plan lets you use your income or other things you own to help you reach your work goals. For example, you could set aside money to go to school to get specialized training for a job or to start a business. The job that you want should allow you to earn enough to reduce or eliminate your need for benefits provided under both the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. A plan is meant to help you get items, services, or skills you need to reach your goals.”  [SSA]  “Under an approved PASS, you may set aside income and/or resources over a reasonable time which will enable you to reach a work goal to become financially self-supporting. You then can use the income and resources that you set aside to obtain occupational training or education, purchase occupational equipment, establish a business, etc. We do not count the income and resources that you set aside under a PASS when we decide SSI eligibility and payment amount.”  [SSAG]


PATH = Department of Prevention, Assistance, Transition and Health Access; former name of Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL).


PCC = Parent Child Center.  “Parent Child Centers:

  • Serve as clearinghouses for general information about child and family issues;
  • Provide home visits to families with young children who request home-based support;
  • Offer playgroups;
  • Provide opportunities for parent education; and
  • Advocate for family-centered services in the community.”

[; a listing of parent child centers in Vermont can be found at this website.]


PDD = Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD): The category of special education services for students with delays or deviance in their social/language/motor and/or cognitive development. [LD Online] A slight variation on ADD (see above). [ARCDallas]


PE = Progressive Employment; see Progressive Employment Options (below).


People-First Language: Most disability organizations advocate putting the person first when speaking of people with disabilities. For example: “person with a disability” instead of “disabled person”; “people with disabilities” instead of “the disabled”; “she is a wheelchair user” instead of “she is wheel chair bound” or “she is in a wheelchair”.  [NSIP]

Permanent Functional Limitation:  an impairment in activity or function that is not likely to be corrected through medical, surgical, psychological, or psychiatric intervention. These conditions or disabilities impose, or are likely to impose, a permanent loss or substantial reduction in functioning regardless of intervention.  [IHDI]

Personal Assistance Services (PAS): Consumer-directed basic ancillary services which enable with a physical, mental or sensory disability to live in his/her home and community and carry out functions of daily living, self-care and mobility.  [NSIP]   A range of services, provided by one or more persons, designed to assist an individual with a disability to perform daily living activities on or off the job that the individual would typically perform if the individual did not have a disability. Services shall be designed to increase the individual’s independence and ability to perform everyday activities on or off the job.  [IHDI]

Personal Information (with regard to privacy in DVR): “means individual case records; the term includes photographs and lists of names.”  [DVR Manual]

Petty Cash:  “A sum of money set aside on an imprest basis held for making change or paying small obligations when the issuance of a formal voucher and warrant/check would be too expensive and time consuming.”  [DFM]


Plus/Delta (+/Δ):  An evaluation tool used by DVR personnel. “This evaluation quality tool provides a method for continuous improvement for a team. The +/∆ evaluation can help the team stretch itself to even higher levels of performance. []

PO = Purchase Order.

Policy: A rule, criterion or guideline established by an entity in order to delineate its operations. Generally, governmental agencies establish internal policies to promote the ends set out in their implementing regulations.  [ATNet]  “ Management’s directive of what is required to effect control.  A policy serves as the basis for the implementation of management directives.” [DFM]  [Compare Procedure.]


POSA = Purchase of Service Agreements [NCWD/A]

Positive Employment Outcome: a term used to indicate a case has been closed successfully employed.  [IHDI]

Post-Employment Services:  “services provided subsequent to the achievement of an employment outcome and necessary for a person to maintain, regain, or advance in employment consistent with the person’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests.” [DVR Manual]


PPO = preferred provider organization  [Snelling Center]


PPP = Prospective Payment Plan: Money following individuals coming out of state schools.  Can sometimes be designated for people in the community.  [ARCDallas]


PR Committee = the Performance Review Committee, currently one of the four standing committees of the SRC.


Pre-K = Pre-kindergarten  [VCDR]

Primary Disabling Condition: the diagnosed condition that produces the most limitations or restrictions on vocational functioning and activities. The primary disabling condition is not always the same as the primary medical condition.  [IHDI]

Priority Category: The classification of eligible clients based on functional limitations for receipt of vocational rehabilitation services under an Order of Selection.  [IHDI]

Procedure: “An action that implements a policy.” [DFM]  [Compare Policy.]


Process: “A series of activities that are linked to perform a specific objective.” [DFM]

Prognosis: a prediction of the likely course or outcome of an impairment or recommended treatment.  [IHDI]

Program: an organized plan of services or assistance based on the individual needs of an eligible consumer.  [IHDI]   “A narrower, more targeted focus on a specific aspect of the general objective addressed by an agency’s program series. There are various numbers of programs grouped under each agency program series.” [DFM]


Program Accessibility: Central requirement/standard under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which requires that recipients of federal funds or contracts and /or state and local government entities operate programs and activities so that “when viewed in its entirety” such a program/activity is readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.”  [NSIP]

Progressive Disability:  a medically diagnosed condition which is expected, on the basis of its known history, to increase in degree or severity.  [IHDI]

Progressive Employment Options:  “Opportunities for [Agency of Human Services] customers seeking employment to be introduced to employers through a variety of flexible workplace placements including company tours, show shadows, internships, work experiences, on-the-job training and subsidized employment options.”  [CWS]

Project Independence.  Offers adults day services including therapeutic, recreational, social, and cultural activities. Also provides counseling to care givers of participants. Services are available to adults who need restorative or rehabilitative services and adults who are isolated and have difficulty staying alone during the day.  802-388-3983  [VCW]

PSG = Process Strategies Group. “The Process Strategies Group (PSG) is a specialized business unit of the not-for-profit Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC).  Formed in January 2006, PSG is successfully leveraging the broad experience and expertise of VMEC for a broader public good, primarily within the healthcare, government, and higher education sectors. PSG’s focus is on the optimization of client organizations through training and hands-on implementation assistance in the tenets and philosophies of the Toyota Production System and ‘Lean’ process improvements and transformation.”   []  PSG produced the “Challenges for Change” report (see above) on contract with the Douglas administration.


PT = Physical Therapy: Instructional support and treatment of physical disabilities, under a doctor’s prescription, that helps a person improve the use of bones, muscles, joints and nerves. [LD Online]


PTSD = Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):  An anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening.  [IDC]


PWD = person with a disability


PWI = Projects With Industry, a grant program of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).  “The purpose of this program is to create and expand job and career opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the competitive labor market. This is accomplished by involving private industry partners to help identify competitive job and career opportunities and the skills needed to perform these jobs to create practical job and career readiness and training programs and to provide job placement and career advancement.”  []


QA = quality assurance  [Snelling Center]


QMRP = Qualified Mental Retardation Professional: Usually the title of staff persons in community homes.  They also work in other areas of retardation services.  [ARCDallas]


Qualified Person with a Disability: A legal term defined under ADA and Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as “an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires.”  [NSIP]


R&C = reasonable and customary  [Snelling Center]


R&R = resource and referral  [Snelling Center]


RCD = Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, who serve a specialty caseload of people with various hearing losses.

Reach-Up (RU):  A program of the Department for Children and Families (DCF).  “Reach Up helps families with children by providing cash assistance for basic needs and services that support work and self-sufficiency.” []   “A program in [the Economic Services Division (ESD)] to assist families to become economically independent.”    [CWS]  TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) [VCDR].  DVR has a program to assist RU beneficiaries to become employed.

Reasonable Accommodation (ADA): See Accommodation (above).

Referral:  an individual who has been directed to [DVR] for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.  [IHDI]

Referral Date: “means the earliest date that the person becomes known to [DVR] as a person who may benefit from its services; it becomes the date on which the person’s name is registered in the vocational rehabilitation system.”  [DVR Manual]

Referral Source:  a person, facility, or agency that directs a person to [DVR] for services. This may include service agencies, physicians, industry, insurance companies, employment agencies, community action groups, One Stops and potential consumers.  [IHDI]

Rehabilitated:  a consumer who has successfully maintained employment for a period of 90 days.  [IHDI]  Compare 26.

Rehabilitation Counselor:  the professional who assists the individual with a disability to understand problems, potentials, and limitations, so that realistic rehabilitation objectives can be mutually identified and available resources can be used to attain those objectives.  [IHDI]

Rehabilitation Engineering: “the systematic application of engineering sciences to design, develop, adapt, test, evaluate, apply, and distribute technological solutions to problems confronted by individuals with disabilities in functional areas, such as mobility, communication, hearing, vision, and cognition, and in activities associated with employment, independent living, education, and integration into the community.” [DVR Manual]

Rehabilitation Facility.  See Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP).

Rehabilitation Technology:  “the systematic application of technologies, engineering methodologies, or scientific principles to meet the needs of and address the barriers confronted by individuals with disabilities in areas which include education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, independent living, and recreation.  The term includes rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology services.” [DVR Manual]

Relay Service. See Vermont Telecommunications Relay Service (below).

Restricted Funds: ‘Appropriated funding earmarked by law to finance some specific activity or group of related activities.” [DFM]


Restricted Priority Category:  “means a category of persons who have been determined to be eligible for but are unable to receive services because of the order of selection for services.”  [DVR Manual]


Revenue: “The income attributable to a designated fiscal accounting period that will affect the balance (surplus) or deficit resulting from the operations of that period. Certain items earned during that period are also considered revenue of that period even though the cash is not received until a subsequent period.” [DFM]


RIF (pronounced “riff”) = reduction in force; as a verb, to eliminate employee(s) as part of a reduction in force.


RFP = request for proposals [Snelling Center], the key document when bidders are being solicited for a contract.

RFQ = request for quote.  [DFM]

RFR = request of review.  [DFM]

RIF = reduction in force.  [DFM]

RMHS = Rutland Mental Health Services  [Snelling Center]


RN = registered nurse  [Snelling Center]


ROI = return on investment: “A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.  The return on investment formula [is]:

[The term is often used more informally in evaluating programs and determining “how to get the biggest bang for the buck.”]


RRCEP (sometimes pronounced, in shortened form, “AR-sep”) = Regional Rehabilitation Counseling Education Program.  These programs are currently (6/08) being discontinued by RSA and merged into a new entity, the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center (TACE).


RSA = Rehabilitation Services Administration:  The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) oversees grant programs that help individuals with physical or mental disabilities to obtain employment and live more independently through the provision of such supports as counseling, medical and psychological services, job training and other individualized services.  [RSA]


RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program): One of the National Senior Corps programs. This program has neither an income level nor number of service hours requirement.  [NSIP]


RU = Reach-Up (see above)


RWIB = Regional Workforce Investment Board: …established under section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act. Appointed by Local Elected Officials, the LWIB must be comprised of a majority of employers, and oversees the implementation of WIA Title I (adult, youth, and dislocated worker), and for coordinating service delivery with other related services. [TRC]

Sales Force / Sales Force Automation (SFA): “the most widely used of sales tools, speeding and streamlining all phases of sales from lead management to analytics and forecasting.”  []  DVR has adopted Sales Force for use of its CWS teams, and particularly the BAMs, to manage their contacts with employers.Sales force automation (SFA) is the most widely used of sales tools, speeding and streamlining all phases of sales from lead management to analytics and forecasting.

Sales force automation (SFA) is the most widely used of sales tools, speeding and streamlining all phases of sales from lead management to analytics and forecasting.



SAMHSA = Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration  [Snelling Center]  (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  “[Its] mission it is to focus on building resilience and facilitating recovery for people with, or at risk for, mental or substance use disorders.”  [SSAG]


SBS = Success Beyond Six  [Snelling Center]


SCI = Spinal Cord Injury (SCI): Damage or trauma to the spinal cord that results in a loss or impaired function causing reduced mobility or feeling. Common causes of damage are trauma (e.g. car accident, gunshot, falls, sports injuries, etc.) or disease. The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for a loss of functioning to occur. In most people with SCI, the spinal cord is intact but the cellular damage results in loss of function.  [IDC]


SE = Supported Employment: “means:

1. Competitive employment in an integrated setting with ongoing support services for persons with the most significant disabilities:

            a.  For whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability; and

            b.  Who, because of the nature and significance of their disabilities, need intensive supported employment services from DVR and extended services after transition in order to perform this work.

2. Transitional employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness.”  [DVR Manual]


SEA = State Education Agency: A state education agency is the agency primarily responsible for the state supervision of public elementary and secondary schools. [LD Online]


Secondary Disabling Condition: the diagnosed condition which is second in the extent of limitations or restrictions placed on vocational functions and activities.  [IHDI]


SED = seriously emotionally disturbed  [Snelling Center]


Self-Employment Enterprise: a gainful business activity which is suitable and practical for the most effective utilization of skills, aptitudes, and abilities of an individual with a disability and designed to result in self-employment. Examples of Self-Employment Enterprises include sales, manufacturing, processing, servicing, and agriculture. Small business enterprises and self-employment projects can both be categorized as self-employment; therefore, this term is used collectively.  [IHDI]

Self-Advocacy: Refers to a national movement of people with disabilities speaking and advocating for themselves. There are self-advocacy organizations throughout the United States.  [NSIP]

Self-Employment: “means that the [VR] customer must have ownership of the business and be involved in the day-to-day operations.” [DVR Manual]

Self-Identify: To identify oneself as a person with a disability.  [NSIP]

Self-Sufficiency: “The ability to maintain financial and community independence to the highest degree possible.”  [CWS]

Set Aside / Set-Aside: “Money taken out of the budget for a specific purpose, for example, to fund a congressionally mandated program.”  [NCI]

SFA = Sales Force Automation. See Sales Force.

SFY = state fiscal year.  The Sate of Vermont’s fiscal year is from July 1st to June 30th.  [DFM]  See FY (above).

SGA = Substantial gainful activity:  “To be eligible for disability benefits [from Social Security], a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment-related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA. The amount of monthly earnings considered as SGA depends on the nature of a person’s disability. The Social Security Act specifies a higher SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals; Federal regulations specify a lower SGA amount for non-blind individuals.” []   “We evaluate the work activity of persons claiming or receiving disability benefits under SSDI, and/or claiming benefits because of a disability (other than blindness) under SSI. Under both programs, we use earnings guidelines to evaluate your work activity to decide whether the work activity is substantial gainful activity and whether we may consider you disabled under the law. While this is only one of the tests used to decide if you are disabled, it is a critical first step in a disability evaluation. (For SGA amounts, visit SGA Page.)”  [SSAG]

SharePoint:  “In computing, Microsoft SharePoint, also known as Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies, is a content management system with integrated search functionality, developed by Microsoft. It allows users to work in a web-based collaborative environment. Microsoft provides certain built-in functionality, and third-party developers can also develop custom modifications to extend functionality.”  []

SHRM = Society for Human Resources Management.   “The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at”   The SHRM Vermont State Council  was established in 2001 to serve Human Resource professionals throughout the state and supporting the initiatives of the four state chapters across Vermont which include the Vermont Human Resource Association which serves the Chittenden county and surrounding areas, the River Valley Human Resource Association which serves the Connecticut River Valley area, the Greater Rutland Area Personnel Executives and finally the Professional Human Resource Management Association which serves HR professionals in the Bennington County area.”  []


SI = Speech Impaired (SI): A category of special education services for students who have difficulty with speech sounds in their native language.   [LD Online]


Significant disability: A disability which seriously limits one or more functional capacities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome.  [IHDI]


Silo Effect: “The silo effect is a phrase that is currently popular in the business and organizational communities to describe a lack of communication and common goals between departments in an organization. It is the opposite of systems thinking in an organization. The silo effect gets its name from the farm storage silo; each silo is designated for one specific grain, and a lack of communication causes departmental thinking to lack ideas from other departments….”   []


Similar Benefits. See comparable benefits.


SILC = State Independent Living Council


Simulation: A form of disability awareness training that is opposed by some people with disabilities and used by others. Trainers use props like blindfolds, earplugs and wheelchairs to give participants the experience of a disability.  [NSIP]


SLD = Specific Learning Disability: The official term used in federal legislation to refer to difficulty in certain areas of learning, rather than in all areas of learning. Synonymous with learning disabilities. [LD Online]


SLP = Speech Language Pathologist (SLP): An expert who can help children and adolescents who have language disorders to understand and give directions, ask and answer questions, convey ideas, and improve the language skills that lead to better academic performance. An SLP can also counsel individuals and families to understand and deal with speech and language disorders. [LD Online]


SMI = Severe Mental Illness [VCDR]


SOV = State of Vermont.  [DFM]


Special  Funds: “These are funds used to finance particular activities from the receipts of specific taxes or other revenue.” [DFM]


SPED = Special Education (SPED): Services offered to children who possess one or more of the following disabilities: specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, multiple disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, autism, combined deafness and blindness, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments. [LD Online]


SRC = State Rehabilitation Council.  In Vermont, as in many other states, there are two SRCs – the Vermont SRC (VR) and the Vermont SRC (BVI).


SRS = Social and Rehabilitation Services [Snelling Center], an agency that was merged into DAIL (see above).  DVR was formerly part of SRS.


SS = Social Security: Refers to federal assistance administered by the Social Security Administration. Phone: 800-772-1213 (voice); 800-325-0778 (TTY). Website:  [NSIP]


SSA = Social Security Administration (see SS, above)

SSDI = Social Security Disability Income: Available to individuals have a work history (or are the child or widow of insured) and due to disability are no longer able to work. [NSIP]   Social Security Disability Insurance authorized under title II of the Social Security Act.  [SSAG]

SSI = Supplementary Security Income: The SSI program is a nationwide federal assistance program administered by the Social Security Administration that guarantees a minimum level of income for adults and children with a disability who have no work history since childhood.  [NSIP]  Supplemental Security Income program authorized under title XVI of the Social Security Act.  [SSAG]


SSN = Social Security number [Snelling Center]

State Plan: an outline developed by [DVR] of its proposed activities, policies, and funding patterns for any program which will be conducted in cooperation with the federal government under federal statute.  [IHDI]

Statute: “A written law enacted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.”  [DFM]


Steering Committee, currently one of the four standing committees of the SRC.  It consists of the SRC co-chairs, the chairs of the other three committees, and DVR Director and the DVR liaison to the SRC.  It makes decisions as necessary between regular meetings of the Council.


Stereotype: A simplified conventional idea or image.  [NSIP]


Stim or Stimming: Self-stimulatory behavior; repetitive motor or vocal mannerisms engaged in by people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs. They are usually used to either calm or excite the nervous system and often as a response to strong emotion. [AS]


Stimulus.  See ARRA (above).

“Substantial impediment to employment”: “a physical or mental impairment (in light of attendant medical, psychological, vocational, educational, and other related factors) hinders the person from preparing for, entering into, engaging in, or retaining employment consistent with his/her abilities and capabilities.”  [DVR Manual]

Successful Closure: a closure in which an employment outcome has been achieved as described in the individual’s IPE, an employment outcome has been maintained for at least 90 days to ensure the stability of the employment outcome and the individual no longer needs vocational rehabilitation services, both the individual and counselor consider the employment outcome to be satisfactory and agree that the individual is performing well in the employment and post-employment has been explained.  [IHDI]  Compare 26.

Suitable Employment: employment that is realistic and attainable, taking into account the individual’s capabilities, skills, interests, and limitations. The employment must, be regular, reasonably permanent, and with the consumer receiving a wage commensurate with that paid others for similar work.  [IHDI]

Supplemental, or Supplemental Appropriations: “An act appropriating funds in addition to those in an annual appropriation act. Supplemental appropriations provide additional budget authority beyond the original estimates for programs or activities (including new programs authorized after the date of the original appropriation act) in cases where the need for funds is too urgent to be postponed until enactment of the next regular appropriation bill.” [DFM]


Support Service: an incidental service authorized or provided to enable an individual to participate in or receive authorized diagnostic, evaluation or primary services.  [IHDI]


Supported Employment: “Intensive employment supports for specialized populations.”    [CWS]

“1. Competitive employment in an integrated setting with ongoing support services for persons with the most significant disabilities:

  1. For whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability; and
  2. Who, because of the nature and significance of their disabilities, need intensive supported employment services from DVR and extended services after transition in order to perform this work.

2, Transitional employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness.”  [DVR Manual]


Surplus: “The excess of assets of a fund over its liabilities and necessary reserves. While the liabilities represent amounts owed or payable or in process of payment, the reserves are segments set aside for special use, due to constitutional or statutory provisions, or contracts and agreements with other governmental units or private grantors.” [DFM]


SVCEC = Southeastern Vermont Career Education Center


SWOT Analysis: “a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective.”  (  [SWOT analysis is used as a management tool by DVR.]


SX6 = Success by Six [Snelling Center]

T&TA / TA = training and technical assistance / technical assistance [Snelling Center]

TACE = Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center.

TANF (often pronounced “TAN uff”] = Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (also known as Reach-Up) [VCDR]


TBI = Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):  Refers to the effects on the brain after a head injury. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to a spectrum of problems including concussion, contusion (hemorrhage within the brain), or diffuse injuries that cause more severe neurological deficits.  [IDC]

Telecommuting:  the process of working at home while transmitting data and documents to and from a nominal workplace over telephone lines using a telephone, fax machine, and modem-equipped computer.  [IHDI]

“Ticket” / Ticket to Work / Ticket Under the Ticket to Work Program: “a document provided by the Social Security Administration to disabled and blind SSDI and SSI beneficiaries that they can use to access employment services, vocational rehabilitation services and other support services to enable them to go to work.  Services can be obtained from state VR agencies or other qualified Employment Networks.  The program is entirely voluntary.”  [DVR Manual]  “A document which provides evidence of the Commissioner`s agreement to pay an employment network or a State vocational rehabilitation agency, to which a disabled beneficiary’s Ticket is assigned, for providing employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and other support services to the beneficiary.”  [SSAG]

Ticket to Work Program: This program “was created as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. Its purpose is to expand the number of service providers available to SSDI and SSI beneficiaries in obtaining services necessary to find, enter and retain employment.  The goal of the program is to reduce or eliminate their dependence on Social Security and SSI cash benefits.  [DVR Manual] “[A] voluntary program that offers SSDI and SSI beneficiaries with disabilities a variety of choices in obtaining the support and services they need to help them go to work and achieve their employment goals. If you are eligible and would like to work or increase your current earnings, this program can help you get vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals, and other ongoing support and services to help you do so.  [SSAG]

Timely Progress: The guidelines SSA uses to determine if a beneficiary is making progress toward self-supporting employment.  [SSAG]

TQM = Total Quality Management [Snelling Center]

Transition Services: “a coordinated set of activities for a student designed within an outcome-oriented process that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation….”  [DVR Manual]

Transitional Employment:  “a series of temporary job placements in competitive work in integrated settings with ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness.  In transitional employment, the provision of ongoing support services must include continuing sequential job placements until job permanency is achieved.”  [DVR Manual]

Transportation Barriers: The absence of accessible dependable affordable transportation  [SSAG]

Trial Work Period (SSDI): The trial work period is an incentive for the personal rehabilitation efforts of SSDI beneficiaries who work. The trial work period lets you test your ability to work or run a business for at least 9 months and receive full SSDI benefits (no matter how high your earnings are) if you report your work activity and your impairment does not improve.  [SSAG] A period of time (up to 9 months) for individuals receiving SSDI to try out or test their ability to return to employment. [IHDI]

Tutor-Trainer:  “also known as ‘job coach’, ‘employment training specialist’, or ‘ETS’ … a person who assists or teaches another person employment skills such as writing a resume, filing a job application, proper conduct at a job interview, job placement, learning a job, etc.”  [DVR Manual]

TWWIIA = the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 which provides new options and flexibility to make it possible for people with disabilities to join the workforce without fear of losing Medicare and Medicaid coverage. [IHDI]

Underemployment: when an individual with a disability is partially or inadequately employed especially at a low-paying job that requires less skill or training than one possesses. [IHDI]

Universal Design: Extends the idea of barrier-free design to cover the needs of all members of society, including children and seniors. [SSAG]

Unsuccessful Work Attempt (UWA) (SSDI): An effort to do substantial work (in employment or self-employment) that you stopped or reduced to below the SGA level after a short time (6 months or less). This change must have resulted because of your impairment, or the removal of special conditions related to your impairment that was essential to the further performance of your work. We do not count earnings during an unsuccessful work attempt when we make an SGA decision.  [SSAG]

USC = United States Code  [Snelling Center]


USD = Unified School District (USD): USD is a common acronym used in education plans to refer to the elementary, middle, and high schools within the school district. [LD Online]

Using a Ticket: The term used when a beneficiary has assigned a Ticket to an employment network or State vocational rehabilitation agency and is making timely progress toward self-supporting employment.  [SSAG]

VA = Veterans Administration  [Snelling Center], the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs.


VABIR = Vermont Association of Business, Industry and Rehabilitation: “Since its inception in 1979, VABIR has been Vermont’s liaison between private sector employment and skilled workers with disabilities….  Working under a program through the US Department of Education called Projects With Industry (PWI), our responsibility is to provide pragmatic, real-world information to both employers and job-seekers.”  [VABIR]  “[A] private, non-profit partner of DVR, ESD, and DBVI.  Many of the Business Account Managers will be VABIR employees.”  [CWS]


VAL = Vermont Adult Learning.  “Vermont Adult Learning (VAL) provides adults with essential skills education to further their educational, employment and personal goals in order to expand their options and capabilities in the family, community and workplace. Services are available to all out-of-school Vermonters, age 16 and above.  VAL offers 3 different pathways to achieve a high school credential:

High School Completion Program (ages 16-21)

Vermont Adult Diploma Program (ages 21+, 18-20 with waiver)

General Education Diploma (GED) (ages 16+)

VAL offers Work Readiness programming to prepare adults for entry, reentry to or promotion in the workplace.  VAL works with numerous agency partners to deliver comprehensive educational opportunities.” []


VAMH = Vermont Association for Mental Health  [Snelling Center]


VATP = The Vermont Assistive Technology Program.  VATP is committed to enabling Vermonters with disabilities to be independent, productive and confident. We assist Vermonters with clear, direct avenues toward integration and inclusion in school, the workforce and the community. As an agent of change and advocacy, we seek to keep the benefits of assistive devices and technologies foremost in the minds of consumers, policy makers, and service providers. Our vision is that all individuals with disabilities receive the assistive technology they need and want, within a dependable, consistent system of service delivery that is consumer driven and consumer responsive.  802-241-2620 / 800.750.6355 / 802-241-1464 (TTY)  [VCW]
VBLN = Vermont Business Leadership Network


VCDR = VT Coalition for Disability Rights.  [VCDR]


VCF = Vermont Children’s Forum  [Snelling Center]


VCHIP (often pronounced “VEE-chip”) = Vermont Child Health Improvement Project  [Snelling Center]


VCIL = Vermont Center for Independent Living. Provides peer advocacy counseling which includes one-on-one support. By working with peer counselors, individuals with disabilities learn how to problem solve and enhance ability to advocate for themselves. Through the Center, programs and resources such as Meals on Wheels, The Ed Roberts Library, and the Home Access Program are available by contacting any office for information. Services also include building assessments and business trainings for employers to comply with ADA requirements.  802-229-0501 (voice and tty) / 800-639-1522 (toll-free voice and tty)  [VCW]


VCOP = Vermont Career Opportunities Program, a program for Reach-Up clients. VCOP was abolished in the mid-1990’s and replaced by the Work Experience, Education and Employment for Vermonters (WEEEV) program.


VCQ = Vermont Council on Quality; website at


VDH = VT Department of Health [VCDR]


VDOL = Vermont Department of Labor

Vendor:  any person, agency, or organization that provides services purchased by [DVR].  Vendors must meet all Federal non-discrimination requirements.  [IHDI]

Vermont 2-1-1:  Service that provides all people in Vermont with free access to community resources information and referral (I & R).  For community, regional, state, and faith based human services information, including AHS services, contact Vermont 2-1-1 by dialing 211 from anywhere in Vermont, or visit their website ( .    [SOV]


Vermont Associates: “An employment program for low-income Vermonters over the age of 55 utilizing a variety of progressive employment strategies.”  [CWS]


Vermont Interpreter Referral Service.  This service provides statewide interpreter referral services for sign language/spoken English/oral interpreting and CART services for assignments in settings such as medical, legal, mental health, employment, educational civil and recreational situations (fee charged).  802 254-3920 or 800-639-1519 (V/TTY)  [VCW]


Vermont Protection and Advocacy, Inc.: a statewide agency dedicated to advancing the rights of people with mental health and disabilities issues. Supports human and civil rights by investigating complaints of abuse and neglect (physical or sexual assault, verbal & physical abuse, restraint and seclusion, forced treatment, and harassment) and complaints of violations of individual rights (the right to refuse treatment, right to privacy, access to medical records, confidentiality, etc.).  802-229-1355 / 1-800-834-7890, confidential information  [VCW]

Vermont Refugee Resettlement: A federally-funded program with one of its goals to help refugees find employment.”  [CWS]

Vermont Telecommunications Relay Service, Vermont Department of Public Service.   Provides information on TTY services and updates. Also, if you need a local advocate, there is an outreach coordinator available.  (802)-622-4496 (voice) / 1-800-734-8390 (TTY)  [VCW]


VHAP (often pronounced “VEE-hap”) = VT Health Access Program [VCDR; Snelling Center]


VISION = Vermont Integrated Solution for Information and Organizational Needs, the State wide accounting system.


VISTA = AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America): “Members live and serve in low-income neighborhoods, reaching out to residents and developing local leadership to create sustainable change.”  [NSIP]


Visually Impaired: “means that the eye condition is not so severe as to be legally blind, but vision in the better eye with best correction is no better than 20/40, or the condition is of a progressive nature which, if untreated, can reasonably be expected to lead to blindness.”  [DVR Manual]


VIT = Vermont Interactive Television.  Also called ITV, Interactive Television.


VMEC = Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center.


VNA = Visiting Nurse Association  [Snelling Center]

Vocational Assessment:  an analysis of the consumer’s residual vocational functioning. This assessment generally results in specific vocational recommendations to assist consumers in making good vocational choices.  [IHDI]

Vocational Evaluator:  a trained professional responsible for carrying out a vocational Assessment and making appropriate recommendations to assist an individual in reaching a vocational goal.  [IHDI]

Vocational Goal:  the employment goal chosen by the consumer.  [IHDI]

Vocational Impediment:  a barrier to employment comprised of one or more functional limitations resulting from a disability including consideration of any attendant factors which negatively affect rehabilitation potential.  [IHDI]

Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Those services identified in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, that are provided by a State Vocational Rehabilitation agency (VR) in an individualized plan for employment necessary to assist an individual with a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual.  [SSAG]  Services designed to enable an individual with a disability to secure and retain employment.  [IHDI]  See VR, below.

Voice Recognition: Assistive technology software that allows people to write and command equipment using their voice rather than their hands. This technology has been used to accommodate people with a variety of disabilities. Many oral historians who do not qualify for reasonable accommodation are avidly awaiting the further development and improvement of this technology.  [NCIP]

VP&A = Vermont Protection and Advocacy  [Snelling Center]


VPIC (often pronounced “VEE-pick”) = Vermont Parent Information Center. Founded in 1992, the Vermont Parent Information Center is a statewide network of support and information for families who have a child with special needs or disabilities. A non-profit organization dedicated to increasing and expanding educational and developmental opportunities that improve the quality of life for children with special needs and their families. They provide families with the chance to identify their own needs, to build on their own strengths, and to feel respected for their values and beliefs.  VPIC provides a variety of educational opportunities ranging from workshops to a lending library, a quarterly newsletter and publications. They run an assistive tech center that allows individuals to sample equipment and software that can help children to be more independent at home, in school, or at play. VPIC is developing new programs to promote the inclusion of children with special needs in all aspects of community life. VPIC offers several volunteer programs including families helping families, a legislative network, and families as teachers.  802-658-5315 / 800-639-7170  [VCW]


VPS = Vermont Psychiatric Survivors  [Snelling Center]


VR = Vocational Rehabilitation: Each state has a program to assist people with disabilities in finding and keeping employment. A list of offices can be found at this website:  [NSIP]


VRAN = Vermont Rehab Action Network; see ARAN.


VSAC (often pronounced “VEE-sack”) = Vermont Student Assistance Corporation


VSEA = Vermont State Employees Association, the union of Vermont State workers.  [DFM]


VSH = Vermont State Hospital [VCDR; Snelling Center]


VSRC = Vermont State Rehabilitation Council


VT 2-1-1:  Service that provides all people in Vermont with free access to community resources information and referral (I & R).  For community, regional, state, and faith-based human services information, including AHS services, contact Vermont 2-1-1 by dialing 211 from anywhere in Vermont, or visit their website (    [SOV]


VT-EDP = Vermont Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program.  Offered through the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the VT-EDP helps provide free TTY or other special equipment to use the phone to qualified applicants.  Toll Free: 1-888-254-3323  Direct Line: 1-802-258-9549  [VCW]


WCMH = Washington County Mental Health  [Snelling Center]


WDC = Workforce Development Council, Vermont (formerly the Human Resource Investment Council)

WIA (often pronounced “WEE-uh”) = Workforce Investment Act (Public Law 105-220): The Federal act under which the VR program is funded. WIA was enacted in 1998… It replaced the former workforce program called the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). The purpose of the Act is to establish programs to prepare youth and unskilled adults for entry into the labor force and to afford job training to those economically disadvantaged individuals and others who face serious barriers to employment and who are in need of such training to obtain employment.  [TRC]  Federal legislation that contains the Rehabilitation Act. The Rehabilitation Act establishes and sets rules for state vocational rehabilitation programs.  [ORSC]  WIA “provides the framework for a national workforce preparation and employment system designed to meet both the needs of businesses and job seekers and those who want to further their careers. A key component of the Act enables customers to easily access the information and services they need through the One-Stop Career Center system.”  [SSAG]

WIB (often pronounced to rhyme with “rib”) = Workforce Investment Board. See Regional Workforce Investment Board, above.


“Windmills”:  a particular disability awareness training package.

Work Adjustment:  an individualized, structured, and closely supervised remedial work experience, designed to promote the acquisition of good work habits, increase physical and emotional tolerance for work activity and interpersonal relationships, and to modify attitudes and behaviors which inhibit the satisfactory performance of work.  [IHDI]

Workforce: “The employees, management and leadership of an organization who, together, support the profitability and/or operation of that organization.”  [CWS]

Workforce Needs: “Workforce needs can include training and supervision, education, retention supports, recruitment tools, funding resources and other activities that increase productivity, reduce turnover and facilitate profitability and growth in the enterprise as a whole.”  [CWS]

Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Program (WIPA) ProjectThe Social Security Administration awards grants to community-based organizations as established by Section 121 of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, Public Law 106-170. The purpose of the WIPA project is to disseminate accurate information to SSA beneficiaries with disabilities about work incentives and employment support programs to better enable them to make informed choices about work. Each WIPA project employs Community Work Incentive Coordinators.  [SSAG]

Work Incentive Program: Various federal programs available through the Social Security Administration that allow SSI recipients and applicants to receive SSI payments while engaging in gainful employment.”  [ATNet]

Work Incentives. See Employment Supports.

Work Sample:  a well defined work activity involving tasks, materials, and tools which are identical or similar to those in an actual job or cluster of jobs. It is used to assess an individual’s vocational aptitude, work characteristics, and vocational interests.  [IHDI]

Worker Trait[s]: aptitudes, general educational development, vocational preparation, physical demands, and personal traits related to specific jobs. These are reflected in: training time, aptitudes, temperaments, interest, physical demands, and environmental conditions.  [IHDI]

WOTC = Work Opportunities Tax Credit:  a federal program that gives a tax break to employers hiring individuals with disabilities who are or have been consumers of a state vocational rehabilitation program.  [ORSC]


WPWD = Medicaid for Working People With Disabilities (also abbreviated as MWPD), a program that allows many people with disabilities who are working to get Medicaid coverage for which they might not otherwise qualify because their income is too high.  For more information go to


YES = youth employment specialist


YIT = Youth in Transition Initiative


YTD = (1) year to date; (2) Youth Transition Demonstration, a study funded by the Social Security Administration.  (Vermont DVR participated in the initial pilot project, but was not funded for continuation of the grant.)


Zero-Base Budgeting: “A process emphasizing management’s responsibility to plan, budget, and evaluate. Zero-base budgeting provides for analysis of alternative methods of operation and various levels of effort.  It places new programs on an equal footing with existing programs by requiring that program priorities be ranked, thereby providing a systematic basis for allocating resources.”  [DFM]

Key to Sources:

ARCDallas = Association for Retarded Children of Dallas; found at


AS = Autism Society; found at


ATNet = “Glossary of AT Terminology,” found at E




DAIL = Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living, “Home-Based Medicaid Waiver Manual,” “Glossary of Terms,” found at


DFM = Department of Finance & Management, “Glossary of State Budget & Accounting Terms”, as found at


DVR Manual = the official manual of DVR, as found at

Easter Seals = Glossary of Autism Spectrum Disorders related Terminology, found at

ELG = Employment Law Glossary, found at =  History:  “The Find Interactive Glossary of Mental Health and Disability Terms was written by C. J. Newton, MA, Learning Specialist, and published in July, 1996, on, changed to in 2000, and to in 2006.”


IDC = Interfaith Disability Connection; found at


IHDI = Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky, “Glossary of Agency Terms,” found at


LD Online =


NCI = National Cancer Institute, “NCI Glossary of Terms”, found at


NCWD/A = “Customized Employment: Employers and Workers: Creating a Competitive Edge: Summary Report on Customized Employment Grants and Workforce Action Grants”, Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy; Prepared by National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (April 2007).


NGPG = “Nonprofit Good Practices Guide,” found at


NSIP = National Service Inclusion Project, “Glossary of Disability and National Service Related Terms”, adapted from the work of Sieglinde A. Shapiro and Carol Marfisi; found at


ODEP = Office of Disability Employment Programs; found at


ORSC = Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, “Glossary of Rehabilitation-Related Terms,” found at


OSERS = Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services website,


RSA = Rehabilitation Services Administration website,


Snelling Center = “Health Care Acronyms,” found at


SOV = State of Vermont Official State Website, accessed at


SSA = Social Security Administration, accessed at


SSAG = “Glossary of Terms” found at


TRC = TRC “Workforce Development Glossary,” found at


VABIR = Vermont Association of Business, Industry and Rehabilitation website,

VCDR = Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights’ “Advocate’s Acronym Glossary,” found at

VCW = Vermont Commission on Women, “Disability and Accessibility Issues,” found at