Acronyms, typically letters used to represent words, are used by various professions when referring to specific documents or processes. Attached is a list of acronyms, the complete reference for the acronym, and a glossary defining the meaning of the acronym commonly used by educators, government agencies, medical professions, and organizations. For acronyms with a specific source citation at the end of the glossary definition, the name of the source and a link to the source’s website are located at the end of the document.


Alternative Assessment

Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) who participate in Ohio’s Learning Standards – Extended.


Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Multiple ways to communicate that can supplement or compensate (either temporarily or permanently) for the individuals with disabilities with severe expressive communication disorders (ASHA*).


Alternative Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Ohio’s statewide assessment for students identified with Significant Cognitive Disabilities that is aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards-Extended and designed for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a rigorous assessment.


Applied Behavior Analysis

Evidence-based understanding of behavior, how behavior changes, and is affected by environment.


Americans with Disabilities Act

A federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of an individual with a disability or who has a history or record of such an impairment or who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/Attention Deficit Disorder

A medical condition characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.


Activities of Daily Living

Skills required to independently care for oneself, such as eating, bathing, and mobility.


Assistive Listening Device

Hand-held devices used to improve hearing ability to distinguish speech during one-to-one conversations in various environments.


Auditory-Multisensory integration

The integration of multiple senses – sight, smell, taste, oral, touch or hearing – by the nervous system.



The use of hearing through amplification and speechreading, gestures, or visual cues to aid the understanding of language.


Adapted Physical Education

Physical education which has been adapted or modified for an individual with a disability.


Autism Spectrum Disorder

A complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors (APA).


American Sign Language

A language using signs seen visually through the shape, placement, and movement of the hands, facial expressions, and body movements.


Ages and Stages Questionnaire

An instrument used to screen and assess the developmental performance of children in the areas of communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving, and personal-social skills.


Assistive Technology

Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability (IDEA*).



A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance (ODE*).



A teaching method for children with a hearing loss using hearing aids or cochlear implants to use residual hearing to learn to speak.


Adequate Yearly Progress

The amount of yearly improvement a school and district is expected to make in order or enable low-achieving children to meet high performance levels expected of all children.


Bilingual and Bicultural

Ability to speak two languages with ASL as the first language and English as the second language.


Behavior Intervention Plan

A plan designed to reward and reinforce positive behaviors.


Board of Education

Elected body that oversees a public-school district’s affairs, personnel, and properties.


Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired

Assists eligible people, beginning at age fourteen, with low vision or blindness by providing direct, personalized services to assist in finding and retaining meaningful work and personal independence (OOD*).


Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation

Federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job.


Central Auditory Processing Disorder

A disorder that is marked by a deficit in the way the brain receives, differentiates, analyzes, and interprets auditory information (such as speech) and that is not attributable to impairments in peripheral hearing or intellect (Merriam-Webster Dictionary-Medical).


Communication Access Real-time Translation

Means of communication in real-time as events occur using devices such as a stenotype machine, computer, and real-time software for translations for individuals who are deaf.


Curriculum-Based Assessment/Curriculum-Based Measurement

General outcome measures of a student’s performance in basic skills or content knowledge.


County Board of Developmental Disabilities

A county agency that provides rehabilitation programs and services to developmentally disabled individuals residing in the county.


Community-Based Instruction

Instruction based on real-life experiences that occur naturally in community environments.


Closed Captioning

Real-time written transcription of speech and descriptions of other relevant audio elements for the hearing-impaired.


Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist

A licensed service provider who teaches individuals with visual impairments to travel safely and independently in their environment.


Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment

Vision problems caused by the brain having difficulty processing and understanding visual signals that cannot be explained by a problem with the eyes.



Concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and education needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness (ODE*).


Deafblind Technical Assistance Program

Technical assistance on deafblindness for individuals with deafblindness, parents, and educators upon request. Includes consultation services, resources, information, and training.


Developmental Delay

By a delay of two standard deviations below the mean in one or more of the areas of development or 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in two or more of the areas of development. The results shall not be used as the sole factor in making the determination that a child has a developmental delay. Developmental delay means a child three to five years old who is experiencing a delay as determined by an evaluation team, IEP team, and other qualified professionals in one or more of the following areas of development: (i) physical development; (ii) cognitive development; (iii) communication development; (iv) social or emotional development; or (v) adaptive development.(ODE*)


Daily Living Skills

Skills required to independently care for oneself such as eating, bathing, and mobility.


Expanded Core Curriculum for the Blind & Visually Impaired

A curriculum that includes concepts and skills that often require specialized instruction with impaired students who are blind or visually impaired in order to compensate for decreased opportunities to learn incidentally by observing others (TSBVI*).


Early Childhood Education

Educational programs that focus on the development of concepts and skills for children birth to five.


Early Childhood Intervention Specialist

Trained educator who works with children from birth through age four to address developmental delays.


Early Childhood Special Education

Free appropriate public education with instruction designed to meet the unique needs of a preschool child with a disability, three years through four years of age.


Emotional Disturbance

A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance: (a) an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; (b) an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers; (c) inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; (d) a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; (e) a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems; (f) emotional disturbance, including schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance (ODE*).


Early Intervention/Early Intervention Services

Services and supports that are available to babies and young children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families (CDC*).


English Language Arts

Comprehension and capacity for use of written and oral language.


English Language Learners

English learner who has a primary or home language other than English and needs special language assistance to effectively participate in school (ODE*).


Every Student Succeeds Act

A federal law that requires States to clearly articulate how the State will use federal funds to ensure that schools educate every student, create safe and supportive learning environments, encourage innovation and extended learning opportunities, and more (ODE*).


Extended School Year

Services necessary for the provision of FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) to the child. Additionally, the school district shall consider the following when determining if extended school year services should be provided: (i) whether extended school year services are necessary to prevent significant regression of skills or knowledge retained by the child so as to seriously impede the child’s progress toward the child’s educational goals; and (ii) whether extended school services are necessary to avoid something more than adequately recoupable regression (ODE*).


Evaluation Team

Parents and a group of qualified professionals, which must include: (a) the child’s regular teacher; or (b) if the child does not have a regular education teacher, a regular classroom teacher qualified to teach a child of the child’s age; or (c) for the child of less than school-age, an individual qualified by the Ohio Department of Education to teach a child of the child’s age; and (d) at least one person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children, such as a school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or remedial teacher (ODE*).


Evaluation Team Report

The documentation of determination of eligibility at no cost to the parent. The written evaluation team report shall include: (s) a summary of information obtained during the evaluation process; (b) the names, titles, and signatures of each team member, including the parent, and an indication of whether or not they are in agreement with the eligibility determination. Any team member who is not in agreement with the team’s determination of disability shall submit a statement of disagreement (ODE*).


Free Appropriate Public Education

Special education and related services that: (a) are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction; (b) meet the standards of the Ohio Department of Education, including the requirements of this rule; (c) include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the state involved; and (d) are provided in conformity with an IEP that meets the requirements of Rule 3301-51-07 of the Administrative Code for Individualized Education Programs (ODE*).


Functional Behavior Assessment

School-based assessment to determine why a child engages in behavior(s) and factors that maintain the behavior(s) which interfere with educational progress.


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

A federal law that governs the access to educational information and records by public entities.


Full Time Equivalency

An employee’s scheduled hours divided by the employer’s hours for a full-time workweek.


Hearing Impairment/Hard of Hearing

An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance, but that is not included under the definition of deafness (ODD*).


Health Information Portability and Accountability Act

Protects individual’s medical records and other personal health information.


Help Me Grow

A State agency located in each county that works to support families and promote healthy growth and development for babies and young children. Home visitors provide caring support and information to empower parents with skills, tools, and confidence (HMG*).


Highly Qualified Teacher

A teacher who has a least a bachelor’s degree, a certificate/license that is appropriate to the grade and subject they are teaching, and must demonstrate their subject area expertise in the core academic subject(s) they teach (ODE*).


Interim Alternative Education Setting

An educational setting/placement that enables a student to continue to receive educational services according to the student’s IEP when a student is removed from the student’s current educational setting due to a violation of the student code of conduct.


Intellectual Disability

A disability defined as significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance (ODE*).


Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act

A federal law that guarantees a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to children identified with a disability under IDEA.


Independent Educational Evaluation

An evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the education of the child in question (ODE*).


Individualized Education Program

A written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised annually by the IEP team, which includes the parent. (ODE*)


Individualized Family Service Plan

A written plan for providing early intervention services to an infant or toddler with a disability and the child’s family. (OHEI*)


Impartial Hearing Officer/Hearing Officer

An individual responsible for conducting the due process hearing in accordance with the requirements set forth by Ohio.


Intervention Specialist

An individual licensed in Ohio to provide services to students with mild to moderate or moderate to intensive special education needs.


Individualized Transition Plan

An IEP plan based on informal and formal assessments that are used to identify desired outcomes for students in the areas of postsecondary training and employment, competitive integrated employment, and independent living skills.


Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship

A scholarship in Ohio for students, K through 12th grade, who have an Individualized Education Program from their school district.


Job Training Coordinator

A licensed teacher who coordinates the Job Training program that provides technical, on-the-job training to students with disabilities who require intensive, individualized supports to transition to competitive, integrated employment upon graduation (ODE*).


Low Incidence

A disability with an incidence rate of less than one percent of total statewide enrollment in special education that includes hearing impairment, deafness, visual impairment, blindness impairment, and deafblindness.


Local Education Agency

A public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State, or for a combination of school districts or counties that is recognized in a State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools (USDOE*).


Least Restrictive Environment

A requirement that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular education environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily (IDEA*).


Multiple Disabilities

Concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment) the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. “Multiple disabilities” does not include deafblindness (ODE*).


Multi-Factored Evaluation

Data collected from a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information about the child, including information provided by the parents, that may assist in determining: (i) whether the child is a child with a disability, and (ii) the content of the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum (or for a preschool child to participate in appropriate activities (ODE*).


Medicaid School Program

A program that enables local education agencies to receive federal matching funds for Medicaid reimbursable services provided by qualified medical practitioners for eligible students.


National Center on Deaf-Blindness

National network that supports federal state deaf-blind projects assisting educators, agencies, and organizations to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to help children with deaf-blindness learn, access the general education curriculum, and successfully transition to adult life. (NCDB*)


Non-Public Schools

Chartered, private schools that maintain compliance with the Operating Standards for Ohio’s Schools, not supported by local or state tax dollars, and require the family to pay tuition.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior towards peers, parents, teachers, and other authority figures.


Other Health Impairment

Having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that: (a) is due to chronic or acute health problems, such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, ad Tourette Syndrome; and (b) adversely affects a child’s educational performance (ODE*).


Open Hands, Open Access modules

Online Deafblind Intervener Learning Modules designed to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills related to intervention for students (ages 3 through 21) who are deafblind and served in educational settings (NCDB*).


Orthopedic Impairment

A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance, including impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and factures or burns that cause contractures) (ODE*).


Ohio Learning Standards

The knowledge and skills for Ohio students, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, emphasizing skills, including critical thinking and problem-solving (ODE*).


Ohio Learning Standards - Extended

Extended standards designed to ensure that students with significant cognitive disabilities are provided with multiple ways to learn and demonstrate knowledge.


Orientation and Mobility

Services provided to blind or visually impaired children by qualified personnel to enable those students to attain systematic orientation to and safe movement within their environments in school, home, and community and includes teaching children the following, as appropriate: (i) spatial and environmental concepts and use of information received by the senses (such as sound, temperature, and vibrations) to establish, maintain, or regain orientation and line of travel (e.g., using sound at a traffic light to cross the street; (ii) to use the long cane or a service animal to supplement visual travel skills or as a tool for safely negotiating the environment for children with no available travel vision; (iii) to understand and use remaining vision and distance low vision aids; and (iv) other concepts, techniques, and tools (ODE*).


Occupational Therapy

Services provided by a occupational therapist licensed includes: (i) improving, developing, or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation; (ii) improving ability to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired or lost; and (iii) preventing, through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function (ODE*).



School personnel who are responsible for providing assistance to elementary and secondary students.


Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports

A framework that guides school teams in the selection, integration, and implementation of evidence-based practices for academic, social, and behavior outcomes for all students emphasizing four integrated elements: data for decision-making, evidence-based intervention and practices that support student needs (multi-tiered), systems that efficiently and effectively support implementation of these practices, and continual progress monitoring to ensure outcomes are met (ODE*).


Pervasive Developmental Disorders

A group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills.


Present Levels of Performance

Current (less than 1 year old), specific measurable data related to a student’s academic and behavior performance, including progress towards annual goals.



Educational program for children ages 3-5 years old.


Primary Services Provider

A member of the early intervention team identified by the EI team to meet the child and family needs.


Physical Therapy

A licensed professional who supports a student’s physical movement in a variety of settings throughout the school day.


Prior Written Notice

Written notice that must be given to the parents of a child with a disability within a reasonable time before the school district of residence: (a) proposes to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child; and (b) refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child (ODE*).


Resource Room

 A separate special education classroom where students with educational disabilities are given direct, specialized instruction.


Response to Intervention

A multi-tier approach to the identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs based on the intensity and duration of interventions and the student’s response to instruction.


Social Communication Disorder

Difficulties exhibited by a child with the use of verbal and nonverbal language for social purposes characterized by difficulties in social interaction, social cognition, and pragmatics (ASHA*).


School District

A geographical unit responsible for the administration of schools.


Specially Designed Instruction

Adapting, as appropriate, to the needs of an eligible child under this rule, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction: (a) to address the unique needs of the child that result from the child’s disability; and (b) to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the school district that apply to all children (ODE*).


State Education Agency

State-level agency primarily responsible for the State supervision of public elementary schools and secondary schools.

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

A federal civil rights law that protects qualified individuals with physical or mental disabilities which substantially limits one or more major life activities.


Sensory Integration

Processes in the brain that allow information received from the five senses (taste, touch sight ,sound smell) to be organized and responded to.


Sensory Integration Disorder

A neurological disorder in which the sensory information an individual perceives results in abnormal responses.


Student Inventory for Technology Supports

Free, web-based survey tool that supports Individualized Education Program teams with assistance in matching student strengths and needs to AT features.


Specific Learning Disability/Learning Disability

A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Disorders not included. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of intellectual disability, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage (ODE*).


Speech Language Impairment

A communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.


Speech/Speech Language

Speech – the actual sound of spoken language. Language – a system of words and symbols – written, spoken, or expressed with gestures and body language used to communicate meaning.


Special Education

Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.


Speech Language Pathologist

Professional who works to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat social communication, cognitive communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.


Summary of Performance

A summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance, including recommendations on how to assist in meeting the student’s postsecondary goals when a child’s special education terminates due to graduation with a regular diploma exceeding the age of eligibility (IDEA*).


Sensory Processing Disorder

A neurological disorder in which the sensory information that an individual perceives results in abnormal responses.


State Support Team

A regional team in Ohio’s Statewide System of Support that collaborates with schools, families, regional partners, and the Ohio Department of Education in a continuous improvement process to ensure each child in Ohio has access to a high-quality education.


Step Up to Quality

A rating and improvement system overseen by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that recognizes and promotes learning and development programs.


Students With a Disability

A student with some physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.


Traumatic Brain Injury

An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or by other medical conditions, including but not limited to, stroke, anoxia, infectious disease, aneurysm, brain tumors, and neurological insults resulting from medical or surgical treatments. The injury results in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries, as well as to other medical conditions that result in acquired brain injuries. The injuries result in impairments in one of more areas, such as, cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning, abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma (ODE*).


Transition Coordinator

Assists students with disabilities participating in experiences necessary to transition from high school to a post-secondary setting.


Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf

A teleprinter or an electronic device for text communication over a telephone line.


Teacher of the Deaf

A licensed teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing.


Transition Planning Conference

Meeting with the child’s family, early intervention team, and the representatives from the school district who will serve the child after the age of three to plan the child’s transition to preschool services.


Transition to Work

Services to support young people aged 14-24 years for post-secondary employment.


Teletype-phone System

A special device for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired to use the telephone to communicate by typing text messages.


Teacher of the Visually Impaired

A licensed teacher of the visually impaired.


Universal Design for Learning

The design of teaching and learning products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.


Visual Impairment

An impairment in vision, including blindness, that even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. (a) The term “visual impairment” includes both partial sight and blindness. (b) The term “visual impairment” does not include a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes, such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia (ODE*).

*Sources of information cited in glossary information


American Psychological Association


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association


Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act


Center for Disease Control and Prevention


Help Me Grow


National Center on Deaf-Blindness


Ohio Department of Education


Ohio Early Intervention


Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities


Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired


United States Department of Education


Annual OCDBE Parent Retreat


April 26-April 28, 2024


Deer Creek State Park Lodge


Kimberly Christensen


Register by March 15, 2024