Deaf/Deafness - A term to describe a person with a hearing loss of profound degree. Although many deaf persons have residual hearing (usable hearing), they are unable to use hearing as the predominant mode for understanding speech. Some deaf individuals find a hearing aid useful; others do not.
Hard of Hearing - A condition where the sense of hearing is decreased but functional for ordinary life purposes (usually with the help of hearing aid).
Speechreading - Watching a person's mouth and face to read what words are being said. Research indicates that only about 3 out or every 10 words can be speech read easily.
Fingerspelling - Using handshapes to represent letters of the alphabet. There are different handshapes for each letter, and letters are formed one after another to spell out words.
Sign Language - A way of communicating words, ideas, and feelings using one's body, mainly hands, arms and face.
American Sign Language (ASL) - A visual-gestural language with vocabulary and grammar different form English.
Manual Communication - Communication by use of signs and fingerspelling.
Oral Communication - Communication through speech and speechreading, without using sign language or fingerspelling.
Simultaneous Communication - Communication using both manual and oral communication.
Total Communication - Using any and all means of communication (speech, hearing aids, speechreading, print, sign language, fingerspelling, pantomime, etc.) to convey ideas, language, and vocabulary.
Residual Hearing - The amount of hearing a person has that is usable. The ability to understand speech varies with the individual.
Adventitious Deafness - Deafness occurring sometime after birth.
Prelingual Deafness - When deafness occurs before the acquisition of language (usually after 3 years of age). In most cases, person who have lost their hearing after this age have a relatively strong English language base.
Postlingual Deafness - Deafness that occurs after the age at which spoken language normally is acquired (about age 3). The effect of postlingual deafness on speaking, reading, writing, and speechreading depends on the individual and the duration of the hearing loss.
Dyscalculia - Inability or difficulty with arithmetic.
Dysgraphia - Inability or difficulty with writing words down.
Dysphasia - Impairment of the ability to speak or sometimes understand language.
Figure-ground perception - Picking out an object from the background of competing objects.
Visual discrimination - Telling the difference between objects.
Spatial perception - Seeing things in the appropriate order.
Auditory figure-ground perception - Hearing one sound against a background of noises.
Dysfunction in onešs sense of balance.
Apraxia - Dysfunction in motor planning or knowing where you are in spatial relationships.
Tactile reflex -When disturbed can cause problems with the sense of touch (holding a pencil, turning pages).
Blind- A person with less than 10% of normal vision is referred to as "legally blind." A person with no vision at all is referred to as "totally blind."
Cerebral Palsy - Characterized by an inability to fully control motor function.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy - Spastic muscles are tense and contracted, resistant to movement. When reflexes are tested they may be very brisk, resulting in repeated contractions. Spasticity is the most common abnormality in Cerebral Palsy.
Athetoid Cerebral Palsy - This form of Cerebral Palsy is characterized by involuntary writhing movements of the parts of the body affected. The hands may turn and twist and often there is facial grimacing, tonguing, and drooling. Another form of involuntary movement involves abrupt flailing or jerky motions of the body. Many cases of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy involve damage to motor centers only. To the uninformed, however, the unnatural movements and facial expressions of such persons are often assumed to be signs of mental or emotional disturbance.
Ataxia Cerebral Palsy - In some cases of Cerebral Palsy the principal movement disturbance is lack of balance and coordination. Persons may sway when standing, have trouble maintaining balance, and may walk with feet spread wide apart to avoid falling.
Congenital Disability- A disability that was present at birth. This does not imply that the condition is hereditary.
Developmental Disability - Any mental and/or physical disability that has an onset before age 22 and may continue indefinitely. It can limit major life activities. Term includes individuals with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy (and other seizure disorders), sensory impairments, congenital disabilities, traumatic accidents, or conditions caused by disease (polio, muscular dystrophy, etc.)
Disability - General term used for a functional limitation that interferes with a person's ability, for example, to walk, lift, hear, or learn. It may refer to a physical, sensory, or mental condition. Used as descriptive noun or adjective, such as persons who are mentally and physically disabled or man with a disability.
Down's Syndrome- A form of mental disability that is the result of chromosomes dividing improperly during fetal development. "A person with Down's Syndrome" is much preferred to the term "mongoloid."
Epilepsy- A disorder of the nervous system characterized by seizures and/or unconsciousness. There are many different types of seizures that a person may experience from unconscious, uncontrolled flailing, to simply sitting and staring, fully conscious of what is going on around them, yet they are unable to respond.
Impairment - Refers to loss or abnormality of an organ or body mechanism, which may result in disability.
Head Injury - Describes a condition where there is temporary or long-term interruption in brain functioning.
Spinal cord injury - Describes a condition in which there has been permanent damage to the spinal cord.
Quadriplegia - Denotes substantial or total loss of function in all four extremities.
Paraplegia - Refers to substantial or total loss of function in the lower part of the body only.
Schizophrenia - Now thought to be not a single disease, but a group of related illnesses that cause disordered thinking and perceptions.
Seizure- An involuntary contraction of the muscles and/or loss of consciousness.
Speech Disorder- Having limited speech abilities or difficulty in speaking.
Mood disorders - Disturbances of mood or affect. They are also called affective disorders. Generally, mood disorders are divided into severe (uni-polar) depression and manic-depressive illness (bi-polar disorder).
Vision Impaired- Experiencing any degree of vision loss.
CCTV- A closed circuit television visual reader that will magnify print from 6 to 45 times.
Hearing Aid- A device that amplifies sound.
Interpreter- A person who translates between two people speaking different languages.
Lip reading- Watching the mouth and facial expressions to interpret what someone is saying. Also called "speech reading"
Talking Books- Books that are recorded on audio cassettes.
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD)- A device which allows information to be typed over telephone lines for those who are hearing or speech impaired.
Supported Employment Program - A public or private agency provides pre-employment skills training and on-the-job training and supervision for an employee with a disability. This service is provided at no cost other than the employee's salary.
Job Training & Partnership Act (J.T.P.A.) - The State of California pays up to 50% of the salary for individuals with certain disabilities for a period of up to six months.
Targeted Jobs Tax Credit (T.J.T.C.) - Employers receive a tax credit for hiring and retaining qualified individuals with certain disabilities.
Activity Workshops/Work Enclaves - A group or team of individuals with significant developmental disabilities work together at either a remote site or at the employer's facility. Work that may be too expensive for permanent employees to perform is contracted out to a particular Enclave, including specialty tasks such as recycling, food service, housekeeping, or assembly.
Qualified Individual with a Disability - A "qualified individual with a disability" is an individual with a disability who with or without reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of the employment position that the individual holds or desires.
Nondisabled - Appropriate term for people without disabilities. Normal, able-bodied, healthy, or whole are inappropriate.