Terms Related to Service and Community

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A federal law which bans discrimination based on disability in the areas of public accommodations, state and local government services, employment, transportation and telecommunications. All public schools must comply with the ADA.

Admission, Review and Dismissal Meeting (ARD): In Texas, t his is the term used t o describe the parent/professional meeting in which a child’s eligibility for special education is determined and his or her individual education plan is developed and/or reviewed. (See IEP.)

Assessment: The process of gathering information about a child’s competencies, needs, and physical abilities for the purpose of making a diagnosis or developing an intervention plan.

Assistive Alerting and Communication Devices: Term used to describe equipment or systems which are available to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing increase, maintain, or improve communication and independent functioning within their environment and society. Some of these devices include: wireless personal pagers and web browsers, videophones, computer IP relay and chat through instant messaging, TTY/TDDs, telephone amplifiers, alerting systems, vibrating alarm clocks, watches and pagers, and flashing light smoke detectors. (See TTY/TDD.)

Closed Caption: A process in which the text version of what is being said on a TV or video is either encoded in the video or encoded in real time (for news broadcasts etc.) and printed at the bottom of the television screen when the “caption” option is activated. This option is provided on a standard tele-vision through an electronic chip. By law, TV’s that are 13 inches and larger, and are manufactured after 1993, must have closed caption capability.

Deaf Culture: A culture is generally defined as a system of values, beliefs, and standards that guide a people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Culture i s learned, shared and constantly changing. Some of the central components of Deaf Culture include the use of American Sign Language, healthy social interaction with other individuals who are Deaf and involvement in Deaf organizations. The Deaf Culture also places a high value on its art forms such as drama, sign mime, storytelling, sign poetry, and on stories and literature about Deaf people.

Deaf Community: A community is a group of people who share common interests and a common heritage. The Deaf community is comprised of individuals, both deaf and hearing, who t o varying degrees embrace particular community goals that derive from Deaf cultural influences. The Deaf community may have wide perspective on issues, but a positive view of being a Deaf person is commonly shared.

Deaf Education Early Intervention Services: In Texas, this term most commonly refers to early intervention services, specific to children with hearing loss, that are provided through local edu-cation agencies (school districts), Regional Day School Programs for the Deaf (RDSPDs), and Texas School for the Deaf as one part of Texas’ comprehensive system of early intervention services. See also early intervention services.

Early Intervention Services: This term most commonly refers to federally mandated, state provided, services for children, ages birth to three years. Children who have a disability or developmental delay, including hearing loss, may be eligible for a wide array of early intervention services including home visits, family training, counseling, special instruction and therapy. In Texas, the se early intervention services are provided through the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Early Childhood Intervention (DARS-ECI) and the term Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is often used in referring to these services.

Eligibility Criteria: Refers to the guidelines used to determine whether a program or a specific service is appropriate for an infant or child who has a disability.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): Term that refers to special education and related services that are provided at public expense and at no additional cost to the parent. These services include preschool, elementary and secondary school education and are guaranteed to all eligible students through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Individual services are determined through an Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Inclusion: Refers to the process of providing services for infants and children with disabilities in settings with children who a re typically developing or non-disabled. (See also “least restrictive environment” and “natural settings”.)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): A federal law that establishes policies for comprehensive services for infants and children with disabilities, ages birth through 21. Part C of IDEA outlines programs for infants and toddlers birth to three; Part B of IDEA covers children 3 – 21.

Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP): Plan that outlines the outcomes, strategies, and services for children with disabilities who are age birth to three. A team, that includes parents and the professionals who are specific to each child’s needs, develop the plan. The plan also includes location, amount of time, the person who will provide the service, and the criteria that will be used to deter-mine if the outcomes are achieved.

Individual Education Plan (IEP): Education plan that outlines the special education and related services for children with disabilities who are age 3 – 21. The plan is developed by a team which includes parents, administrators, teachers and special services personnel specific to each child’s needs. The plan includes educational goals and objectives, modifications to the regular curriculum, daily schedule, support services, educational setting and other information as required by law. See also transliteration.

Interpreter: A person who facilitates communication between people who do not use the same language by translating from one language to another. For a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, the interpretation is from spoken language to a signed language such as ASL.

Natural Environment: Term in IDEA used to describe the location for early intervention services. IDEA describes the natural environment as a home or community setting which is natural and normal for same age peers who have no disabilities.

Parent Advisor: A certified teacher of the deaf/hard-of-hearing who works with families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. When an IFSP specifies deaf education early intervention services, a parent advisor is generally the service provider. (This is the term and the certification as defined in Texas for the person who provides these services. Other states may use different terms or require other certifications.)

Relay Telephone Service: A service in which agents interpret telephone calls between people who can hear and those who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing or speech disabled. Relay Texas agents have computers that enable them to hear the voice user as well as read the signals from the TTY user. (See TTY). In Texas, the program is administered by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. To make a relay call, most people (TTY users and hearing people) just need to dial 7-1-1.

Service Coordinator: A professional who obtains services, provides information about ECI services, and finds other services in the community. A service coordinator works with a family to support a child’s development and to arrange for services in and outside of an ECI program.

Transliteration: The process of changing a spoken language, such as English, into a visual or visual/phonemic (sound based) code through a sign language interpreter, an oral interpreter, or a cued speech interpreter. See also interpreter.

TTY ( Text  Telephone) or  TD D (Telecommunications  Device for the Deaf): Typewriter like device which attaches easily to a standard telephone or can be plugged directly into a telephone jack. Using a TTY, a person who is deaf is able to directly call another person with a TTY. The typed conversation is transmitted via the telephone line and is displayed as print on the receiving TTY. Using a TTY, a person who is deaf can use Relay Texas to make a call to a hearing person who does not have a TTY.

Wireless Devices: Small handheld devices that provide e-mail, instant messaging, telephone and speaker phone, games and web browsing. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing use these devices to chat online through instant messaging and to use internet based relay services. Wireless devices require a monthly service plan. This is an area of rapid change and rapidly improving products.

Videophones: These devices require high speed internet connection and connect to your TV. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing use their television remote to “dial” a relay service or to directly dial another videophone. The videophone allows the caller to see and sign directly with the relay agent, who is a highly qualified interpreter, or with the person called. The person called will see the relay agent or the caller, depending on whether the call was placed through relay or directly.

Video Relay Services (VRS): VRS allows a deaf or hard of hearing person to make a telephone call via a high-speed internet video connection. This service enables the relay agent, who is a sign language interpreter, to interpret real-time conversations between people who can hear and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Video relay services use either videophones, computer with webcam or wireless hand held devices with instant messaging.