Terminology, acronyms, and "lingo" in the developmental disability service system can be confusing. See below for often-used terms.
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals and citizens concerned about intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Ability One program is among the largest sources of employment, on Federal contracts, for people who are blind or have significant disabilities in the US.
Maryland ABLE accounts help people with disabilities save for their futures without jeopardizing state or federal means-tested benefits such as SSI or Medicaid.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law providing comprehensive civil rights protections for people based on race, sex, national origin, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
The Arc Maryland
The Arc Maryland is a statewide nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to the welfare of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, family members, educators, professionals, and the public. There are 10 local chapters in Maryland.
The Arc US
The Arc is the national nonprofit organization to which The Arc Baltimore is a local chapter. There are approximately 700 chapters across the country.
Assistive Technology is any piece of equipment or strategy used by a person with a disability to increase, maintain, or improve his or her functional capabilities. AT enables people to live, work and learn more independently. AT consists of both high and low-tech tools.
A Behavior Support Plan is a plan that assists someone in building positive behaviors to replace or reduce a challenging/dangerous behavior. It is created collectively with the person and their team and is used to help employees engage with someone in a supportive way.
Behavior Support Services include Behavioral Assessment, Behavioral Consultations, and Behavioral Support Implementation Services.
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities is an organization that reviews and grants accreditation services nationally and internationally at the request of a facility/program.
Career Exploration is a time-limited service (up to 720 hours per year) that focuses on employment experiences and includes employment goals that outline trajectory and transition time toward employment.
DDA’s Coordination of Community Service assists people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families plan for their future and learn about and gain access to resources, services and supports in their community. They function as the state's service coordinators or case managers for the people we serve.
Competitive integrated employment refers to full or part-time work at minimum wage or higher, with wages and benefits and opportunities for advancement like workers without disabilities performing the same work and fully integrated with coworkers without disabilities.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the federal agency responsible for administering the Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) and several other health-related programs.
The Code of Maryland Regulations is the official compilation of administrative regulations issued by agencies of the state of Maryland.
The Council on Quality and Leadership provides accreditation, training, certification, and customized consultation to human service organizations and systems that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people. Maryland DDA is pursuing a Person-Centered Excellence Network accreditation. The Basic Assurances Tool is used to evaluate the essential, fundamental requirements of all human service organizations and systems.
Contribution to Care is calculated by the State for people with developmental disabilities living in group home settings under the home and community-based waiver. It is a complex calculation determined by eligibility standards and treatment of income.
Charting the Life Course is a person-centered system DDA is promoting to assist in developing person-centered plans (PCPs) for the people we support. It looks at all aspects of the person’s life and focuses on the person’s longer-term hopes and dreams.
The Community Pathways Waiver is a comprehensive waiver that supports both children and adults and includes various Meaningful Day Services, Support Services, and Residential Services to support assessed needs.
The Community Supports Waiver supports children and adults and includes various Meaningful Day Services and Support Services to support assessed needs.
Developmental Disability refers to a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas that begins during the developmental period and which impacts a person’s day-to-day functioning that lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. Onset occurs before a person’s 21st birthday. Causes may include genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, or other intellectual disabilities. IDD, or Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, is often a term used in the field, but intellectual disabilities are a type of developmental disability.
The Developmental Disabilities Administration is the principal state administration that provides funding for services to persons with developmental disabilities, part of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (see below). DDA is organized into four regions in MD. The Arc Baltimore falls under the Central Maryland Regional Office (CMRO).
The Developmental Disabilities Council is the federally funded state organization authorized in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1990 to provide advocacy, policy analysis and planning, and ensure comprehensive services for persons with developmental disabilities. This also has the responsibility of establishing a State plan which must outline major unmet needs of a person with developmental disabilities and identify services to be provided.
The Maryland Department of Health is the statewide agency concerned with improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. It contains the Administrations of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, Medicaid Operations and Public Health - overseeing the Office of Health Care Quality Administration (OHCQ).
The Department of Human Services is the state agency that helps vulnerable Marylanders buy heath foods, pay energy bills, and obtain medical assistance. They also provide stable environment for at-risk children and adults. They are the referral source for The Arc Baltimore’s Treatment Foster Care Program.
The Maryland Department of Disabilities is charged with coordinating and improving the delivery of services to people with all disabilities in the state.
The Division of Rehabilitation Services provides rehabilitation services to eligible persons with disabilities to prepare for and find work (located in the Maryland State Department of Education) including supported employment.
Disability Rights Maryland, formerly Maryland Disability Law Center, is an organization designated as the State Protection and Advocacy System for protecting and advocating for the rights of children and adults with disabilities. DRM provides legal representation to individuals who have legal problems due to their disability.
Electronic Provider Revalidation and Enrollment Portal is used by Medicaid for enrollment, re-enrollment, revalidation, information updates and demographic changes.
The Electronic Visit Verification is a system required by the 21st Century Cures Act to be used for personal care services and home health care services that require an in-home visit by a provider. All DD Personal Supports provided in Maryland use this system.
Extended Reach is the management information system used by The Arc Baltimore’s Foster Care program to track demographics and services to foster children in treatment foster care.
Focus area exploration questions should be discussed during the facilitation/interview prior to the Annual Meeting using appropriate person-centered planning methodologies (Pathways, Essential Lifestyle Planning, Paths, Maps, etc.)
Final Settings Rule
The final settings rule was issued by the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) outlining new federal criterion for community-based services that are more outcome oriented, ensuring individual have access to the full benefits of community life and are receiving waiver services in the most integrated settings. First issued in January 2014 with extensions for full compliance (due to COVID) resulting in final deadline of March 17, 2023.
Financial Management Services helps with budget and payment responsibilities for people who participate in the self-directed service model.
The Family Supports Waiver supports children up to age 21 and includes various Support Services to support children and their families.
The Home and Community Based Services provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community rather than in an institution.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is a set of public laws passed by Congress to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets, to combat waste, fraud and abuse in health insurance and the health care delivery, to reduce costs and the administrative burdens of health care by improving efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system by standardizing the interchange of electronic date for specified administrating and financial transactions and to ensure protecting the privacy of Americans’ personal health records by protecting the security and confidentiality of health care information.
The Health Risk Screening Tool detects health risks and destabilization by assigning scores to 22 health and behavioral-related rating items. Health scores range from 1-6.
The Holistic Support Manager is The Arc Baltimore’s internal case manager who assists in developing a person’s PCP and works with DDA and the CCSs on obtaining the needed funding for services and supports.
iCareManager is a management information system used to track demographics, services, and support provided. The Arc Baltimore currently uses this system for our DD programs.
The Individual with Disabilities Education Act, originally P.L. 94-142 Education for all Handicapped Children Act, mandates state and local education agencies to provide a free, appropriate public education and related services to all ‘handicapped’ children. Subsequent amendments provide for secondary education and transition services and for funds research, training, and demonstration in transition from school to adult life. IDEA also includes Part H (early Intervention Programs for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities.)
An Individualized Education Program is a written statement for a child with a disability that is developed and implemented in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
An Individual Family Support Plan is a written plan for providing early intervention services to a child eligible under Part H of the IDEA.
Low-Intensity Support Services is a statewide program funded through the DDA. LISS can provide up to $2,000 to assist children and adults with developmental disabilities who are not receiving any other support from the DDA.
Long-term services and supports that are provided through Medicaid. It also references a web-based, person-centered, tracking system for case management and billing of those services.
Maryland Association of Community Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Inc. is a professional association whose membership is comprised of agencies that provide community-based services to people with disabilities in Maryland.
The Mandt System® is a relationally based training program adopted by the DDA that uses a continuous learning and development approach to prevent, de-escalate, and if necessary, intervene in behavioral interactions. The focus is on building healthy relationships, providing a more person-centered, values-based process that encourages positive interactions.
Maryland Works, Inc. is a statewide membership association that expands employment and business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. The EWP (Employment Works Program) is managed by Maryland Works.
The Maryland State Department of Education is the State agency responsible for ensuring that all children with disabilities residing in the State are identified, assessed, and provided with free, appropriate public education consistent with state and federal laws.
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals strives to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system refurl and advancing their knowledge, skills, and values.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness - the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. They offer support groups, trainings, and resources for people (& their families) affected by mental illness.
The Office of Health Care Quality is an independent office of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, responsible for inspecting, licensing, and decertifying various programs and facilities funded and/or regulated by DHMH, including nursing homes, medical testing labs and all the developmental disabilities’ community programs.
Positive Behavioral Supports is a model that emphasizes the use of non-restrictive procedures and is committed to the reduction of physical restraint.
The Provider Consumer Information System is the current (but being phased out) management information systems used by DDA for demographics, incident reporting and billing. It was developed in 1999 and will be gradually replaced by the LTSS system.
The Person-Centered Plan - formerly called Individual Plan (IP) - begins with the understanding that all people have the right to live, love, work, play and pursue their aspirations in their community. To that end, people have the right to figure out and pursue their good life. What defines a good life is as individual and unique as the person being supported. The PCP starts by learning what is most important to them and then partners with a team to create a plan that supports a clear trajectory toward their personally defined good life. The PCP is developed on at least an annual basis and the staff take action to make sure that the strategies discussing in planning meetings are implemented.
Person-Centered Thinking is a philosophy and training that assists staff who work with people we support to provide more individually tailored services that focus on the person and their daily needs.
Personal Outcome Measures is a person-centered discovery tool used by CQL reviewers to explore the presence, importance and achievement of personally defined outcomes, along with the supports that help people attain their individual goals and dreams.
Pre-Employment Transition Services are provided specifically for students with disabilities through the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS). The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act requires vocational rehabilitation agencies to set aside 15% of their federal funds to provide pre-ETS.
Project SEARCH is an innovative one-year internship program for high school students and adults with disabilities. The program prepares students and adults for competitive integrated employment through internships combined with classroom work designed to build work readiness.
Quality Improvement Organization is a group of health quality experts working under the direction of CMS to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and quality of services delivered. Maryland has contracted with Liberty Healthcare.
Self-Direction is a service delivery option through the DDA where the responsibility for managing services lies with the person. The model supports participants with developmental disabilities to self-determine their services, making their own choices, learning to effectively solve problems, and taking control and responsibility for his/her life.
The Supports Intensity Scale is an assessment tool used by the DDA to determine the type and intensity of supports requested. It is used in conjunction with the PCP and was developed by AAIDD in 2004. Maryland launched its use in 2016. The tool is completed by a third party.
Source America is one of three nonprofit agencies established to help implement the Ability One program. An organization that connects contract work to a valued national network of nonprofits to create job opportunities for people with disabilities.
Social Security Disability Insurance is an insurance program for former workers who have become disabled, and for disabled adult children of workers who are retired, disabled, or deceased.
Supplemental Security Income is a Social Security Administration program that provides monthly payments to aged, blind and disabled people with limited income and resources (assets).
Transitioning youth refers to young adults graduating from high school and moving into adult services.
University Affiliated Program is a program, operated by a public or nonprofit private entity, including parents of persons with disabilities, professionals, paraprofessionals, students and volunteers, which is associated with, or is integral part of, a college or university and which provides for interdisciplinary training, demonstration of exemplary services, technical assistance and dissemination of findings (in accordance with Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1900). The Kennedy Krieger Institute is the Maryland UAP.
Waiting List Equity Fund
Waiting list Equity Funds is funding for people whose care providers are older. Access to funding depends on availability.
The DDA Waiting List is a list of prioritized people requesting services from the DDA. It is based on assessed needs and applicant eligibility. Priority categories are:
- Crisis Resolution- a person is experiencing a crisis or emergency such as abuse, neglect, or homelessness.
- Crisis Prevention - a person is or will be in a health or safety crisis within the next year.
- Current Request - a person needs/wants services, but health and safety are not the immediate issues.
- Future Need - a person does not have a need for services within the next three years.
Waiting List Initiative
The Waiting List Initiative attempts to reduce the number of people on the State waiting list for services. The primary caregiver must be age 55 or older, and access to funding depends on availability and date of application.
The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) administers three 1915 (c) Medicaid home and community-based waiver programs on behalf of Maryland’s Medicaid Office including the Family Supports Waiver, Community Supports, and Community Pathways Waivers. A Waiver program approved by the federal Centers on Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) allows states to waive or bend the usual rules to allow Medicaid and other services to be delivered in a different place, to people with different needs, or different income levels. For people who are eligible, this kind of program provides services in the community as an alternative to receiving them in an institution. Applicants must initially and continuously meet specific technical, medical, and financial criteria.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was signed by President Obama in 2014 and created a new vison for how American prepares and educated and skilled workforce. This landmark legislation was designed to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers.