Disability-Related Acronyms

Confused by the alphabet soup of disability-related documents and reports? Here’s a quick guide to some of the more common acronyms in disability education, law, medicine, and rehabilitation. Medical and psychological tests and medications are not covered. Links are to related pages on Disability Resources.

ABA — Architectural Barriers Act
ACLD — Association for Children with Learning Disabilities (organization)
ACOA — Adult Children of Alcoholics
AD — Alzheimer’s Disease
ADA — Americans with Disabilities Act
ADD — Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD — Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADL — Activity of Daily Living
AE — Age Equivalent
AFO — Ankle-Foot Orthotics
AIDS — Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AIT — Auditory Integrated Training
ALS — Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
AMI — Alliance for the Mentally Ill (organization)
APA — American Psychiatric Association (organization)
APE — Adaptive Physical Education
ARC — formerlyAssociation for Retarded Citizens (organization)
ASA — Autism Society of America (organization)
ASL — American Sign Language
ATA — Alliance for Technology Access
BEH — Behaviorally/Emotionally Handicapped
BH — Behaviorally Handicapped
CA — Chronological Age
CAPD — Central Auditory Processing Disorder
CF — Cystic Fibrosis
CFS — Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CHADD — CHildren & Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (organization)
CHD — Congenital Heart Disease
CHD — Congenital Hip Dysplasia
CMV — Cytomegalovirus Infection
COA — Children of Alcoholic Parents
COTA — Certified Occupational Therapist
CP — Cerebral Palsy
CPR — Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation
DD — Developmental Delay
DD — Developmental Disability
DH — Developmentally Handicapped
DS — Down Syndrome
DX — Diagnosis
EBD — Emotional/Behavioral Disorder
EC — Early Childhood
ECSE — Early Childhood Special Education
EHA — Education of Handicapped Children Act (later called IDEA)
EI — Early Intervention
EMH — Educable Mentally Handicapped
EMR — Educable Mentally Retarded
FC — Facilitated Communication
FAE — Fetal Alcohol Effect
FAPE — Free and Appropriate Public Education
FAS — Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
FERPA — Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
FES — Functional Electrical Stimulation
FNS — Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation
FSP — Family Support Plan
GT/LD — Gifted and Talented and Learning Disabled
HFA — High Functioning Autism
HH — Hard of Hearing
HI — Hearing Impaired
HIV — Human ImmunoDeficiency Virus
HMO — Health Maintenance Organization
HOH — Hard of Hearing
IBD — Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
IDEA — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IED — Intermittent Explosive Disorder
IEP — Individualized Education Plan
IFSP — Individualized Family Service Plan
ILC — Independent Living Center
IQ — Intelligence Quotient
ISP — Individualized Service Plan
KTW — Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome
LBPH — Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
LD — Learning Disability or Learning Difference
LDA — Learning Disabilities Association (organization)
LFA — Low Functioning Autism
LKS — Landau-Kleffler Syndrome
LP — Little Person/Little People (Dwarfism)
LRE — Least Restrictive Environment
MA — Mental Age
MBD — Minimal Brain Dysfunction
MCS — Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
MCH — Maternal and Child Health
MD — Muscular Dystrophy
MH — Mental Health
MI — Mental Illness
MMH — Mild-Moderate Mentally Impaired
MR — Mental Retardation
MS — Multiple Sclerosis
MSDD — Multi-Sensory Developmental Delays
NADS — National Association for Down Syndrome (organization)
NAS — Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
NDA — No Diagnosis of Anything
NDSC — National Down Syndrome Congress (organization)
NDSS — National DS Society (organization)
NEA — National Education Association (organization)
NEC*TAS — National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Systems (organization)
NICHY — National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (organization)
NICU — Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
NLD — Nonverbal Learning Disability
NORD — National Organization for Rare Disorders (organization)
NPIN — National Parent Information Network (organization)
NPND — National Parent Network on Disabilities (organization)
NPPSIS — National Parent to Parent Support & Information Systems, Inc. (organization)
NTD — Neural Tube Defect
OCD — Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
ODD — Oppositional Defiant Disorder
OHI — Other Health Impairments
OI — Osteogenesis Imperfecta
OSEP — Office of Special Education Programs (U.S. Department of Education)
OSERS — Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (U.S. Department of Education)
OT — Occupational Therapy
P&A — Protection and Advocacy
PASS — Plans for Achieving Self–Support
PCA — Personal Care Attendant
PDD — Pervasive Developmental Disorder
PDD/NOS — Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified
PE — Physical Education
PHN — Public Health Nurse
PI — Physically Impaired
PKU — Phenylketonuria
PL — Public Law
PL 94-142 — Education of Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (now PL 101-476)
PL 99-457 — Education of the Handicapped Amendment of 1986 (now PL 101-476)
PL 105-476 — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (formerly PL 94-142 and 99-457)
PL 105-15 — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (formerly PL 101-476)
PM&R — Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
PPS — Post Polio Syndrome
PT — Physical Therapy
PWS — Prader-Willi Syndrome
RSD — Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
ROP — Retinopathy of Prematurity
SBS — Shaken Baby Syndrome
SCI — Spinal Cord Injury
SD — Standard Deviation
SEA — State Education Act or State Education Agency
Section 503/504 — Sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
SE — Signed English
SEE — Signing Exact English
SI — Sensory Integration
SIDS — Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
SIS — Shaken Infant Syndrome
SLD — Specific Learning Disability
SLP — Speech-Language Pathologist
SLT — Speech-Language Therapist
SMA — Spinal Muscular Atrophy
SN — Special Needs
SPED — Special Education or Special Education Teacher
SSDI — Social Security Disability Insurance
SSI — Supplemental Security Income
SW — Social Worker
SWS — Sturge-Weber Syndrome
TBI — Traumatic Brain Injury
TDD — Telecommunication Device for the Deaf
TMH — Trainable Mentally Handicapped
TMR — Trainable Mentally Retarded
TS — Tourette Syndrome
TT — Text Telephone
TTY — Teletypewriter
VE — Vocational Education
VI — Visual Impairment
VCFS — Velo-Cardio-Facial-Syndrome
VR — Vocational Rehabilitation
VSD — Ventral Septal Defect
WS — Waivered Services

Related Subjects

Statistics (for disability definitions used in statistical reports)
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