Acronyms and Glossary

  • AAIDD American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
    A professional organization promoting policies, research and practices that support the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; formerly known as the American Association on Mental Retardation.
  • ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
    In postsecondary education, which includes any type of school or training beyond high school (e.g. community college, four-year university, vocational training program), the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA) form the legal foundation for protections for students with disabilities.
  • ADD Administration on Developmental Disabilities
    ADD funded the "Statewide Strategic Planning Grants" mini grant in 2011 which paid for the development of this online Think College Illinois Blueprint/Toolkit. ADD is a department of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (DHHS: ACF).
  • ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder
    The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development describes autism as a complex developmental disability that causes problems with social interaction and communication. Symptoms usually start before age three and can cause delays or problems in many different skills that develop from infancy to adulthood. Health care providers think of autism as a "spectrum" disorder, a group of disorders with similar features. One person may have mild symptoms, while another may have serious symptoms. But they both have an autism spectrum disorder. Currently, the autism spectrum disorder category includes: Autistic disorder (also called "classic" autism); Asperger syndrome; and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (or atypical autism).
  • AUCD Association of University Centers on Disabilities
    Each state and several territories have a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), which together form the AUCD network. The UCEDD for Illinois is the Institute on Disabilities and Human Development (IDHD) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. IDHD received the Think College mini grant to create this website.
  • CIL Centers for Independent Living
    According to Independent Living Research Utilization, the term `center for independent living' means a consumer controlled, community based, cross disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provides an array of independent living services.
  • CTPP Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs
    For students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be eligible for financial aid, a postsecondary education institution has to have the CTPP federal designation. For more about this application process, go to
  • DD Developmental disability
    According to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, DD is an umbrella term that covers many different kinds of physical and intellectual/developmental disabilities that manifest before the age of twenty-two and are likely to be life-long. DD are defined as severe chronic disabilities that can be intellectual or physical or both. These conditions may or may not include intellectual. Examples of DD include cerebral palsy, childhood vision and hearing loss, Down syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Fragile X syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • DDD Division of Developmental Disabilities, Illinois
    DDD Illinois provides quality, outcome-based, person-centered services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, such as independent living services and employment related services such as skill training and job coaches. DDD is a part of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
  • DHS Department of Human Services, Illinois
    DHS offers eligible residents of Illinois various sprograms to meet basic needs, cope with illness, emergencies, or other challenges. As of fall 2011, examples of such programs include: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); cash benefits; the Illinois Link Card; Medical Programs; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
  • Disability Rights
    The legal and social rights that people with disabilities/disabled people struggle to obtain, e.g. access to physical structures, education, health care, and independent living via personal assistance, job coaches, assistive technology etc.
  • Disability Services
    This term has at least two meanings: 1) the services available to students with disabilities in postsecondary education settings; 2) direct services for people with disabilities offered by Center for Independent Living and other disability agencies e.g. personal assistance, assistive technology, supported living, job coaches, self-advocacy and leadership training etc.
  • DRM Disability Rights Movement
    The DRM parallels other 20th-century social justice movements, such as the Civil Rights and the Feminist movements. Some key issues have been independent living, physical access, access to education, health care and legal rights, social inclusion, and resisting discriminatory media representations. For more information about the Disability Rights Movement (DRM) visit the University of California Berkeley, "The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement"
  • DRS Division of Rehabilitation Services, Illinois
    DRS works in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to assist them in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities. DRS is a division of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
  • DS Disability Studies
    The academic arm of the Disability Rights Movement which explores the way that individual impairments interact with social, structural, political and institutional barriers i.e. the social model. Visit the Institute on Disability and Human Development website for an example of a Disability Studies program. This program is part of the Illinois University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • DSS Disability Student Services
    Every college and university campus has an office that supports students with a variety of disabilities by offering an array of accommodations and supports. Collectively, these offices are often referred to as "disability student services" but each campus may have its own particular name, e.g. Disability Resource Center, or Disability Support Services.
  • FASD Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FASDs are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning. Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems.
  • HEOA Higher Education Opportunity Act
    The HEOA has provisions that allow students with intellectual disabilities to be eligible for federal financial aid such as work study, Pell, and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants. In order to be eligible, students have to be in an inclusive postsecondary education program that has applied for and been granted the Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs federal designation. Enacted in 2008, the HEOA reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965 and is administered by the Office of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education.
  • I/DD Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
    All intellectual disabilities are developmental disabilities, but not all developmental disabilities are intellectual disabilities. For example, people with the developmental disability Down Syndrome also have an intellectual disability. However, a person with cerebral palsy has a developmental disability, and may or may not also have an intellectual disability. The distinction between intellectual and developmental disabilities can be very confusing. Because of this confusion and all of the overlap between the categories, people in disability communities and services will often talk about I/DD together. Refer to the Acronym and Glossary entries "ID" and "DD" for more information.
  • ICCB Illinois Community College Board
    The ICCB is the state coordinating board for community colleges, administering the Public Community College Act in order to maximize the ability of the community colleges to serve their communities. The ICCB has been involved in the Illinois statewide conversation about inclusive postsecondary education since at least 2006.
  • ICDD Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities
    ICDD works to lead change in Illinois so that all people with developmental disabilities may exercise their right to equal opportunity and freedom, in areas such as community living, accessible and affordable housing, transportation, employment, self advocacy, and civic engagement, among others. Members of ICDD have been involved in the statewide discussions about inclusive postsecondary education, and were involved in the creation of this website as Think College Illinois Steering Committee and Work Group members. In their 2011-2016 5-year plan, ICDD plans to invest in three inclusive postsecondary education programs.
  • ICI Institute for Community Inclusion
    ICI houses the national Think College project and is one of two University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for the state of Massachusetts.
  • ID Intellectual disability
    According to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, an ID originates before the age of eighteen and is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behavior, which covers a range of everyday social and practical skills. "Intellectual disability" is the preferred term for what use to be referred to as "mental retardation".
  • IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
    The U.S. law that outlines how educational supports are provided for students with disabilities in kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • IDHD Institute on Disability and Human Development
    This is the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) for the state of Illinois. IDHD was the recipient of the 2011 Think College Illinois minigrant, which funded the development of this website.
  • IHE Institution of Higher Education
    Any institution offering education and training after high school e.g. 2- and 4- year colleges and universities, vocational and trade schools.
  • ILM Independent Living Movement
    Members of the Independent Living Movement aim to put people with disabilities in control of their own lives, able to live where and how they please and with whom they please. One way of doing this was to establish Centers for Independent Living. The first official Center for Independent Living was founded in 1972 by disability activists in Berkeley, California; now there are CILs all over the country. For more information about the Independent Living Movement (ILM) visit the University of California Berkeley, "The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement"
  • ISBE Illinois State Board of Education
    The mission of ISBE is to provide leadership, assistance, resources and advocacy so that every student is prepared to succeed in careers and postsecondary education, and share accountability for doing so with districts and schools. ISBE has been involved in the Illinois statewide conversation about inclusive postsecondary education for students with intellectual/developmental disabilities and the Think College Illinois project.
  • LD Learning disability
    According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, LDs are neurological disabilities that affect the brain's ability to receive, process, store, and respond to information. Some examples of LDs include dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Note: In the United Kingdom, "Learning Disability" refers to what people in the United States call "intellectual disabilities".
  • LEA Local education agency
    A term that refers to the kindergarten through 12th grade schools in a community.
  • NDSS National Down Syndrome Society
    The mission of the National Down Syndrome Society is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities.
  • PCP Person Centered Planning
    The purpose of PCP is to assist individuals with disabilities to plan their future, gain control over their lives, develop self-advocacy skills, and support them in their own self-determination. PCP utilizes a number of techniques, with the central premise that any methods used must be reflective of the individual's personal communication strengths and must assist them to outline their needs, wishes and goals. Examples of PCP include the Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH) and Making Action Plans (MAPS) planning tools.
  • PSE Postsecondary education
    This is another term for higher education beyond high school, including colleges, universities, and vocational training programs.
  • SABE Self-advocates Becoming Empowered
    The national organization of People First, the self-advocacy groups by and for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Self-Advocacy
    When people with disabilities speak up and advocate for themselves and others about their rights, goals, dreams etc.
  • Self-Determination
    When people with disabilities are the primary decision-makers in their own lives, with the supports from other people of their own choosing.
  • SwI/DD SwI/DD Students with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
    Refer to the Glossary and Acronyms entries "ID", "DD", and "I/DD" for more information.
  • TPSID Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual/developmental disabilities
    These were grants to 28 postsecondary institutions for creating inclusive programs for students with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
  • UCEDD University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
    Each U.S. state and several territories have a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) for a total of 67 UCEDDs. The UCEDD for Illinois is the Institute on Disabilities and Human Development (IDHD) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. IDHD received the Think College mini grant to create this website.
  • UIC University of Illinois at Chicago
    UIC houses the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for the state of Illinois, and the Institute on Disability and Human Development (IDHD), which developed this website.