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Speech Impairment

Any of several speech problems that include articulation impairment (omissions, substitutions or distortions of sound), voice impairment (inappropriate pitch, loudness or voice quality) and fluency impairment (abnormal rate of speaking, speech interruptions and repetition of sounds, words, phrases or sentences which interferes with effective communication).

Speech-to-Speech (STS) Service

Enables a person with speech impairment to use his/her own voice or voice synthesizer to call another person through Relay North Carolina.  STS provides trained operators who function as live voices for users who have trouble being understood on the telephone.  The operator will repeat the words of the person with the speech impairment to whomever that person is calling.  The service also works in reverse so that anyone may initiate a call to a person with a speech impairment using STS.  STS users may also make relay calls to TTY users through STS.

Spina Bifida

A condition caused by the incomplete closure of the spine during fetal development.  Characteristics include muscle weakness or paralysis below the area of the spine where the incomplete closure occurs; loss of bowel and bladder control; and/or accumulation of fluid in the brain, which is controlled by a surgical procedure, called shunting.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Direct, monthly cash payments to provide minimum income for individuals who meet a financial-needs test and who are elderly, blind or have a disability.

Supported Employment

means services, such as long-term training and ongoing support, that enable individuals with developmental disabilities to perform competitive work in integrated work settings.

Supported Living

Services and supports designed to assist an individual with developmental disabilities in activities of daily living which enable that individual to live in the his/her own home, family home or rental unit.

Supports Intensity Scale (SIS)

is an assessment tool that evaluates practical support requirements of a person with an intellectual disability. SIS is comprehensive and engages the consumer in a positive interview process.

Targeted Case Management

Case management consists of services which help beneficiaries gain access to needed medical, social, educational, and other services. "Targeted" case management services are those aimed specifically at special groups of enrollees such as those with developmental disabilities or chronic mental illness.

Telecommunication Device for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (TDD)

A device similar to a computer keyboard, either with a cradle to rest a telephone handset on or connected directly to the telephone.  A TDD allows the user to communicate by typing messages on the keyboard and receiving messages on the screen above the keyboard. This teletext device typewriter is usually referred to as a TTY by members of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Therapeutic Recreation

Therapy which uses recreation and activities to improve functioning and enhance the health and well-being of people whose functional abilities are limited due to illness, disability or other conditions.

Tourette Syndrome

Neurological disorder characterized by tics— involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations.


The process of moving from one stage of life or "set" of services to another; for example, transitioning from services provided by the school system to adult life in the community as the student nears completion of school or moving a child from an early intervention or preschool program to a school setting.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A brain injury from externally inflicted trauma.  The primary causes of TBI include incidents involving motor vehicles, falls, acts of violence and sports injuries. TBI can range from mild (concussions) to severe, with outcomes ranging from a few symptoms to lifelong impairment.

Tuberous Sclerosis

Genetic condition that produces abnormal growths in the body from birth throughout life. Symptoms may include seizure disorder, intellectual impairment, behavior problems, white skin patch, and facial rash.

Universal Design

An approach to accessibility that concentrates on making all aspects of an environment accessible to all people, regardless of their level of ability. Examples of universal design include lever handles rather than round door knobs for doors; lower light switches; water controls located towards the outside of the tub; adjustable closet rods and shelves; dual-height water fountains; playground equipment accessible to all children, including those who use wheelchairs; and household items (e.g., microwave ovens, televisions, radios) with touch-sensitive controls.

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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities

919-527-6500 (voice/tdd)
800-357-6916 (voice/tdd)
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