Glossary of Rehabilitation Related Terms

Glossary of Rehabilitation Related Terms



ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 – makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in employment or public accommodations.

ADL – activities of daily living – may include but are not limited to dressing, toileting, grooming, bathing, eating, repositioning, and taking medication or mobility.

assistive or adaptive technology, equipment and devices – equipment or systems developed to provide solutions to problems confronting people with disabilities. These solutions can be high-tech or low-tech. By developing new products or re-engineering current ones, rehabilitation technologists can assist a person with a physical, mental or sensory impairment to function independently at home or on the job.

BDD – Bureau of Disability Determination – a branch of RSC responsible for making disability determinations for people who’ve applied for Social Security disability benefits. Application for SSDI and SSI benefits is made at local offices of the federal Social Security Administration (SSA). If an application requires a determination of medical eligibility, it’s forwarded to BDD in Columbus. BDD applies criteria established by the Social Security Act and SSA regulations to assess whether or not an impairment prevents work. If a claimant requires counseling, training or other support to become employed, BDD staff can refer the individual to RSC’s vocational rehabilitation bureaus – BVR or BSVI.

BEP – Business Enterprise Program – administered by BSVI, it assists individuals who are legally blind in managing retail food service operations in federal, state, county and municipal buildings.

BSVI – Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired – a branch of RSC that provides rehabilitation services to Ohioans whose primary disability is visual impairment or blindness.

BVR – Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation – the branch of RSC that provides rehabilitation services to individuals whose primary impairment is physical, emotional or mental, but not visual in nature.

BWC – Bureau of Workers’ Compensation – a state agency that provides rehabilitation services to individuals who have sustained an injury on the job. It can work with RSC on shared cases.

CAC – Consumer Advisory Council – a group of RSC consumers who offer advice on improving RSC services, programs and policies.

CAP – Client Assistance Program – part of the Ohio Legal Rights Service that provides advocacy, information and referral services to applicants and consumers of RSC services. CAP helps individuals obtain information concerning the RSC system and assists with problems that arise between counselors and consumers. CAP involvement occurs only when the consumer, counselor or other individual requests its assistance.

CARF – Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities – sets standards of operation for organizations that provide various rehabilitation services. RSC will only purchase services from a vendor that’s accredited. CARF is one of the bodies that RSC uses to identify accredited programs.

closure – Usually “closure” occurs when a consumer has been employed for 90 days, and the counselor and consumer may close the case as a success. Closure can occur for other reasons.

community-based assessment – describes a work evaluation or assessment provided in the community.

community rehabilitation program – refers to a community-based agency that provides specialized vocational rehabilitation services.

competitive employment – describes full- or part-time work in the competitive labor market in an integrated setting, for which payment is at or above the minimum wage but not less than the customary wage, and the level of benefits paid by the employer is equal to that for the same or similar work performed by people who aren’t disabled.

consumer – A person who’s been made eligible for RSC services.

consumer contribution – A consumer is expected to pay for services to the extent possible. However, no one’s ever turned away because of an inability to pay.



DD – developmental disability – a severe, chronic disability characterized by very specific criteria outlined in the Ohio Revised Code.

EnterpriseWorks – a program designed to improve the success rate of people who start or expand their own businesses. Participants attend courses that educate them on identifying markets, developing a business plan and accessing capital.

ESC – employer services coordinator – an RSC employee who develops relationships with community employers, thereby increasing employment opportunities for RSC consumers. An ESC is involved in coordinating projects such as the Governor’s Initiative on Jobs for People with Disabilities and EnterpriseWorks. There’s at least one ESC in each of RSC’s four geographic service areas.

ESS – employer services specialist – an RSC staff person who provides job placement services to RSC consumers, working with employers and community programs to ensure that consumers achieve successful employment.

ESU – Employer Services Unit – various staff within RSC who provide placement and job development services for consumers, and market RSC’s services to employers.



GI – Governor’s Initiative on Jobs for People with Disabilities – involves partnerships between RSC and employers. RSC provides money for equipment and in exchange, the employer provides a set number of job slots for people with disabilities.

home modification – a necessary change made to a consumer’s home to enable him or her (1) to engage in an acceptable employment outcome or (2) to participate in a vocational rehabilitation service provided under an IPE that leads to an acceptable employment outcome. Home modifications shall only be made to a consumer’s primary residence. “Primary” means the home from where the consumer would usually go to work.

IEP – Individualized Education Program – a written plan for a child with a disability, developed and implemented through the local school system according to federal and state regulations. It includes details about the student’s performance, objectives, and the type and frequency of specific education services.

IHP – Individualized Habilitation Plan – a written statement of intervention and action, developed by an interdisciplinary team on the basis of skills and needs of the individual receiving service. IHPs are written for people who are involved in the residential programs

IL – independent living – refers to the ability of a person with a disability to make as many independent decisions concerning his or her own existence as possible.

informed choice – occurs when the consumer has been provided information (using appropriate modes of communication) about the options available in terms of employment outcome, employment setting, goods and services (including assessment services), service providers/vendors, settings in which services are provided, and methods used to provide services.

IPE – Individualized Plan for Employment – a written statement outlining the services and training an individual needs to prepare him or her for a job.



job club – a group of employed individuals and those seeking employment who meet for the purpose of support, instruction and career growth.

job developer – a professional who works with consumers and employers to match job vacancies with possible employees.

job trainer/job coach/job coordinator – a professional or paraprofessional who provides specialized job placement, job-site training, assessment and follow-up services to people with disabilities who have difficulty securing and maintaining competitive employment.

joint vocational school – a local high school that teaches a trade to students enrolled in specific vocational programs.

JSST – Job Seeking Skills Training – a formal or informal training for consumers on how to search for and interview for jobs.

learning capacities – an assessment/intervention service that identifies a person’s learning styles.

local CAC coordinator – a person who assists the local Consumer Advisory Councils with projects and meetings.



MH – mental health or DMH – the Department of Mental Health.

MR – mental retardation or DD – the Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

MSD – most significant disability – describes someone who’s limited in two or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance and work skills). According to federal law, people in this category must be given priority by state vocational rehabilitation agencies such as RSC.

OJT – on-the-job training – instruction that occurs on an actual job site. Training may take place after employment has begun or as a job try-out. Wages may be subsidized in whole or in part by various training funds.



PCA – Personal Care Assistance – a program offering services that help a person with a significant disability perform activities of daily living such as dressing, toileting, grooming, bathing, preparing food, feeding, repositioning, transferring, taking medication and mobility.

program specialists – RSC staff who assist counselors in special program areas such as mental health, deafness, transition, policy development, etc.

PWI – Projects With Industry – federally-financed cooperative arrangements between vocational rehabilitation programs and employers to establish projects that prepare people for paid employment through on-the-job training and other services.

QCS – Quality and Compliance System – RSC’s internal process of evaluating the service delivery system, aimed at the maintenance of consistent and quality services.

quarterly reviews – regular supervisory reviews of cases within each of RSC’s geographic areas with the intent of developing area-wide consistency in services.

rehabilitation technology – the application of science, engineering and technology to solve issues confronted by individuals with disabilities. Solutions may involve assistive devices/adaptive equipment and/or modifying a task or the environment.

RT – rehabilitation teacher – a BSVI staff person who helps people cope with vision loss and learn to function in their homes, continuing such daily activities as writing checks or setting the oven.



SD – significant disability – describes someone who needs assistance with an activity of daily living (see ADL). According to federal law, people in this category must be given priority by vocational rehabilitation agencies such as RSC.

sheltered employment – work created to suit the needs and abilities of workers with employment disabilities, usually performed in a protected environment such as a sheltered workshop. Pay is usually below the minimum wage.

supported employment – paid work in a variety of settings, particularly regular work sites in the community, especially designed for people with severe disabilities for whom competitive employment at or above the minimum wage requires ongoing support. On-the-job support may be provided by a job trainer/coach.

TBI – traumatic brain injury – An injury to the brain caused by an external physical force that may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness. TBI may result in an impairment of cognitive abilities, physical functioning, or the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning.

transition services – a set of activities coordinated among RSC and other agencies, specifically helping  school-aged youth make decisions about their future, set goals and start preparing to meet those goals. These services can begin before the child enters high school and can continue through post-secondary education or into the early years of employment.

transitional employment program – a planned series of temporary jobs, over the life of a single case, that lead to the ultimate vocational goal for people with most significant disabilities.

trial work experience – exploring the consumer’s capacity to perform in work situations through a planned series of temporary jobs with supports provided through RSC.



VDS – vocational development specialist – a BSVI staff person who provides specialized services to school-aged youth.

vehicle modification – alterations to a vehicle, such as a car or van, to allow a person with a disability to enter it and/or drive it.

vendor – person and/or company providing rehabilitation services or products to RSC’s applicants and consumers.

VR – vocational rehabilitation – services provided to people with disabilities seeking assistance in gaining competitive employment.

VRC – vocational rehabilitation counselor – a professional who helps people with disabilities understand their problems, potential and limitations; identify realistic rehabilitation goals; and use both public and private resources, as necessary, to achieve employment. The VRC works as a partner with the consumer who’s seeking or maintaining a job.

work adjustment training – a service RSC purchases for consumers that’s usually provided by a community rehabilitation agency. It teaches appropriate work habits and attitudes, often helping the consumer to increase work stamina and productivity.

work evaluation – a service RSC purchases for consumers that’s usually provided by a community rehabilitation agency. It assesses an individual’s work stamina, abilities, interests and work habits to help the person examine different career attitudes and options.

WIA – Workforce Investment Act – federal legislation that contains the Rehabilitation Act. The Rehabilitation Act establishes and sets rules for state vocational rehabilitation programs.

WOTC – Work Opportunities Tax Credit – a federal program that gives a tax break to employers hiring individuals with disabilities who are or have been consumers of a state vocational rehabilitation program.

Glossary of Rehabilitation Related Terms – Download [Optimized PDF]

Glossary of Rehabilitation Related TermsDownload


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *