Disability & Special Education Acronyms

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Welcome to the alphabet soup of special education.

October 2010

The disability community is full of acronyms that people constantly use in writing and in conversation, and it’s important to know what those acronyms stand for. Acronyms are used in order to abbreviate names or phrases. NICHCY is pleased to provide this list special education and disability related acronyms, and hope it helps our readers quickly connect with the meaning of pivotal acronyms in the field.

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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

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A Acronyms

AAC | Alternative Augmentative Communication

ABA | Applied Behavioral Analysis

ABC | Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence

ADA |Americans with Disabilities Act

ADD/ADHD | Attention Deficit/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADLs | Activities of Daily Living

ADR | Alternative Dispute Resolution

AIM | Accessible Instructional Materials

APE | Adaptive Physical Education

APR | Annual Performance Report

ARD | Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee

ARRA | American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

ASD | Autism Spectrum Disorders

ASL | American Sign Language

AT | Assistive Technology

AYP | Adequate Yearly Progress

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B Acronyms

BD | Behavioral Disorder

BIE | Bureau of Indian Education

BIP | Behavioral Intervention Plan

BOE | Board of Education

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C Acronyms

CAP | Corrective Action Plan

CAPD | Central Auditory Processing Disorder

CAPTA | Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

CBA | Curriculum Based Assessment

CC | Closed Captioning

CDA | Child Development Associate

CDC | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CEC | Council for Exceptional Children

CF |  Cystic Fibrosis

CFR | Code of Federal Regulations

CIFMS | Continuous Improvement and Focused Monitoring System

COP | Community of Practice

CP | Cerebral Palsy

CPRC | Community Parent Resource Center

CSHCN | Children with Special Health Care Needs

CSPD | Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

CST | Child Study Team

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D Acronyms

DB | Deaf-Blind

DD | Developmental Delay

DD Act | Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act

DIBELS | Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy

DoDDS | Department of Defense Dependent Schools

DS | Down Syndrome

DSM | Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association

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E Acronyms

ECE | Early Childhood Education

ECSE | Early Childhood Special Education

ED | Emotional Disturbance

ED | U.S. Department of Education

EDGAR | Education Department General Administrative Regulations

EHA | Education of the Handicapped Act (now IDEA)

EHDI | Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

EI | Early Intervention

EIS | Early Intervening Services

ELL | English Language Learner

EMH | Educable Mentally Handicapped

EMR | Educable Mentally Retarded

EPSDT | Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment

ERIC | Educational Resources Information Center

ESD | Extended School Day

ESEA | Elementary and Secondary Education Act

ESL | English as a Second Language

ESY or EYS | Extended School Year or Extended Year Services

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F Acronyms

FAPE | Free Appropriate Public Education

FAS | Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

FBA | Functional Behavioral Assessment

FC | Facilitated Communication

FEOG | Full Educational Opportunity Goal

FERPA | Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FOIA | Freedom of Information Act

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G and H Acronyms

GE | General Education

GPRA | Government Performance and Results Act

GT | Gifted and Talented

HI | Hearing Impaired

HO | Hearing Officer

HoH | Hard of Hearing

HOUSSE | High Objective Uniform State Standards of Evaluation

HQT | Highly Qualified Teacher

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I Acronyms

IA | Instructional Assistant

IAES | Interim Alternative Educational Setting

ID | Intellectual Disabilities

IDEA | Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IEE | Individualized Educational Evaluation

IEP | Individualized Education Program

IES | Institute of Education Sciences

IFSP | Individualized Family Service Plan

IHE | Institution of Higher Education

ITCA | Infants and Toddlers Coordinators Association

ITP | Individualized Transition Plan

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L, M, and N Acronyms

LD | Learning Disability

LEA | Local Education Agency

LEP | Limited English Proficiency

LRE | Least Restrictive Environment

MD | Muscular Dystrophy

MD or MH | Multiple Disabilities or Multiply Handicapped

MDR | Manifestation Determination Review

MMR | Mildly Mentally Retarded **

Mod MR | Moderately Mentally Retarded **

MOU | Memorandum of Understanding

MR | Mental Retardation **

NASDSE | National Association of State Directors of Special Education

NCLB | No Child Left Behind Act (Elementary and Secondary Education Act)

NIH | National Institutes of Health

NIMAS | National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard

NIMH | National Institute of Mental Health

NPRM | Notice of Proposed Rule Making

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O Acronyms

OCD | Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCR | Office of Civil Rights

ODD | Oppositional Defiant Disorder

OHI | Other Health Impairment

OI | Orthopedic Impairment

O & M | Orientation and Mobility

OSEP | Office of Special Education Programs

OT | Occupational Therapy

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P and R Acronyms

P&A | Protection & Advocacy

PALS | Peer-Assisted Learning System

PASS | Plan for Achieving Self-Support

PBS | Positive Behavioral Supports

PCA | Personal Care Attendant

PD | Physical Disability

PDD | Pervasive Developmental Disorder

PEI | Spanish acronym for the Individualized Education Program (Plan Educativo Individualizado)

Perkins Act | Carl Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act

PLEP or PLP | Present Level of Educational Performance or Present Level of Performance

PP | Paraprofessional

PS | Preschool

PT | Physical Therapy

PTI | Parent Training and Information Center

RFP | Request for proposals

RS | Related Services

RTI | Response to Intervention

RTTT | Race to the Top Fund

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S Acronyms

§ | This symbol means “Section” as in “§ 300.7 Child with a disability” in the IDEA regulations

SAS | Supplementary Aids and Services

SB | Spina Bifida

SCHIP | State Children’s Health Insurance Program

SE | Special Education

SEA | State Education Agency

SEAC | Special Education Advisory Committee

Section 504 | Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

SED | Serious Emotional Disturbance

SI | Sensory Integration

SIG | State Improvement Grant

SIP | State Implementation Plan

SLD | Specific Learning Disability

SLI | Speech/Language Impairment

SLP | Speech/Language Pathologist

SPOA | Specific Power of Attorney

SPP | State Performance Plan

SSDI | Social Security Disability Income

SSI | Supplemental Security Income

SST | Student Study Team

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T to Z Acronyms

TA&D | Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

TANF | Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

TBI | Traumatic Brain Injury

TDD | Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf

TMH | Trainable Mentally Handicapped

TMR | Trainable Mentally Retarded

TS | Tourette Syndrome

T-TA | Training and Technical Assistance

TTY | Teletypewriter (phone system for the deaf)

TWWIIA | Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act

VI |Visual Impairment

Voc Ed | Vocational Education

VR | Vocational Rehabilitation

WIC | Women, Infants and Children (Special Supplemental Food Program)

WWC | What Works Clearinghouse

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Editorial note, February 2011:
Until October 2010, IDEA used the term “mental retardation.”  In October 2010, Rosa’s Law was signed into law by President Obama.  Rosa’s Law changed the term to be used in future to “intellectual disability.” The definition of the term itself  did not change, only the use of “intellectual disability” instead of “mental retardation.”

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