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Legal Blindness

Corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye or visual field contraction of 20 degrees or less.

Local Management Entity (LME)

LMEs are agencies of local government-area authorities or county programs-who are responsible for managing, coordinating, facilitating, and monitoring the provision of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services in the catchment area served. LME responsibilities include offering consumers 24/7/365 access to services, developing and overseeing providers, and handling consumer complaints and grievances.


Purposeful, planned efforts to integrate persons with disabilities into the "mainstream" of society. This term is usually used in a school setting to refer to the integration of students with disabilities in classrooms of students without disabilities (see inclusion).

Mental Retardation (MR)

Mental retardation is characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills. This disability originates before age 18. The term ‘intellectual disability’ is synonymous with the term ‘mental retardation,’ and is generally replacing it.


A micro-board is formed when a small group (micro) of committed family and friends join together with a person with disabilities to create a non-profit society (board). Together this small group of people addresses the person's planning and support needs in an empowering and customized fashion. A micro-board comes out of the person centered planning philosophy and is therefore created for the sole support of one individual.


A microenterprise is a business with five or fewer employees, which requires $35,000 or less in start-up capital, and which does not have access to the traditional commercial banking sector.

Money Follows the Person (MFP)

is a Medicaid demonstration project whose purpose is to eliminate barriers or mechanisms, whether in the State law, the State Medicaid plan, the State budget, or otherwise, that prevent or restrict the flexible use of Medicaid funds to enable Medicaid-eligible individuals to receive support for appropriate and necessary long-term services in the settings of their choice.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

A disorder of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) involving decreased nerve function because of scars that form on the covering of nerve cells.  Onset usually occurs from age 20 to 40, resulting in difficulties in walking, talking, sensing, seeing, and grasping.

Muscular Dystrophy (MD)

A group of over 40 neuromuscular disorders characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the muscles that control movement.  The muscles of the heart and some other involuntary muscles are also affected in some forms of muscular dystrophy, and a few forms involve other organs as well.  While all muscular dystrophy disorders are genetic, they are not always inherited.  Onset of muscular dystrophy can be from birth to middle age, depending on the type of neuromuscular disease.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Therapeutic use of self-care, work and recreational activities to increase independence, enhance development and prevent disability. OT may include adaptation of tasks or environment to achieve maximum independence and optimum quality of life.

Person-Centered Planning

Approach to planning services and supports for an individual with disabilities which supports the person in identifying choices, making decisions based on those choices and then honoring those decisions.  The plan should focus on whole-life planning, reflecting what the person wants his/her life to be, and should outline how the person with the developmental disability will achieve and maintain the desired outcomes.

Personal Assistance

One or more persons assisting another person with tasks the individual would typically do if he or she did not have a disability. It includes assistance with bathing, dressing, getting in and out of bed or one’s wheelchair, toileting, eating, cooking, cleaning house, on-the-job personal support, handling money and planning one’s day.

Personal Assistance Services

The term "personal assistance services" means a range of services, provided by 1 or more individuals, designed to assist an individual with a disability to perform daily activities, including activities on or off a job that such individual would typically perform if such individual did not have a disability. Such services shall be designed to increase such individual’s control in life and ability to perform everyday activities, including activities on or off a job.  (114 STAT. 1682 PUBLIC LAW 106–402—OCT. 30, 2000)

Physical Therapy (PT)

The treatment or management of physical disability, malfunction or pain by a number of non-invasive methods such as exercise, massage and hydrotherapy. For persons with developmental disabilities, PT may assist to enhance body function and prevent secondary disability.

Positive Behavioral Support

An approach for understanding why challenging behavior occurs, including what function or purpose the behavior has for the individual. Unlike earlier behavior management techniques that emphasize the use of consequences to affect behavior, positive behavior support considers such things as pain or medical conditions, environmental conditions, actions of others, lack of choice and autonomy, and lack of skills as potential sources of challenging behavior.

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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities

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