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Glossary Of Terms

Glossary of Frequently Used Terms, Acronyms and Abbreviations

Within the service delivery system for people with developmental disabilities, the following acronyms and abbreviations may be used to describe services:


The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (P.L. 113-295) added Section 529A to the federal tax code to enable eligible individuals with disabilities to save money in a tax-exempt account that may be used for qualified disability expenses while still keeping their eligibility for federal public benefits.

For more information:


A model of DDA’s residential support service, provided in a home of 3 or less people, with supervision.

Area Agency on Aging (AAA):

Area Agencies on Aging address the concerns of older Americans at the local level by identifying community and social service needs and assuring that social and nutritional supports are made available to older people in communities where they live.

Find your local AAA here:

Behavior Plan (BP):

Behavior Plan- A plan designed to reinforce and shape behaviors and to provide an approved means to safely intervene when behaviors that are dangerous to self and/or others are exhibited.  Strategies chosen are based upon each person’s needs, characteristics, and preferences from the results of a person-centered plan and comprehensive functional behavior assessment.

Learn more here:

Case Management (CM):

Service that helps people identify their strengths and needs in order to coordinate and locate community specialized services. This may include helping people make plans regarding financial decisions, personal relationships, etc.  The DDA uses a Targeted Case Management model.

Coordination of Community Services (CCS):

DDA’s model of targeted case management that will assist eligible individuals and their families to learn and gain access to community resources, plan for the future and access needed services and supports. 

Coordinator of Community Services (CCS):

Coordinator of Community Services (formerly known as Service Coordinator or Resource Coordinator) a case manager who supports people in learning about and connecting to resources in their community, planning for their future and assessing the need for services and supports.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):

Federal agency which administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, including the Money Follows the Person demonstration grants.

Code of Maryland Annotated Regulations (COMAR):

A compilation of all the regulations issued by the agencies of the State of Maryland.  It provides definitions and the process for how service by state agencies, such as the DDA, are provided.

The regulations are available on-line at

Community First Choice (CFC):

A program created by Section 2401 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows states the option to offer certain community-based services as a state plan benefit to individuals who meet an institutional level of care.

Maryland’s CFC program offers personal assistance, supports planning, nurse monitoring, personal emergency response systems, transition services, and items that substitute for human assistance such as technology and environmental adaptations. Services are provided in the eligible individual’s home or community residence

Learn more here:

Community Personal Assistance Services (CPAS) Program:

This program was previously known as Medical Assistance Personal Care or MAPC.

CPAS provides assistance with activities of daily living, nurse monitoring and supports planning to Medicaid recipients. Services are provided in the eligible individual’s home or community residence

Find more information here:

Community Options Waiver (CO):

This waiver became effective January 6, 2014 and serves adults aged 18 years and older. It provides assisted living, senior center plus, family training, behavioral consultation, and case management services.

Find more information here:

Community Supported Living Arrangements (CSLA):

Residential supports that enhance a person’s opportunity for community participation and enables them to exercise choice and control over their lifestyles.

Comprehensive Assessment (CA)

Formerly referred to as E&A (Eligibility and Access). The process by which an individual with a disability applies to the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) for services.  Eligibility is based on definitions in Maryland State Law, Health – General, Title 7, and Developmental Disability Law.  These services are not an entitlement service. Individuals must apply and be determined eligible for DDA services.

Conflict of Interest:

Any real or perceived incompatibility between an agency or agency
employee’s private interests and the duties of this Solicitation.

Continuing Adult Education:

Non-credit class or classes designed to enhance personal growth and development.

Crisis Prevention (CP):

The second priority category for services funded by Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).  People in this category have been determined to have an urgent need for services, but do not qualify for Crisis Resolution. The person qualifies for this category by meeting one or more criteria as stated in the regulations.

Crisis Resolution (CR):

The top priority category for services funded by DDA. To qualify for this category, the person has to be in crisis by meeting one or more criteria as stated in the regulations.

Current Request (CU):

The third or lowest priority category for services funded by Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). To qualify for this category, the applicant shall indicate at least a current need for services.

Day Supports:

Services which provide structured daily activities for individuals with developmental disabilities. There are several options under these services:

  • Day Habilitation – teaches skills for employment and/or community living. The service is designed for each individual and his or her goals for employment. You will take part in activities in places other than you home for the majority of the day. Day habilitation services are intended to increase independence and develop and maintain motor skills, communication skills, and personal hygiene skills related to specific habilitation goals that lead to opportunities for integrated employment.
  • Supported Employment – designed to assist you with accessing and maintaining paid employment in the community.
  • Community Learning Services – activities, special assistance, support, and education to help individuals whose age, disability, or circumstances currently limits their ability to be employed and/or participate in activities in their communities. They assist you in developing the skills and social supports necessary to gain, retain, or advance in employment.
  • Employment Discovery and Customization – Employment discovery and customization services are designed to help access employment or explore the possibilities and impact of work. These are time-limited activities, which include assessment, discovery, customization, and training activities.

Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA):

The agency that provides funding and services to eligible individuals. The agency is part of the Maryland Department of Health.

Find more information here:

DDA-funded Services:

Any services which are purchased with the use of state (and, in some instances, federal) money through the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).

“DD” Eligible:

One of two DDA eligibility categories for in which a person needs to meet the following criteria: Have a physical or mental condition other than a sole diagnosis of mental illness.  The disability is considered severe and chronic in nature.  The disability was manifested before the age of 22.  The disability results in the person being unable to live independently.  The person needs assistance to plan and coordinate services.  “DD” eligibility is required for accessing the Community Pathways waiver and the full range of services funded by the DDA.

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS):

A state funded agency that provides leadership and support to enable individuals with disabilities to live independently.  ​DORS helps people with physical, emotional, intellectual, developmental, sensory and learning disabilities go to work and keep their jobs by providing services such as career assessment and counseling, assistive technology, job training, higher education and job placementWebsite:

Department of Social Services (DSS):

Social services are managed by local county/city governments. Throughout the State, the Family Investment Administration and the Social Services Administration of the Department of Human Services oversee social services programs such as adoption; foster care; protective services to children, adults, and families; public assistance; and services to families with children. The local department of social services, funded by State government, administers public assistance programs for low-income Marylanders and those suffering economic hardships. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Program (formerly Food Stamps); the Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid); the Maryland Energy Assistance Program; and the Temporary Cash Assistance Program. In addition, local departments of social services also offer child care subsidy; child support enforcement; emergency food provision; and housing and employment assistance. With local organizations, social services departments work to provide emergency shelter and transitional housing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, and even general education development (GED) courses.

Find your local office here:

Eligibility & Access (E & A):

The process by which a person with a disability applies to the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) for services.  Eligibility is based on definitions in Maryland State Law, Health – General, Title 7, and Developmental Disability Law.  These services are not an entitlement service. Individuals must apply and be determined eligible for DDA services.

Eligibility Determination Division (EDD):

Determines financial eligibility for Medicaid under the waiver. EDD will review assets, income, and medical expenses and apply special financial eligibility rules under the waiver. Individuals must apply to the waiver regardless of their income and assets.


A group of individuals working at the same community-based site with direct supervision.

Family Support Services (F/ISS):

The assistance provided to individuals under age 21 to enable participation in the community. They make use of resources available in the community while, building on existing support network. Supports may include: assistance locating and accessing education, recreational and social activities, and roommates of the individual’s choosing; providing training related to finances, including money management, banking, and tax preparation; training, facilitating opportunities and accompanying you to acquire self-advocacy and independent living skills.

Find more information here:

Fiscal Intermediary:

An agency through which money from the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) can be pass through for payment for services on your behalf.


Money made available to agencies to provide services to individuals. Futures Planning (used interchangeably with Person-Centered Plan or Essential Lifestyle Plan) is the process of sharing and gathering information on the dreams, desires, wants and needs of people in order to develop an Individual Plan specifically tailored to their lives. A comprehensive plan may include personal, financial, and legal components. Generic Resources: Services that are available to everyone in the community, not specific to people with developmental disabilities.

Future Need Registry:

A database kept by the Developmental Disabilities Administration for individuals who have been determined eligible for services but do not have a current need for them.

Home and Community-based Services (HCBS):

Provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community rather than institutions or other isolated settings. These programs serve a variety of targeted populations groups, such as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or mental illnesses. Maryland Home and Community Based Waiver Programs

Individualized Education Plan (IEP):

The IEP is meant to address each child’s unique learning needs and include specific educational goals. It is a legally binding document. The school must provide everything it promises in the IEP. IEPs include: student’s present level of performance (PLOP), annual educational goals, supports/services that the school will provide to help student reach their goals, modifications/accommodations, how the goals will be measured, and transition planning.

For more information:

Increased Community Services (ICS):

Maryland’s Increased Community Services program allows eligible individuals in nursing facilities to return to the community and receive specific waiver services and certain Medicaid services to support them in their homes and communities.

Learn more here:

Individual Budget:

The total cost of services per year for an individual to fund the supports needed or desired.  Also knows as a Service Funding Plan or SFP.

Individual Support Services (ISS):

Assistance provided to individuals over 21 and their families to enable greater participation in the community and enhance quality of life.  Supports may include assistance locating and accessing education, recreational and social activities, and roommates of the individual’s choosing; providing training related to finances, including money management, banking, and tax preparation; training, facilitating opportunities and accompanying you to acquire self-advocacy and independent living skills.

Individual Plan (IP):

The Individual Plan (IP) is the foundation and roadmap of an individual’s services and supports.  The IP shall be developed by utilizing a person centered planning methodology based on the preference of the individual. Individual plans should incorporate natural supports as well as addressing ways to assist the individual in developing various types of relationships which may increase their natural support system.  


Individual Plan for Employment (division of rehabilitation services)

Informed Choice:

Having the information and understanding about a situation prior to making a decision.


Individual Service Plan (individual support service provider)

Intensive Behavioral Management Program (IBMP):

The specialized program which helps people who have behavioral issues, their families, the school system and other agencies. IBMP does an extensive evaluation of the person in all their regular environments and makes recommendations. Sometimes they can also provide specialized training, extra staff and respite services, based on the evaluation.

Job Coach:

A person who provides job training for a worker in a competitive location.

Low Intensity Support Services (LISS)

 LISS funding is designed to improve an individual or family’s quality of life, increase or maintain independence, and participate in their communities. The LISS program uses an automated system called the Random Selection Process (lottery)  to select individuals who may be eligible for funding, granting up to $2000 for services and items to address their needs.

For more information, including how to apply:

Local Health Department (LHD):

LHDs administer and enforce State, county and municipal health laws, regulations, and programs in Maryland’s twenty-three counties and Baltimore City and are overseen by the Public Health Services of the Maryland Department of Health (MDH).

Find your local department here:

Local Time:

Time in the Eastern Time Zone as observed by the State of Maryland.

Maryland Access Point (MAP):

Maryland’s Aging and Disability Resource Centers are called MAP sites, Maryland’s single-point of entry to long term supports and services.  The were established as the single entry point for individuals seeking long term support services. Maryland’s 20 local MAP sites provide individual, person centered counseling to consumers seeking information, referral and program support for long term services.

The MAP program also provides an online, searchable resource directory to serve the public and professionals in identifying, connecting and accessing private and public resources: www. Individuals can use the website to directly find and contact service providers or they can find an appropriate agency in their local area to contact for counseling and assistance.

Find your local office here:

Maryland Department of Aging (MDoA):

Maryland’s State Unit on Aging designated to manage, design and advocate for benefits, programs and services for the elderly and their families; administers the Older Americans Act and the Aging and Disability Resource Center initiative in partnership with the local Area Agencies on Aging.

For more information on programs and services:

Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD):

Authorized by Senate Bill 188 in 2004, the Maryland Department of Disabilities is charged with unifying and improving the delivery of services to people with disabilities by working collaboratively with all state government agencies; and develops and facilitates the implementation of the State Disabilities Plan, calling for collaborative partnerships with state agencies to improve services for people with disabilities.

Maryland Department of Health (MDH):

Formerly known and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) the Maryland Department of Health serves to promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement.  MDH has four major divisions – Public Health Services, Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Health Care Financing.

Medicaid/Medical Assistance:

A program, funded by the federal and state governments, which pays for medical care for low-income individuals or families, as well as elderly or disabled individuals. To receive Medicaid, an individual must meet certain financial requirements and also must go through an application process.

To learn more about Maryland’s Medicaid Program and how to apply:

Medicaid State Plan:

A written agreement between a State and the Federal Government that outlines Medicaid eligibility standards, provider requirements, payment methods, and health benefit packages. A Medicaid State Plan is submitted by each State and approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Medical Day Care:

Provides monitoring and therapies in a structured setting for people who have a medical need. Therapies are provided based on the need of the person being served. In some cases, attending medical day care on a temporary basis can help someone regain skills after a serious medical incident.  These programs are not restricted to DDA funded agencies.  There are generic programs, usually run by the aging service community, which may be accessed by people with disabilities.

Learn more here:

Money Follows the Individual (MFI):

The State’s Money Follows the Individual policy allows individuals, who reside in institutions and whose services are being funded by Medicaid, to apply for the waiver program regardless of budgetary caps.

Money Follows the Person (MFP):

Will help people transition from an institution, for example a nursing facility, to community living in an apartment, private home, or small group setting. MFP initiatives increase outreach to individuals in institutions and decrease barriers to transition. New efforts under MFP include peer mentoring, enhanced transition assistance, improved information technology, housing assistance, flexible transition funds, and the addition of waiver services to existing waivers.

Learn more here:

Natural Supports:

Connections that individuals depend on that are provided through personal relationships within the family, home environment, work place, and through participation in the community that enhance their quality of life and do not require compensation.  (Ex. Co-workers, parents/other family members, friends, partnerships through volunteer opportunities)

Non-DDA Service:

Services that are not funded by the Developmental Disabilities Administration. Section 8 housing and public education services are two examples of non-DDA services.

Normal State Business Hours:

Normal State business hours are 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday
through Friday except State Holidays, which can be found at: – keyword State Holidays.

One-Time Only:

A small and limited amount of funding through the DDA to help an individual purchase a one-time service or product.

Other Funding Sources:

Funding may also be available from other sources such as:

  • Maryland Department of Health (MDH)
  • Medical Assistance, Medicare or individual’s private insurance.

Personal Supports:

A DDA service that provides regular personal assistance and support that enhance a person’s opportunity for community participation and enables them to exercise choice and control over their lifestyles. Personal Supports can be provided in a person’s home, family home or in the community. Services may include: Bathing, Toileting, Eating and preparing meals, dressing and changing clothes, Light housework including laundry.
See DDA’s Guide to Services more details:

Provider Agency:

Term that refers to licensed DDA providers who provide a variety services.  For a list of licensed DDA providers here:

Quality Assurance:

A way to look at the quality of the services being delivered to a person with developmental disabilities who receives funding from Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).

Residential Support:

Services which offer supervision and assistance to individuals in their home. “Home” may also include a group home, alternative living unit (ALU) and Personal Supports.

Resource Coordination:

Used interchangeably with Service Coordination: also known as case management.

Respite Care:

Short-term care provided to a person for the purpose of providing relief for the parent or primary caregivers. Respite care can mean many things to a parent/caregiver: time to relax, time to spend alone, time to spend with other family members, or assistance when emergency care is needed.


Those individuals who have chosen to assert their right to choose what is best for them.


Practicing self-determination means that the individual makes the decisions about his or her life, supports, and how his or her budgeted funds are spent.

Service Coordination:

Used interchangeably with Case Management, Resource Coordination, and Coordination of Community Services.

Social Security Administration – Supplemental Security Income (SSI):

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.  SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. Students may apply for SSI on their 18th birthday. They are considered a family of “one” and their income alone is taken into consideration.

Find more information here:

For other SSA benefits:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.


A term given for the different ways to meet peoples needs.  Supports are typically people, places, resources, and activities in our community.

Support Staff:

Persons hired by individuals, families, or agencies to provide requested services.

Supported Employment:

Provides assistance for people who are working jobs in the community. The help can be in the form of job coaching, educating co-workers or negotiating with employers to help the person be as independent as his or her abilities allow.

Targeted Case Management (TCM):

Medicaid Targeted Case Management (TCM) is a service that manages multiple resources for Medicaid members. It is designed to help persons with intellectual disabilities, brain injury, or developmental disabilities gain access to appropriate and necessary medical services and interrelated social and education services. DDA TCM Provider Qualifications – Meets training, staffing qualification, and other state and federal requirements for case management/care coordination services – Meets federal criteria for conflict-free case management Role of Targeted Case Managers Targeted Case Managers facilitate the community-based assessment and planning process by working with individuals, families, service providers, and other agencies and individuals to create an individualized plan based on a comprehensive assessment of needs for each person. In addition, case managers assist individuals and/or parents or guardians in navigating the service system

Transitioning Youth:

Students transitioning from school to adult services are typically referred to as “Transitioning Youth.”  Students may be eligible for a funding source through the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) to assist eligible individuals in the transition from school to work after the age of 21.

Learn more here:


Another term for the Home and Community Based Services