Glossary of Terms

A B C | D E F | G H I | J K L | M N O | P Q R S | T U V | W X Y Z | Acronyms


Aging and Disability Resource Center
The first place to get accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability. They provide information on a broad range of programs and services, help people to understand the various long term care options available to them, help people apply for programs and benefits, and serve as the access point for publicly funded long term care.
Alliance of Information and Referral Systems
A professional umbrella for all Information and Referral (I&R) providers in both public and private organizations. Comprehensive and specialized I&R programs help people in every community and operate as a critical component of the health and human service delivery system. The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) improves access to services for all people through quality information and referral.
Americans with Disabilities Act
A Federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the areas of employment, public transportation services provided by state/local government, services and accommodations offered by private businesses, and telecommunication access for people with communication impairments.
Benefits Counseling
To provide strategies, services, and supports to assist an individual in identifying and verifying his/her benefits, entitlements, services, and subsidies including Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Medical Assistance, Medicare, Food Share, energy assistance, and housing assistance. The benefits counseling and analysis process helps a person become aware of the effect of work on benefits, make informed decisions about working, avoid overpayments, manage changes in benefits, maintain health coverage, and know and use the appropriate work incentives.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and health insurance portability standards.
Client Assistance Program
Program designed to provide information about services for people with disabilities and to provide assistance when a person is having difficulty receiving the services to which he or she is entitled.
Community Integration Program
Medicaid waiver program that provides funding for people with developmental disabilities to relocate from state centers and nursing homes and to continue to live in their community. Through this program, Medicaid dollars are used to serve people in their home communities instead of in institutions.
Community Options Program
This program helps people get the long-term support they need to remain in their own homes and communities.
Community Options Program Waiver
A Medicaid waiver program that provides funding for elderly or people with physical disabilities to continue to live in their community. Through this program, Medicaid dollars are used to serve people in their home communities instead of in institutions.
Community Rehabilitation Program
A program that provides directly, or facilitates, the provision of rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities to enable those individuals to maximize their opportunities for employment and community participation.
Competitive Employment
Work in the competitive labor market that is performed on a full-time or a part-time basis in an integrated setting; and for which the individual is compensated at the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals who are not disabled. Competitive wage does not include commensurate wage or special minimum wage (sub-minimum wage).
Continuing Education Courses
Courses required to maintain professional certifications.
Customized Employment
Customized employment is both an outcome and a process. The outcome is employment in an integrated setting that is individually negotiated and developed at the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals who are not disabled. The process is based on an individualized person-centered determination of the strengths, needs and interests of the person with a disability, and also is designed to meet specific previously unmet needs of the employer. Customized employment assumes that reasonable accommodations and supports will be identified, as needed, to allow the individual to perform the functions of a job.

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Department of Health Services
Wisconsin governmental department devoted to protecting and promoting the health and safety of the citizens it serves. Formerly the Department of Health and Family Services.
Department of Public Instruction
The state agency that advances public education and libraries in Wisconsin. The department is headed by the superintendent of public instruction.
Department of Workforce Development
The state agency charged with building and strengthening Wisconsin's workforce. The department's primary responsibilities include providing job services, training, and employment assistance to people looking for work, at the same time as it works with employers on finding the necessary workers to fill current job openings.
Disability Benefit Specialist
Someone who provides services to people ages 18-59 with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders. A DBS also provides information and assistance with public and private benefit programs including application and appeal procedures.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Federal/state program designed to obtain, maintain, and improve employment for people with disabilities.
Employment Outcome
Employment outcome means entering or retaining full-time or, if appropriate, part-time competitive employment in the integrated labor market at customary wages paid directly to the employee. This includes supported employment or any other type of employment, telecommuting, or business ownership, that is consistent with an individual’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice.
Employment Resources, Inc.
A private, non-profit organization whose mission has been to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. They provide employment and benefits counseling, assistive technology, and community outreach services to people with disabilities who are considering or pursuing employment.
Evidenced-Based Supported Employment
Supported employment for people with severe mental illness using an evidence-based approach to vocational rehabilitation that involves integrating employment specialists into community mental health clinical teams and ensuring vocational issues are a core component of the care planning process. The approach requires that there is a primary focus on helping people to gain jobs in open (community) employment, in line with their preferences, as quickly as possible, without protracted pre-vocational training. Support is provided to anyone who wishes to work, without any pre-selection based on their ‘employability’ or ‘work readiness’.
Exceptional Expense Supplement (State Supplement)
An additional payment of up to $95.99/month added to the state SSI payment of each individual who meets eligibility requirements of needing at least 40 hours of support per month. An individual applies through their County Economic Support Unit or ADRC. Also known as E-Supplement.

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Health and Employment Counseling
A nine (9) month pre-employment program for people with disabilities who want to enroll in the Medicaid Purchase Plan, but who are not yet employed.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Legislation passed in 1996 that includes a privacy rule creating national standards to protect personal health information.
Include, Respect, I Self-Direct
A Wisconsin program where you self-direct your publicly funded, community-based, long-term care supports, and services. IRIS can help you get the life you want with the support you need. In IRIS you use your own natural supports and creativity with your budget to achieve your hopes and dreams.
Independent Living Centers
A consumer-directed, non profit organization that provides four core services: peer support, information and referral, independent living skills training, and persons and systems advocacy. They provide additional services such as community education, training on the Americans with Disabilities Act, personal care, and service coordination. There are 8 ILCs throughout Wisconsin.
Individualized Education Plan
Mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA requires public schools to develop an IEP for every student with a disability who is found to meet the federal and state requirements for special education. Considerations in developing and IEP include assessing students in all areas related to the suspected disability(ies) and developing a plan for needed services/assistance.
Individualized Plan for Employment
The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is a written plan outlining an individual's vocational goal, and the services to be provided by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to reach the goal. It is written on the basis of the program assessment that is conducted by the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor after eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services is established.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
A United States federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to age 21 in cases that involve specified categories of disability.
Informed Choice
Informed choice is a process during which a person sets goals, gathers information, considers a range of options, and then takes responsibility for selecting the option that best meets his or her criteria.
Integrated Employment
Integrated employment is working for a competitive wage in a community-based employment setting and not based in a community rehabilitation facility or residential long-term care institution for people with disabilities. The employment must be in a work setting where, to the extent the employment typically involves interaction with others, the interaction is predominantly with co-workers or business associates who do not have disabilities or with the general public. Integrated employment includes employment located in a community business, self-employment and ownership of a micro-enterprise.
Integrated Setting
An integrated setting is a setting typically found in the community, in which the individual with a disability interacts with non-disabled individuals, other than service providers, to the same extent that non-disabled workers in comparable positions interact with other persons. The best measure of integration in an employment setting for individuals with disabilities is the degree of parity with the integration experienced by non-disabled workers in similar positions.

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Job Coaching
The training of an employee with a disability by an approved specialist, who uses structured intervention techniques to to assist the employee in learning to perform job tasks to the employer's specifications and to acquire the interpersonal skills necessary to be accepted as a worker at the job site and in related community contacts. In addition to job-site training, job coaching includes related assessment, job development, counseling, advocacy, travel training, and other services needed to maintain the employment.
Job Development
Services to develop job openings through direct employer contacts for individuals with disabilities seeking employment.
Job Placement
Job placement services are those specific services that directly lead to obtaining and retaining competitive employment. Placement involves preparing and coaching job seekers in obtaining employment as well as working with employers to facilitate the hiring of individuals with disabilities.

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Managed Care Employment Task Force
Convened in May of 2007 by division of long-term care administrators and charged with recommending a comprehensive strategy to expand work options for adults who rely on the community-based, long-term care system. It is composed of 28 members representing a wide range of interests and expertise. They analyzed the challenges and identified the best practices from Wisconsin and elsewhere for overcoming these challenges.
Managed Care Organization
When a person decides to enroll in Familycare, they become a member of a Managed Care Organization, which manages and delivers the Familycare benefit. The Familycare benefit combines funding and services from a variety of existing programs into one flexible long-term care benefit, tailored to each individual’s needs, circumstances, and preferences.
Medical Assistance
Also referred to as Medicaid, provides payment for health care services on behalf of eligible low-income individuals with limited income and high medical expenses. Also known as Title 19 or T19.
Medical Assistance Personal Care
Programs that provide personal care services to Medical Assistance consumers who choose this option. MAPC services include, bathing and dressing, as well as some light housekeeping that is directly related to the consumers' care.
Medical Assistance Purchase Plan
Offers people with disabilities who are working or interested in working the opportunity to buy health care coverage through the Wisconsin Medical Assistance Program. Depending on an individual’s income, a premium payment may be required for this healthcare coverage.
Memorandum of Understanding
A document describing a joint or agreement between parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action.
Microenterprise is defined as a business with no more than five employees and start up costs of $35,000 or less. It is either a sole proprietorship, partnership or family business; generally too small to access commercial banking services. Microenterprises are a subset of small businesses (which can have up to 500 employees and still be considered “small”). But, in the majority of microenterprises, the owner is the sole operator and worker, leading many to refer to this phenomenon as self employment.  Although these two terms are often used interchangeably, self employment refers to the status of the business owner while microenterprise refers to a very small business. The size and type of production of these businesses varies considerably.
Natural Supports
Natural supports are supports readily available in the work environment from supervisor or co-workers that enable all workers including the individual with a disability to continue to succeed in the work setting without the continuous assistance of service providers paid through the vocational rehabilitation system, Medicaid, or other public or private sources. Natural supports may involve the training or supporting supervisory staff or co-workers by the supported employment professional in being responsive to particular needs or sensitive to the adaptive techniques used by an individual with a disability.

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Paths to Employment Resource Center
PERC’s goal is to advance innovative policies and practices promoting integrated, community-based employment services and supports for people with disabilities.
Person Centered Planning
A planning process that focuses on the individual and his/her interests, strengths, and needs. Emphasis is placed on the planning process being controlled by the individual with a disability, with involvement by other individuals selected from their personal network. There are numerous models of this type of planning available.
Personal Assistance
Services provided by one or more persons designed to assist an individual with a disability to perform daily living functions on or off the job that the individual would typically perform without assistance if the individual did not have a disability. The services must be designed to increase the individual’s control in life and ability to perform everyday activities on or off the job.
Prevocational Services
Prevocational services involve the provision of learning and work experiences where a person with a disability can develop general, non-job-task-specific strengths and skills that contribute to employability in paid employment in integrated, community settings.
The right to and process of making decisions about one's own life. Self-determination is a multidimensional concept that includes: 1) attitudes, abilities and skills that lead people with disabilities to define goals for themselves and to take the initiative to reach these goals, 2) the capacity to choose and to have those choices be the determinants of one's actions, 3) determination of one's own fate or course of action without compulsion, and 4) the ability to define and achieve goals based on a foundation of knowing and valuing oneself.
Self-Directed Support
Self directed supports are a facet of the larger self-determination philosophy. Participants in long term programs actively direct the supports and services being provided. People who self direct are able to hire, supervise, and fire their own direct care workers. SDS involves many other elements including control of one’s budget for services, choice of services and supports, and decision making authority.
Working for one's self rather than for another person or company. To be self-employed, an individual is normally highly skilled in a trade or has a niche product or service for his or her local community.
Social Security Administration
An independent agency of the United States federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivor’s benefits, and Supplement Security Income.
Social Security Disability Insurance
A payroll tax funded federal insurance program and is designed to provide income to people who are unable to work because of a disability. SSDI is intended to be provided until an individual’s condition improves, and is intended to guarantee income if the individual’s condition does not improve.
Subject Matter Expert
A person who is an expert in a particular area or topic.
Supplemental Security Income
Income that one receives from the government if one is blind, disabled, or over 65 and has very low income. SSI is administered by the Social Security Administration but is paid through the US Treasury instead of the Social Security trust fund.
Supported Employment
Supported employment is competitive employment in an integrated work setting(s)consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice for individuals with the most significant disabilities. Because of the severity of their disability, they need intensive supported employment services to perform this work.
Systematic Instruction
A methodical sequence of instruction that proceeds from the easiest and most basic elements to more difficult and complex tasks or materials. A key element of Systematic Instruction recognizes which cues or prompts best help the individual learner complete a task. Often used in new job settings, or for new job tasks, for individuals with severe disabilities.

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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
One of the United States of America’s federal assistance programs. It began on July 1, 1997, and succeeded the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, providing cash assistance to low income American families with dependent children through the US Department of Health and Human Services. Wisconsin Works or W-2 is the Wisconsin TANF program.
Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act
The Ticket to Work program provides most people receiving Social Security benefits more choices for receiving employment services. Under this program, the SSA issues tickets to eligible beneficiaries who, in turn, may chose to assign those tickets to an Employment Network of their choice to obtain employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to achieve a vocational goal. The EN, if they accept the ticket, will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help the beneficiary find and maintain employment.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education Department
University of Wisconsin Department that prepares undergraduate and graduate students to work in entry-level and leadership positions with people with disabilities and their families. Graduates may work as rehabilitation counselors, psychologists, and counselor educators; special education teachers and teacher educators; and rehabilitation and special education researchers.
University of Wisconsin-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute
Provides solutions to positively impact the future of persons with disabilities and others in the community through services, training, and research. Service areas consist of assistive technology, benefits analysis, employment services, and evaluation services.
Vocational Futures Planning and Support
Vocational Futures Planning is a consumer-directed, team-based comprehensive employment service that supports participants to obtain, maintain or advance in employment. Services include barrier identification and assistive technology assessment, benefits analysis, resource team coordination, career exploration, job seeking support, and ongoing support.

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Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities
Established to advocate on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities, foster welcoming and inclusive communities, and improve the disability service system. The board’s mission is to help people with developmental disabilities become independent, productive, and included in all facets of community life.
Wisconsin Disability Benefits Network
A professional network for benefits specialists and also makes disability benefits information widely available to a broad range of audiences. They provide training, technical assistance, and a professional forum for benefits specialists throughout Wisconsin. The WDBN seeks ways to reach out and better serve people with disabilities, their supporters, and professional service providers regarding the impact of employment on government benefits.
Wisconsin Partnership Program
The Family Care Partnership Program is an integrated health and long-term for frail, elderly, and people with disabilities. The Partnership Program consist of several community-based organizations located in different geographical areas of Wisconsin. The goals of Partnership are to improve quality of healthcare service and delivery while containing costs; reduce fragmentation and inefficiency in the existing healthcare delivery system; and increase the ability of people to live in the community and participate in decisions regarding their own healthcare. Also known as the Familycare Partnership Program.
Work Incentive Benefits Specialist
Work Incentive Benefits Specialists connects job seekers with disabilities with information about employment and benefits. They help individuals with disabilities’ families and professionals make sense of highly complex employee and benefit related issues. They help individuals understand how various work incentives can help them earn more and become financially independent without risking critical benefits such as healthcare.
Work Incentives
Work Incentives are policy features found in many public programs, most of which support people with disabilities, and that are income sensitive, designed to encourage work while not threatening loss of entitlement due to earnings and savings . Examples: Trial Work Period, the Extended Period of Eligibility, Continuation of Medicare, Special Rules for Persons who are Blind and Blindness-related Work Expenses, Continuation of Medicaid Eligibility (1619b Medicaid), Plans for Achieving Self Support (PASS Plans) and the WI Medical Assistance Purchase Plan (MAPP)
Work Incentives Benefits Counseling
Work Incentives Benefits Counseling provides strategies, services, and supports to assist an individual in identifying and verifying his/her benefits, entitlements, services, and subsidies including Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Medical Assistance, Medicare, Food Share, energy assistance, and housing assistance. The benefits counseling and analysis process helps a person become aware of the effect of work on benefits, make informed decisions about working, avoid overpayments, manage changes in benefits, maintain health coverage, and know and use the appropriate work incentives.
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance
The SSA awards grants to community-based organizations as established by Section 121 of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. The purpose of the WIPA project is to disseminate accurate information to SSA beneficiaries with disabilities about work incentives and employment support programs to better enable them to make informed choices about work. Formerly, Benefits Planning, Assistance and Outreach, or BPAO.
Workforce Development Area
Areas of the state that are part of the Workforce Development Councils which assures quality services to customers and the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act. They provide workforce development planning and promote coordination between education training and employment efforts in their communities.

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Acronym for Americans with Disabilities Act.
Acronym for Aging and Disability Resource Center.
Acronym for Alliance of Information and Referral Systems.
Acronym for Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.
Acronym for Client Assistance Program.
Acronym for Continuing Education Courses.
Acronym for Community Integration Program.
Acronym for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Acronym for Community Options Program.
Acronym for Community Options Program Waiver.
Acronym for Community Rehabilitation Program.
Acronym for Disability Benefit Specialist.
Acronym for Department of Health Services.
Acronym for Department of Public Instruction.
Acronym for Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Acronym for Department of Workforce Development.
Acronym for Employment Resources, Inc..
Acronym for Health and Employment Counseling.
Acronym for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Acronym for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Acronym for Individualized Education Plan.
Acronym for Independent Living Centers.
Acronym for Individualized Plan for Employment.
Acronym for Include, Respect, I Self-Direct.
Acronym for Medical Assistance.
Acronym for Medical Assistance Personal Care.
Acronym for Medical Assistance Purchase Plan.
Acronym for Managed Care Employment Task Force.
Acronym for Managed Care Organization.
Acronym for Memorandum of Understanding.
Acronym for Paths to Employment Resource Center.
Acronym for Self-Directed Support.
Acronym for Subject Matter Expert.
Acronym for Social Security Administration.
Acronym for Social Security Disability Insurance.
Acronym for Supplemental Security Income.
Acronym for Exceptional Expense Supplement (State Supplement).
Acronym for University of Wisconsin-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute.
Acronym for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Acronym for Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act.
Acronym for University of Wisconsin-Madison Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education Department.
Acronym for Vocational Futures Planning and Support.
Acronym for Workforce Development Area.
Acronym for Wisconsin Disability Benefits Network.
Acronym for Work Incentives Benefits Counseling.
Acronym for Work Incentive Benefits Specialist.
Acronym for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance.
Acronym for Wisconsin Partnership Program.