Adult Day Supports
This service helps a person build connections in their community by learning how to meet and talk with new people, types of activities available in the community, how to get to places more independently, and what jobs are available.
Adult Day Supports/Vocational Habilitation Combo
This refers to a program that contains both vocational (work) and non-vocational services.
Adult Services
This typically refers to a variety of services available to a person after they graduate from school, whether that is at age 18 or 22. (The public school is required to provide a free and appropriate public education through age 22.)
People with developmental disabilities, either individually or in groups, speaking or acting on behalf of themselves, or on behalf of issues that affect people with disabilities.
Agency Provider
This term refers to an organization that provides services to persons with developmental disabilities. The provider of record is the agency and the direct service can be provided by any member of their organization.
Assistive Technology
Assistive Technology, or AT, is any interactive electronic item that can help someone increase or maintain independence, skills, and involvement in the community. There are many ways to use AT, including completing work tasks, communicating with friends, or reminding you to take medication.


Behavioral Support Strategies
Strategies included in person-centered plans that help enhance individuals' lives by reducing risk of harm to themselves or to others.


Someone who provides basic care for a person with a developmental disability. This can be a parent, sibling, friend, neighbor or other person who assists with things like bathing, feeding, dressing, shopping and paying bills.
Children’s Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument – This is an Ohio required tool used to determine eligibility though age 15. (Completion of this tool is just a part of the eligibility process.)
Community Integration
A term encompassing the full participation and inclusion of all people in community life.
Cuyahoga DD
Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, or Cuyahoga DD for short, is the county agency that serves eligible people who are residents of Cuyahoga County.


Developmental Delays
Conditions that represent a significant delay in the process of child development. The delays may involve cognitive, physical, communicative, social/emotional, and adaptive areas of development. Without intervention, these delays may affect the long-term educational performance of the child.
Developmental Disabilities
Conditions that may impair physical or intellectual/cognitive functions or behavior, and occur before a person is age 22.
Developmental Specialist
A Developmental Specialist (DS) is an expert in typical and atypical development of children birth through age 5. A DS is often assigned when a child has a delay in more than one developmental area (adaptive, motor, communication, vision, hearing, medical).
Acronym used for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.
Dual Diagnosis
This term is usually used to reference someone who has both a Mental Illness and a Developmental Disability (MI/DD).
Due Process
This refers to a formal way to resolve disputes. Due process starts with a complaint and ends with a resolution. (Many disputes can be resolved by first talking through disagreements with Cuyahoga DD staff.)


This refers to the process used to determine whether or not someone is eligible for services through the Cuyahoga DD.
Employment First
An Ohio executive order that states community employment should be the preferred outcome for working age adults with developmental disabilities.
Evaluation & Assessment (E&A)
Evaluation & Assessment (E&A) is a process the Early Intervention team uses to address strengths, priorities and concerns of the child and family. The E&A then becomes a guidepost to determine eligibility and Early Intervention services a child would benefit from.
Evidence-Based Early Intervention (EBEI)
Evidence-based practice in the field of early childhood is the process that pulls together the best available research, knowledge from professional experts, and data and input from children and their caregivers, to identify and provide services, evaluated and proven to achieve positive outcomes for children and families.


Family Supports Program
Cuyahoga DD’s locally-funded program that helps pay for some services and resources for people with developmental disabilities who live at home with their families or on their own.
Free Choice of Provider
Individuals have free choice of provider for all Medicaid services per state rule. Selected providers must be willing to bill Medicaid for services under the current reimbursement rates. Not all providers are Medicaid (IO/L1) providers. Your SA can help you find a provider who accepts your funding.


HCB Services
Acronym for Home and Community-Based Services. Home and community-based (HCB) services provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community setting.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The HIPAA Privacy Rule creates national standards to protect individuals' medical records and other Protected Health Information (PHI).


Individualized Education Plan – this is the tool that schools use to capture supports being provided within the school system. It provides individualized special education and related services to meet the unique needs of a child.
Individualized Family Service Plan – is a process and a document used in Early Intervention services to help your child develop to their fullest potential. It is the road map to deliver the services and tools that will help your child thrive. It lays out which services and supports your baby or toddler should receive and the outcomes you and your team hope to achieve for your child.
Independent Provider
This term refers to a provider who is considered independently employed. They cannot sub-contract or send someone else to provide service in their place.
IO Waiver
Individuals Options, or IO Waiver, is a comprehensive waiver that is often a good fit for people who need a lot of help in their home or who need a lot of different kinds of services.
Individual Service Plan – this is the document written by the SA that is the contract between the person and their provider and assures the health, safety and welfare of the individual. This document is to be completed annually and updated as often as needed.


Least Restrictive Environment
This is the preferred environment for an individual with a developmental disability that allows him/her the greatest opportunity for personal growth and inclusion alongside peers, to the greatest extent appropriate.
Level One Waiver
The Level One Waiver (L1) is a good fit for people who do not need a lot of paid staff to provide support. This Waiver relies heavily on natural supports (services people provide without being paid for it), like family members, co-workers, and other people in the community.


Medicaid is a program for people with low income. It pays for health care services using state and federal funds. Individuals must have limited income and limited assets in order to be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid pays for things like Common Health Care Services (this includes medical appointments), Durable Medical Equipment, and Home Health Care Services
Major Unusual Incident – the reporting system mandated by Ohio law that sets procedures to review and report allegations of abuse, neglect and other potentially serious incidents that occur in the Developmental Disabilities system.
Multi-Factored Evaluation (MFE)
The Multi-Factored Evaluation is the process required by the IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act) to determine if a child is eligible for special education services. The MFE determines if the child has a disability and identifies specialized educational needs.


Natural Supports
Relationships typically developed in the community that enhance the quality of life for individuals. Natural supports may include family members, friends, neighbors, and others in the community or organizations that serve the general public who provide voluntary support to help a person with a developmental disability.
North East Ohio Network, or NEON, is a partner agency that helps Cuyahoga DD administer its Family Supports Program.
NMT (Non-Medical Transportation)
Non-Medical Transportation (NMT) – this refers to the type of transportation provided to someone to and from their day program or community employment. There are many NMT providers in Cuyahoga County who are certified to provide this service.


Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapists (OT) are experts in fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, sensory processing, lip and tongue ties and feeding issues.
Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument—this is an Ohio required tool used to determine eligibility from age 16 and older. (Completion of this tool is just a part of the eligibility process.)
Ohio Department of Development Disabilities (DODD)
This is Ohio's agency that oversees a statewide system of supportive services that focus on ensuring health and safety, supporting access to community participation, and increasing opportunities for meaningful employment.
Ohio Early Intervention
Ohio Early Intervention is a statewide system that provides coordinated services to parents of eligible children from birth through age two that may be experiencing a developmental delay or have a medical condition that has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay. Ohio Early Intervention is the starting point as families begin their journey to define and receive necessary supports and resources to enhance their children’s learning and development. In Cuyahoga County, the Early Intervention Program is a partnership of the Cuyahoga DD and Bright Beginnings.
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)
This state agency provides individuals with disabilities opportunities to achieve quality employment, independence and disability determination outcomes. OOD partners with community agencies, including Cuyahoga DD and schools, to increase integrated employment opportunities and independence living outcomes for Ohio citizens with disabilities.


According to the Social Security Administration, a representative payee is a person or organization appointed to receive the Social Security or SSI benefits for anyone who can’t manage their own benefits. It can be a friend or family member or organizational payee.
Person-Centered Planning
An individually-focused approach to planning that empowers individuals with developmental disabilities to set the direction and actively shape their own future.
Physical Therapist
Physical Therapists (PT) are experts in gross motor skills; focusing on mobility such as rolling, crawling, walking and climbing.
Primary Service Provider
A Primary Service Provider (PSP) is an Early Intervention (EI) Services team member who is the family’s primary contact for EI Services. This means that while there may be more than one service listed, the PSP is the person that will see the family most often. The PSP is selected by the team based on the needs of the child receiving EI services and works with the team to deliver services based on the IFSP.
Provider Guide Plus
This online tool is a way for individuals and families to rate an agency provider or read reviews about other agency providers. This tool was created to assist with the provider selection process.


Remote Monitoring (also called Remote Monitoring Services or Remote Support Services)
Assistive technology supports controlled through a service provider hub that work together to increase a person’s privacy and independence while maintaining safety. Remote Monitoring Services include sensors, intercoms, alarms, call pendants, cameras, wonder alerts, safety features for faucets and stoves and other devices.


Support Administrator – this is a Cuyahoga DD “case manager” who works with individuals and providers of services to coordinate services as well as monitor progress of those services. SAs typically work with individuals 18 years and older who require Medicaid waiver funding for their service needs.
SELF Waiver
The Self Empowered Life Funding waiver is Ohio's first participant-directed waiver. It is a good fit for people who want to be in charge of their services. With a SELF Waiver, you can be in charge of hiring and training people who provide your services.
An initiative built on the principles of freedom, authority, support, responsibility, and confirmation. Self-Determination gives people with disabilities the freedom to decide how they will live, work, and participate in the community; the authority to decide how funds allocated to them will be spent; the supports that will allow that person to lead the life they choose; the responsibility of assuring that the money they are using is spent in a useful and appropriate manner; and inclusion in the process of making life decisions and designing the system to help them.
Service Coordinator
A Service Coordinator (SC) is the first point of contact for Early Intervention services. The SC completes the intake visit, schedules the developmental evaluation and assessment, writes the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), refers for necessary services, and monitors the IFSP to ensure EI services are being delivered per the plan.
Speech Language Pathologist
Speech/Language Pathologists are experts in expressive and receptive communication, what people say or sign, and what they understand.
Social Security Disability Insurance. The plan pays monthly benefits to disabled workers and their dependents. The plan is funded by Social Security. Participants must have accrued sufficient quarter-years of employment and payment into the system to qualify for benefits.
Social Security Income. The federal government provides income support to people 65 and over, and adults and children with blindness or other disabilities who have few or no financial resources.
Supported Living
A service model based on principles that emphasize a person's choice, self-determination, and community integration.


Vocational Habilitation
These are services designed to teach and reinforce concepts related to work, including responsibility, attendance, task completion, problem solving, social interaction, motor skill development and safety. People participating in this service earn a paycheck for piece work that they complete and are supported to gradually move along a pathway to competitive employment if that is what is desired.


Refers to a Home and Community-Based Services Waiver approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Waivers are used to support individuals who choose to receive services in the community instead of an institution. Waivers are one way to pay for services that help people with developmental disabilities live their lives. There are three types of waivers: Individual Options (IO), Level 1 and SELF.

Additional terms and acronyms are available from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.