People First Glossary
Below is a list of commonly accepted terms to be used in conjunction with People First language. This reference is drawn from a variety of credible sources such as subject-matter experts, state and federal law or other current publications.
deinstitutionalization: The movement of people with disabilities from institutions and larger group homes into the community.
developmental day center: A facility that offers services designed to assist preschool and school-aged children with disabilities develop basic skills such as self-help skills, fine- and gross-motor coordination, language, communication and cognitive and social skills.
direct support professional (DSP): Personal care assistants, home care aides, or staff in community residential supports programs that assist people with disabilities with medications, preparing and eating meals, dressing, mobility, and handling daily affairs.
dual diagnosis: Co-occurrence of mental health disorders and a developmental disability or other disability such as substance abuse.
early intervention: Services for children with or at risk for developmental disabilities, delays or atypical development. Services may address communication, motor, cognitive, self-help and social-emotional development. Early intervention also includes assisting families in fully accessing community resources such as child service coordination, assistive technology, and speech, physical and occupational therapy.
early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment (EPSDT): EPSDT is a mandatory benefit that entitles children enrolled in Medicaid to all services authorized by federal Medicaid law, including services considered optional for other populations and services not covered by most private insurance. The service limits that states can impose for adults cannot be applied to children, for whom all medically necessary care is covered. In addition to the diagnosis and treatment services covered by most private insurance, EPSDT covers screening and early intervention services to promote children’s healthy development, vision, dental and hearing services, scheduling and other administrative services, and care to ameliorate acute and chronic physical and mental health conditions.
emergency preparedness: is being ready for an emergency or unexpected natural disaster. Being prepared involves having an emergency supply kit; making a family emergency plan; and being informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur in your area and their appropriate responses
empowerment: The act of enabling individuals with disabilities and the families of people with disabilities to exercise control in their lives by becoming the primary decision makers about the services and supports they are to receive, where they will live/work/go to school, etc.
entrepreneurship: The process that individuals use to find and evaluate opportunities and risks, and then develop and execute plans for translating those opportunities and risks into financial self-sufficiency.
extended school year (ESY): Special education and related services provided beyond the normal school year, in accordance with the child's IEP and at no cost to the parents.
family centered: Approach to planning and implementing services for children with disabilities and their families which makes the family, not just the child, the focus of intervention. Family-centered approaches make family members key participants in developing services and supports and in deciding when, where and how often these will be provided.
family-support services: Services, supports and other assistance provided to families of individuals with disabilities. Such services are designed to strengthen the family’s role as primary caregiver, prevent inappropriate out-of-home placement, maintain family unity, and reunite families with children who have been placed out of the home.
generic services: Services, businesses, organizations or agencies that serve the general population rather than a select disability group. The use of generic services by people with disabilities encourages community inclusion. Examples of generic services include transportation, health care, and higher education.
group home: A small congregate living setting that is licensed to provide 24-hour residential supports for people who have disabilities in exchange for compensation from federal and state or private sections. Group homes differ in the numbers of people served and in the level of support provided to the persons receiving services. State law dictates how services will be provided and methods of accountability for service provision.
guardian: A person or organization appointed by the court for the purpose of performing duties related to the care, custody, or control of an individual and which may include, but is not limited to, consenting for medical/surgical or treatment procedures and handling of business and legal affairs. In the case of a minor, it is a parent or some standing in "loco parentis".
habilitation: Training, care and specialized therapies that assist a person with a developmental disability achieve or maintain progress in a developmental skill area.
home and community-based services (HCBS): HCBS programs offer different service choices to qualifying individuals with disabilities who have Medicaid. Services are provided in your home and community to support independence.