Glossary

Academic Learning Time

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The period during which an instructional activity correlates with a student’s readiness to learn, and results in actual learning.

Accessibility

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Within the context of this document, accessibility is the extent to which a student can gain access to print materials in a way that meets his or her needs at the time the materials are needed.

Authorized User (AU)

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An AU is a person(s) who is authorized to access NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) files from the NIMAC (National Instructional Materials Access Center). Authorized users can directly download NIMAS file sets or assign NIMAS file sets for download by an accessible media producer (AMP) for conversion into specialized formats.

Authorized Entities

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Authorized entities are nonprofit organizations or governmental agencies that have a primary mission to provide specialized services relating to training, education, or adaptive reading or information access needs of blind or other persons with disabilities. Under an exemption to copyright law, authorized entities do not require permission from publishers to create materials in specialized formats. The PaTTAN AIM Center is an authorized entity. Examples of federally funded authorized entities are Bookshare, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D), and American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

Aural Reading

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The gathering of information from audioᅠaccessed materials and books.

Augmentative Communication

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Non-speech techniques used to supplement or augment a student’s oral speech, which allows them to use and develop their language. These may include natural gestures, sign language, photographs and other kinds of pictures, spelling out words on alphabet displays, as well as electronic speech generating devices.

Auditory/Oral Mode of Communication

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the development of speech and verbal language through the maximized use of residual hearing. An Auditory/Oral approach allows for visual cues, typically speechreading. An Auditory/Verbal approach focuses specifically on residual hearing and would not encourage relying upon visual cues.

Audition

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the act or sense of hearing.

Audiology

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The identification of students who are deaf and hard of hearing, and the delivery of services provided by an audiologist.

Audiogram

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This is a graph used to designate the student’s response to sound. Symbols are used to plot an individual’s ability to hear pitch and loudness of tones and environmental sounds, and to comprehend spoken language.

AT or Assistive Technology

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Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of students with disabilities.

AT Interventions

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This refers to the use of assistive technology to provide access to reading, writing, and other instructional areas.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology Expo

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The Assistive Technology Expo is an annual PaTTAN-sponsored event that is held at various locations throughout Pennsylvania, usually in late fall. At the Expo, there is a wide variety of assistive technology on display, and manufacturers provide presentations and answer questions about their equipment.

Assistive Technology (AT)

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Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of students with disabilities.

Assistive Listening Devices

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any and all types of devices that increase the sound and aid in the understanding of speech. These devices may include personal hearing aids, frequency modulation (FM) systems, induction loop systems, infrared, special inputs for telephone or television and amplified alarms and signals.

Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS)

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A curriculum-based assessment, tracking system, and curriculum guide that is based on the analysis of verbal behavior. A scope of skills to assess and teach students who have severe communication and other important skill deficits.

Assessment Anchors

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The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) developed the Assessment Anchors for grades 3 through 8 and 11. Assessment Anchors focus, or anchor, the Pennsylvania Academic Standards into more manageable units. The Assessment Anchors include eligible content, which identifies how deeply teachers must cover given content for mastery and success on the PSSA.

Assessment

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Collecting and analyzing information to make judgments about the learning progress of individuals or groups; also, techniques, devices, or instruments used to collect evidence, ranging from formal and standardized to criterion referenced to alternative to informal. Another word for test. Under No Child Left Behind, tests are aligned with academic standards. Beginning in the 2002-03 school year, schools were required to administer tests in each of three grade spans: grades 3-5, grades 6-9, and grades 10-12 in all schools. Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, tests must be administered every year in grades 3 through 8 in math and reading. Beginning in the 2007-08 school year, science achievement will also be tested.

Articulation

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The movement of mouth, lips, tongue, and voice mechanism to produce speech sounds. Poor articulation may be due to the improper movement of lips, tongue, or other articulators. Articulation also refers to the clarity of sounds in speech.

Apraxia

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Verbal apraxia is a motor speech disorder characterized by difficulty with sequencing and organizing motor or muscle movements, specifically for the production of speech. It may also be described as the impaired ability to motor-plan. Muscle weakness is not associated with apraxia. Apraxia is different from a traditional articulation problem.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

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The science and discipline devoted to understanding and improving human behavior by applying basic behavioral principles to learning and teaching.

Aphasia

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Childhood or developmental aphasia is a disorder characterized by difficulty learning language in the absence of a cognitive deficit, sensory and physical deficits, severe emotional disturbances, environmental factors, or brain damage.

Antecedent

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Any event that precedes a behavior (e.g., teacher tells the student to do his or her work).

American Sign Language Interpretation

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the process of a third party (interpreter)facilitating communication between persons who are hearing and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing by providing an interpretation of communication while working between spoken English and American Sign Language.

American Sign Language (ASL)

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A visual-gestural language produced on the hands, face, and body. It is not derived from spoken language and it differs from English in vocabulary, grammar, and inflection. Non-manual markers, such as use of space, facial expression, body movement, body posture, directionality, and rate of sign, contribute to the meaning of the message. ASL is used in the United States and in some parts of Canada.

American Printing House for the Blind (APH)

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The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is a nonprofit organization that creates educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are visually impaired.

Alternative Augmentative Communication

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Any device, system, or method that improves the ability of a student with communication impairment to communicate effectively.

Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)

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AACs are any device, system or method that improves the ability of a student with communication impairment to communicate effectively.

Alphabetic Principle/Phonics

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The basic concept that letters represent segments of speech. Students are taught letter names, the relationships between letters and sounds, an understanding that these relationships are systematic and predictable, and the use of these relationships to read and write words.

Allocated Time

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The total time in the school day or school year.

Aimline

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A goal line based on expected rate of progress that is created by drawing a line from the baseline to the target.

Age of Beginners

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The minimum age established by the school district for admission to the district’s first grade.

Administrator's Actions

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The administrator’s actions are descriptions of the actions (cues) performed by the assessor for each task as they administer the PASA.

Adequate

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meeting requirements; sufficient or suitable

Adaptive Pointing Devices

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Adapted mice, track balls, and joysticks represent input devices that require two actions: cursor movement and a click. Some products use a separate switch to act as the click to prevent accidental activation. In some products, a pause can be used in place of a click. Additional input devices include the use of a camera to track the user’s eye movements or to track a specific target. Touch screens can also replace the mouse for cursor control.

Adaptive Keyboards

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These are alternative keyboards that allow students who experience difficulty with conventional keyboard configurations to use computers. These products are available in different sizes and layouts. They can often be purchased with a key guard to prevent accidental key activation.

Act to Provide Books for the Adult Blind

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An Act to Provide Books for the Adult Blind is Public Law 89-522, often referred to as Pratt-Smoot Act of 1931. it established the Division for the Blind of the Library of Congress (now known as the National Library Service or NLS).

Act 212

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The Early Intervention Services System Act of 1990 that provides for early intervention services for eligible young children in Pennsylvania.

Act 126

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A state law that allows for comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment information to be provided to the Juvenile Probation Office (JPO) and Office of Children and Youth (OCY) if certain conditions exist. Informed consent or a good cause court order must be provided, along with a court order showing adjudicated or alleged adjudicated status, to access this information. This act facilitates collaborative planning for families at risk of losing their children permanently, and overrides strict drug and alcohol confidentiality laws when invoked.

Accommodations

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Accommodations are adaptations to a task that do not change what is assessed and do not alter the difficulty level of the math- or reading-related components. Each accommodation is based on the specific needs of the student. Occasionally, an accommodation is implemented on a group basis.

ACCESS Program

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A program under the direction of PDE, in which school districts who provide medical related services to Medicaid-eligible students with disabilities as part of the students’ IEPs are reimbursed for a portion of their expenditures. For more information, contact your intermediate unit or www.leaderservices.com.

Accessible Media Producer (AMP)

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AMPs are companies or agencies that create fully-accessible specialized, student-ready formats, including braille, enlarged print, audio, and digital formats.

Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

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AIM are specialized formats of curricular content. These textbook or other core instructional materials may be rendered in braille, audio, digital, or enlarged print format.

BSE

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Bureau of Special Education

Brain Stem

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The region at the base of the brain that connects the brain to the spinal cord. That is where breathing, heart beat, and being awake and alert are controlled.

Brain Injury

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There are two types of brain injuries. Non-traumatic brain injury results when the supply of blood or oxygen to the brain is interrupted for reasons other than trauma, such as brain tumors, strokes, infections, near drowning, and some neurological disorders. In traumatic brain injury (TBI), the blood or oxygen disruption results from injuries such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports accidents, assaults, and gunshot wounds to the head.

Braillewriter

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A machine used for embossing Braille.

Braille: Uncontracted and Contracted

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Braille is a system of reading and writing that uses raised dots. The braille code used for writing regular text in books, magazines, school reports, and letters is known as literary braille. Literary braille can be contracted or uncontracted. In addition to literary braille, there are other codes that allow individuals who are blind to write many other things, from math problems to music notes to computer notation. Uncontracted braille, which replaces the term grade 1 braille, represents words in braille code in a letter for letter correspondence, just as in print. Contracted braille, which replaces the term grade 2 braille, is shorthand for words and part-words.

Braille Literacy:

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A student’s proficiency in using Braille to accomplish reading and writing tasks.

Braille Embosser

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A computer printer that embosses Braille by using software to convert from print to Braille.

Braille

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A system of raised dots that enable blind students to read and write.

Bookshare

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Bookshare is an online library that provides accessible books and periodicals to individuals with print disabilities.

Blindness

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The inability to see; the absence or severe reduction of vision.

Bilingual Education

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An educational program in which two languages are used to provide content matter instruction.

Benchmarks

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Specified levels of achievement, for expectations for educational outcomes that provide a basis for measuring learning outcomesCollecting and analyzing data to investigate what’s been achieved in a program

Benchmarking

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Continuous, systematic process for evaluating programs, services, or work processes of programs for the purpose of improvement

Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS)

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Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services, also known as wraparound services or Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) are community mental health services that are prescribed by a doctor and may be provided in the home or school setting. This service is funded through insurance based on Medical Necessity Criteria (MNC) and requires that an individual is Medical Assistance eligible. Different types of wraparound services can be provided simultaneously; including a Behavior Specialist Consultant (BSC), Mobile Therapy (MT), and Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS). Either an MT or a BSC must supervise a TSS.

Behavior

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An observable and measurable act by an individual (e.g., student screams).

BEC

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Basic Education Circular

Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)

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BICS is often referred to as playground English or survival English. It is the basic language ability required for face-to-face communication where linguistic interactions are embedded in a situational context. This language, which is highly contextualized and often accompanied by gestures, is relatively undemanding cognitively and relies on the context to aid understanding. BICS is much more easily and quickly acquired than CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency), but is not sufficient to meet the cognitive and linguistic demands of an academic classroom.ᅠ

Basic Education Circular (BEC)

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Policy briefs issued by Pennsylvania’s Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.ᅠBECs can be accessed on the PDE website.

Baseline

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A student’s present level of performance on a particular skill, established using a student’s median (middle) score across three probes on instructional level material.

Cued Speech (Language) transliteration

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the process of a third party (transliterator) facilitating communication between persons who are hearing and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing by providing a transliteration of the communication by working between spoken English and Cued Speech.

Cued Speech (Language)

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A speech reading and speech production system that uses eight hand shapes in four locations near the face to represent phonemes (sounds) that are not visible on the mouth and phonemes that look like one another on the mouth. Combinations of hand shapes and locations are synchronized with natural speech movements to make spoken language visible and understandable.

Criterion-Referenced

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There are four levels of achievement recognized by the Department of Education. They are Advanced, Proficient, Basic, and Below basic. ADVANCED – The Advanced Level reflects superior academic performance. Advanced work indicates an in-depth understanding and exemplary display of the skills included in the Pennsylvania Academic Content Standards. PROFICIENT – The Proficient Level reflects satisfactory academic performance. Proficient work indicates a solid understanding and adequate display of the skills included in the Pennsylvania Academic Content Standards. BASIC – The Basic Level reflects marginal academic performance. Basic work indicates a partial understanding and limited display of the skills included in the Pennsylvania Academic Content Standards. This work is approaching satisfactory performance. There is a need for additional instructional opportunities and/or increased student academic commitment to achieve the Proficient Level. BELOW BASIC – The Below Basic Level reflects inadequate academic performance. Below Basic work indicates little understanding and minimal display of the skills included in the Pennsylvania Academic Content Standards. There is a major need for additional instructional opportunities and/or increased student academic commitment to achieve the Proficient Level.

C-Print

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printed text of spoken English displayed in real time similar to open captioning. It is an effective means of acquiring information for some individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. C-Print provides a text of spoken information that is meaning – for – meaning rather than a verbatim translation.

Courses of Study

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A list of the courses and other educational activities that the student will be involved in prior to graduation which support his desired post-school outcomes.

Counseling Services

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Services provided by qualified social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, or other qualified personnel. See Psychological Counseling as a Related Service.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

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CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for students with disabilities. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, and provides professional development.

Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)

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The brain’s inability to process the visual formation sent to it from the eyes through the visual pathways.

Core Program

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The primary instructional tool that teachers use to teach students to read or become proficient in math and to ensure that students reach levels that meet or exceed grade level standards. It should address the instructional needs of the majority of students in the school or district. ᅠ Reviews of research are available at http://reading.uoregon.edu/curricula/index.php and http://www.fcrr.org/FCRRReports/CReports.aspx?rep=core. ᅠ Core programs are the initial tool to guide high quality instruction in the classroom.

Core Instructional Materials

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Core instructional materials are print textbooks and related print core materials published with the texts that are written and published primarily for use in elementary and secondary school instruction and required by the LEA for use by students in the classroom.

Contractures

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Permanent shortening (as of muscle, tendon, or scar tissue) producing deformity or distortion.

Contracted Braille

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Braille consists of a standard alphabet and hundreds of abbreviations and contractions. Using such symbols creates contracted Braille, saving approximately 20% of the space of non-contracted Braille. This term is replacing the old terms Grade 2 or Grade II Braille.

Consequence

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Any event that follows a behavior (e.g., student gets out of doing work or student must complete work during recess).

Congenital Dislocation of the Hip

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Generally includes subluxation of the femoral head, and complete dislocation of the femoral head from the true acetabulum. This condition occurs in approximately one in 1,000 live births and is more common in females than in males.

Concussion (mild TBI)

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An injury that commonly results from a blow to the head or from sudden deceleration. It usually causes an altered mental state, either temporary or prolonged. Often used by the public to refer to a brief loss of consciousness.

Computer Access

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This means the ability to operate a computer by using a standard keyboard or an adapted input method.

Comprehension

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The process of constructing meaning from written text. It includes such skills as: activating prior knowledge, literal understanding of what is read, sequencing, summarizing, making inferences, predicting, and making connections between new and unknown information.

Compliance Monitoring for Continuous Improvement (CMCI)

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The Bureau of Special Education’s monitoring system of school districts and charter schools. It is based on Federal requirements to ensure quality educational programs for students with disabilities.

Competent Authority

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Student eligibility for specialized formats of copyrighted materials must be documented by a competent authority, which legislation defines as follows: In cases of blindness, visual disability, or physical limitations competent authority is defined to include doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists, professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (e.g., social workers, case workers, counselors, rehabilitation teachers, and superintendents). In the case of reading disability from organic dysfunction, competent authority is defined as doctors of medicine who may consult with colleagues in associated disciplines.

Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) Host Home

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This is a residential mental health service (also known as Therapeutic Foster/Family Care) that provides mental health support in a family environment and must be prescribed by a doctor. Children may or may not be in the custody of the Office of Children and Youth or Juvenile Probation Office. This service is funded through insurance based on Medical Necessity Criteria (MNC) and requires that an individual is Medical Assistance eligible.

Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) Group Home

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This is a residential mental health service that must be prescribed by a doctor. Children may or may not be in the custody of the Office of Children and Youth or Juvenile Probation Office. This service is funded through insurance based on Medical Necessity Criteria (MNC) and requires that an individual is Medical Assistance eligible. It provides mental health support in a group home environment, with professionally trained staff available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Accessibility to this program is extremely limited.

Community-referenced Instruction

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Information and training conducted within the classroom that is related to situations, issues, and settings outside the school building.

Community of Practice

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Students, families, school-age services and program providers, post-school services and program providers, and local community members who share an interest and passion about secondary transition, and who deepen their understanding and knowledge of post secondary outcomes by interacting on an ongoing basis.

Community-based Instruction

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Regularly scheduled educational experiences conducted outside the school setting.

Community Agency

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A service provider offering programs such as vocational rehabilitation, mental health, mental retardation, and housing to community residents.

Communication Mode

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is HOW a person expresses and receives communication. Examples include speaking, signing, gesturing, writing, etc. The method of communication being employed in the environment of the deaf or hard of hearing child

Communication Board

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A picture or alphabet display; a visual representation that may include photographs or symbols.

Coma

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This is a deep, sustained unconsciousness that results from the brain damage. The eyes remain closed and the patient cannot be aroused.

Cognitive Impairmen

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Difficulty with one or more of the basic functions of the brain, including perception, memory, thinking, attention, and reasoning skills.

Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)

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CALP is the language ability required for academic achievement in a context-reduced environment. Examples of context-reduced environmentsᅠinclude classroom lectures and textbook reading assignments. CALP is distinguished from Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS).

Cochlear Implant Monitoring

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is follow-up on a continual basis to insure that the cochlear implant is performing correctly and that the child is receiving the intended benefit.

Cochlear implant

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An electronic device that is implanted into the inner ear to provide electrical stimulation to the cochlea to enable perception of sounds.

Club Foot

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A malformation of the foot; in most cases the cause is unknown.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

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An optical device that consists of a camera, lenses, and a monitor, which electronically enlarges print, pictures, and objects.

Clinical Low Vision Assessment

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Evaluation to determine whether a student with low vision can benefit from optical devices, nonoptical devices, or adaptive techniques to enhance visual function.

Classroom Plus

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ClassroomPlus is an additional tutoring option for parents of K-9 students who are below proficient in reading and math. Parents are provided with a certificate of up to $500 to cover tutoring services. Children in kindergarten through ninth grade are eligible to participate in the program if they score at the basic level or below-basic level on the PSSA or in the bottom half of state-approved tests.

Cerebral Palsy

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A disability resulting from damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth and outwardly manifested by muscular incoordination and speech disturbances.

Cerebellum

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The bottom of the brain. This is the area involved in muscle coordination, motor learning, balance, and fine motor movements of the body.

Central Auditory Processing

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Central auditory processing involves the analysis of sound, which occurs in the brain (i.e., beyond the inner ear). Children with central auditory processing problems typically have normal hearing.

CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation)

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the simultaneous verbatim translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and real time software, which displays the text on a laptop computer, monitor or screen. CART service is often provided in classroom settings for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Career Assessment

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A process, beginning as early as elementary school and continuing through adulthood, that assists a student in developing educational plans to acquire skills related to employment.

Captioned Media

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includes filmstrips, films, videos, etc..that have the spoken word or the visual intent of the media represented by written language displayed on the screen as it is occurring.

Call Tag

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The UPS return notification and mailing label used to retrieve an Short Term Loan kit and ship it back to PaTTAN.

Dyslexia

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A specific language disorder characterized by difficulties in single word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities. These difficulties are often unexpected in relation to age and other cognitive and academic abilities. They are not the result of generalized developmental disability or sensory impairment.

Dysarthria

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Errors in producing speech sounds, possibly because of muscle paralysis, muscle weakness, or poor co-ordination. The result may be distorted, substituted or omitted sounds, and typically involves more than a sound or two being in error.

Dynamic Display Scanning

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A communication aid or computer display that changes after each selection and branches to additional communication selections.

DPW

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Department of Public Welfare, the agency responsible for provision of early interventions services from birth to three years of age.

Discrepant/Discrepancy

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The comparison of an individual’s performance at a point of time to the performance of peers or other established standards at that same point in time. Given equal or enhanced opportunities, the student’s current level of performance is significantly different than typical peers or identified standards.

Direct Selection

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This is an access method in which the user indicates choices and makes selections by pointing with a body part or a technology tool.

Direct Instruction (D/HH)

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when instruction is delivered, received, and reciprocated by the teacher using the primary language of the learner who is Deaf/HH without the need of a third party (interpreter/transliterator) or medium (captioning).

Direct Instruction

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Involves the organization of curricular content using modeling, scaffolding (providing strong support initially gradually reduced as the student gains independence), repetition, and frequent assessment taught through well-structured, briskly paced lessons with immediate error correction.

Direct Communication

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in the field of deaf education, it is communication that occurs without an interpreter or transliterator.

Digitized Speech

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This is digitally stored human voices speaking actual words and sentences.

Digital Rights Management

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Digital rights management refers to systems that are used to protect the copyrights of electronic media.

Digital Accessible Information SYstem (DAISY)

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DAISY is a standard for the production of print materials in an accessible digital format. It is a universal format for publishing and reading Digital Talking Books.

Differentiated Instruction

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Proactively planning and providing alterations to curriculum, instruction and assessment that recognize students’ varying background knowledge, readiness, language, preferences in learning, and interests. Differentiated instruction is a process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process. http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstruc.html

Device

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A frequently used term for any assistive technology item

Developmental Delay

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Development behind other children of the same age in achieving cognitive, adaptive, physical, communication, and social skills.

Developmental Delay

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The situation where development is delayed compared with age peers. A learning disorder characterized by seriously impaired cognitive, communication, motor, social/emotional, or self-help development.

Degree of Hearing Loss

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This refers to the classification of ranges of hearing acuity. Categories include: Normal = 0dB – 15dB; Mild = 16dB – 40dB; Moderate = 41dB – 60dB; Severe = 61dB – 80dB; Profound = 81dB or greater.

Decoding and Word Recognition

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The ability to recognize words accurately, fluently, and independently is fundamental to reading in an alphabetic writing system. For kindergarten students, critical skills include learning to associate sounds with letters, using those associations to decode and read simple words, and learning to recognize important non-decodable words.

Deaf/Blind Interpreting

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the act of describing an environment in addition to relaying salient information to and from the deaf/blind student. This service is delivered in a manner most comfortable to the student and can included visual frame signing, close vision signing, tracking, tactile signing, tactile finger spelling or short cut signs.

DCPM

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Digits correct per minute

Data Analysis Teaming

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The use of grade level or student level teams to analyze student data and set grade-wide or student specific targets. ᅠ These teams monitor screening and progress monitoring data and may orchestrate student movement through tiers of intervention.

Expressive Language

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Language expression through speech, but it also includes gestures, sign language, use of a communication board, speech generating device, and other forms of expression.

Explicit Instruction

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Carefully designed activities and materials providing structure and supports to enable all students to make sense of new information and concepts. It includes providing students with many examples to illustrate a concept or strategy, utilizing multi-sensory techniques, modeling proficient performance expectations and thought processes, monitoring understanding, providing corrective feedback, and teaching to mastery.

Exit Criteria

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Criteria that determine when a child is no longer eligible for early intervention services. Eligibility ends when any of the following conditions are met: 1. The child has reached the age of beginner; 2. The child has functioned within the range of normal development for four months, with an IEP, and as verified by the IEP team; 3. The parent or guardian withdraws the child from early intervention for other reasons.

Executive Functions

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The higher-level functions, including planning, prioritizing, sequencing, self-monitoring, self-correcting, inhibiting, initiating, controlling, or altering behavior.

Evaluation Report (ER)

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A report that summarizes the findings of the multidisciplinary evaluation and includes a determination of eligibility for early intervention services, as well as recommendations for supports if the child is found eligible.

Evaluation

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Process of collecting and analyzing data on various aspects of a program, usually for the purpose of program planning and goal setting, securing funding, improving processes and outcomes and allocating resources. Includes formative and summative evaluation

Establishing Operation (Motivation)

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An event that serves to either increase or decrease the effectiveness of a reinforcer for a student (e.g., thirst, hunger, desire to read a book, desire to get out of doing work, or desire for attention).

Environmental Control Unit

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These are hardware and software systems that allow meaningful and purposeful interaction with the environment. These devices may include switch-activated toys and remote devices that control lights, small and large appliances, open windows and doors, etc.

English Transliteration

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a form of interpreting in which the language base remains the same (e.g. the transliteration of spoken English to a signed English system or to a form which can be read on the lips).

English Language Learners (ELLs)

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ELLs are students whose first language is not English and who are in the process of learning English. (See also LEP.) In Pennsylvania, a three-question Home Language Survey is used to identify those students who may be in need of ESL instruction. A yes answer to one or more questions means the student is given an assessment to determine the language services he or she may need. If identified as needing ESL instruction, the student may receive services in an ESL or bilingual program.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

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English as a Second Language (ESL) is an educational approach in which English Language Learners (ELLs) are instructed in the use of the English language. Their instruction is based on a special curriculum that involves little or no use of the English language, focuses on language (as opposed to content), and is usually taught during specific school periods. For the rest of the school day, students remain in general education classrooms, an immersion program, or a bilingual program. Every bilingual education program has an ESL component. The acronym ESOL can sometimes be used instead of ESL. ESOL stands for English for speakers of other languages.

Engaged Time

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The time actually spent in learning activities; sometimes called time-on-task.

Embedded Skills

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Embedded skills are general descriptions of the literacy and numeric skills assessed in each task.

Electronic Magnification Systems

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Machines that produce enlarged images, including closed-circuit televisions, computer systems, and low vision enhancement devices.

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

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A non-invasive procedure in which electrodes are applied to the scalp to record the electrical waves of the brain. It is used to detect seizure activity, hematoma, tumor, or ventricle problems.

Effective Instruction

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Research-based effective teaching principles include: active engagement of students, high success rates, increased content coverage, direct instruction by a teacher, carefully scaffolded instruction, instruction that addresses the critical forms of knowledge, instruction assisting in the organizing, storing, and retrieving of information, strategic instruction, explicit instruction, and instruction that teaches sameness across subjects.

Educational Interpreter

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A professional member of an educational team who facilitates communication between deaf and hearing students within a school environment.

Educational Coordinator

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A liaison between the interdisciplinary healthcare team, including the family, and the school community.

Educational Assistance Program (EAP)

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The EAP is a program for the school districts with the most severe academic challenges. These are the districts with at least one building that did not make school-wide Adequate Yearly Progress targets in reading or math.

Echoic

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Repeating exactly what someone else says. Example: The speaker says cat and the listener repeats the word cat.

Early Intervention

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A collection of services and/or supports for eligible children from birth to the age of beginners, designed to provide stimulation and education.

Early identification and assessment of disabilities in children

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Refers to the implementation of a formal plan for identifying a disability as early as possible in a child’s life.

Functional Vocational Assessment

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An evaluation that provides information about job or career interests, aptitudes, and skills. It can be a combination of standardized and performance-based measures and should indicate what a student can do and can learn, and should be performed in a natural setting.

Functional Vision Assessment:

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An assessment of a student’s use of vision in a variety of tasks and settings, including measures of near and distance vision, visual fields, eye movements, and responses to specific environmental characteristics, such as light and color. The assessment report includes recommendations for instructional procedures, modifications or adaptations, and additional tests.

Functional vision:

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The ability to use vision in planning and performing a task.

Functional Blindness

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A condition in which some useful vision may or may not be present. In such cases, individuals use tactile and auditory channels most effectively for learning.

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

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An analysis of challenging behaviors designed to determine what human or environment factors are causing the behavior to occur and continue, and can be used to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of behavior intervention plans.

Full Inclusion

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Full inclusion is used by some to mean the inclusion of a student with a disability in every academic and non-academic activity in a regular classroom, without exception. ᅠ Such an inflexible approach, however, limits the educational opportunities available for individual students. ᅠ This approach denies a child their right to accessing the continuum of placements, deemed appropriate by the IEP team.

Frontal Lobe

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The front part of the brain. This is the area involved in movement, planning, reasoning, organizing, problem solving, learning new information, speaking fluently, and personality.

Foster Care

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Foster Family Care is temporary care for children who are unable to remain in their own homes and are placed in the custody of the county children and youth agency by the courts. Children often live with foster parents during this time. Foster parents are individuals who are committed to providing a safe, temporary home for children who have been abused and neglected and are unable to remain living in their own homes. Both public and private foster family care agencies recruit foster parents to provide these services for children.

Formative Evaluations

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Collecting and analyzing data to focus on what’s working and what needs to be improved

FM system

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an assistive listening device that transmits the speaker’s voice via a microphone to an electronic receiver in which the sound is amplified and transmitted to the student’s personal hearing aid or cochlear implant through direct audio input or through a loop cord worn around the neck. This reduces the problems of background noise interference and distance from speaker.

Fluency with connected text

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The ability to read connected text with accuracy, speed, and appropriate intonation such that little conscious attention is directed to the process of decoding. Fundamental skills are so automatic that the reader is able to focus attention on the meaning/message of the text. Fluent oral reading includes appropriate pausing and expression, sounding much like conversational speech.

Fluency

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The ability to perform a task rapidly, smoothly, and automatically with little conscious attention to the mechanics.

Fluency

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The smooth, uninterrupted, effortless flow of speech; speech that is not hindered by excessive dysfluencies; associated with stuttering.

Finger Spelling

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Finger spelling refers to the use of manual letters to spell proper nouns and words for which there are no sign language representations. Every letter of the alphabet has a manual representation or handshape.

Fine Motor Control

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Delicate and intricate movements, as in writing or playing a piano.

Fee-for-Service (FFS)

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Fee-for-service is a health insurance plan that allows the plan holder to make almost all health care decisions independently. The plan holder pays for a service, submits a claim to the insurance company, and, if the service is covered in the policy, receives reimbursement. Fee-for-service plans often have higher deductibles or co-pay than managed care plans.

Federal Quota Act

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The Federal Quota Act promotes the education of the blind by providing funds for adapted educational materials for eligible students who meet the definition of blindness.

FAPE

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Free Appropriate Public Education

Family Based Services (FBS)

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Family Based Services are a time-limited, intensive, in-home mental health service prescribed by a doctor. This service is funded through insurance based on Medical Necessity Criteria (MNC) and requires that an individual is Medical Assistance eligible. A team of two masters-level therapists provides intensive intervention from family-systems perspective (improving child and family well-being). Case management, respite, and 24 hour emergency on-call services are included in this service.

Family Assessment

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A voluntary family-directed process in which service coordinators help families identify: Resources, priorities, and concerns related to the developmental needs of their infant or toddler; The supports and services that will effectively address these issues.

Fading

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A procedure by which a prompt is introduced, then the prompt is slowly removed to allow the student to respond independently. This is a critical part of teaching students to learn without prompts.

Guided Practice

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The second step in the direct instruction model. Students are provided opportunities to grasp new learning under the direction or guidance of the teacher.

Group Home

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A home or institutional/campus setting, provided by Office of Children and Youth (OCY) or Juvenile Probation Office (JPO), where several children in need of a home can live. All OCY placements are for abuse or neglect, though some settings allow for Juvenile Probation Office (JPO) involved children who are Adjudicated Delinquent and/or Dependent. Mental health support is rarely provided and placement occurs by court order.

Group Contingencies

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Reinforcement delivered to a group based on the behavior of either an individual, a segment of the group, or the whole group.

Gross Motor Control

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Large, strong movements, as in walking.

Grammar

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Systems and rules to describe the structure of language, such as word order in sentences, and grammatical markers such as plurals, verb tenses, and pronouns.

Goals and Outcomes

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Functional and measurable target areas of development written by the IFSP or IEP team.

Gestures

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movements of any part of the body to express or emphasize an idea, an emotion or a function. Not part of a formal communication system.

High Tech

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This refers to alternative and augmentative communication systems that contain computer components and allow for programming, storage, and retrieval of information.

Hearing Aid Monitoring

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checking the hearing aid on a continual basis to determine that it is functioning properly.

intermediate unit

ISBN (International Standard Book Number)

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The ISBN is a machine-readable number which uniquely identifies any book.

Intraverbal

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This term is commonly known as conversational language. The speaker says something different from the listener. An example is: Speaker: What did you eat for breakfast? Listener: I ate fruit and oatmeal, and I also had some coffee. No visual cues to prompt the listener’s response; they are recalling the response from their previous learning.

Intervention

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An instructional adjustment implemented when a student is not progressing at the expected rate.

Interpreting/Interpreter

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The process of changing a message from one language to another, making appropriate grammatical and cultural adjustments to maintain message equivalence, in order to convey the message from one person to another through an intermediary, the interpreter.

Interagency Collaboration

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A process among several agencies in a given community that involves the co-planning of service delivery and the shared responsibility for the services provided for students with disabilities.

Interagency Agreement

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A formal written understanding among agencies regarding their shared responsibilities for providing information and services.

Integration

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Integration of students with disabilities into regular education classes implies the physical mixing or mingling of students with and without disabilities. Not included in this term is the component of belonging, which is critical in inclusion.

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

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The written plan describing services that will be provided to the eligible infant or toddler and his or her family, as well as the expected outcomes. The IFSP is developed at least annually by a team that includes parents, a service coordinator, evaluators, and service providers.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

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An individualized education program (IEP) is a written agreement for each child with a disability that describes the students special educational program. Each IEP is a legal document that spells out, among other things, the special education services, as well as activities and supports each student will receive.ᅠ

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

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A written plan for the provision of appropriate early intervention services to an eligible young child, including services to enable the family to enhance their child’s development. It is based on and responsive to the evaluation. The IEP identifies the child’s educational levels, learning strengths and needs, annual goals and objectives, specially designed instruction and the special education and related services necessary to support the child’s learning and development.

Individual Difference-Relationship Intervention (or

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Strategies and techniques to help students become socially engaged, related, and reciprocal communicators. Usually begins by playing with a student and following their motivation and lead.

Inclusion

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Inclusion is a term describing the education of students with disabilities, including those with the most cognitive impairments, in general classroom settings. It implies more than mere physical proximity between students with and without disabilities.ᅠIndeed, the term meansᅠfull participation and equality as part of a group, leading to a sense of belonging within the classroom and community at large. It means that a student is truly a member of, not merely a visitor to, the class or group.ᅠ However, inclusion does not necessarily mean that a student never leaves the class or the group of students of which he or she is a part.

IFSP/IEP

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A written plan for the provision of appropriate Early Intervention services to an eligible infant, toddler or young child, including services to enable the family to enhance their child’s development. It is based on andᅠresponsive to the evaluation. The IFSP/IEP identifies the child’s unique strengths and needs and the familys concerns and priorities for their child.ᅠ The plan includes outcomes/goals, specially designed instruction and the supports and services necessary to support the child’s learning and development.ᅠ The IFSP/IEP also includes a written plan for transitions as the child approaches age three and kindergarten.

IDEA '97

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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended in 1997

IDEA

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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is the federal law that provides for special education and early intervention services for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children.

Job Coach

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A professional or paraprofessional who provides individual or group assistance to a student in job placement, travel training, and skill training at a job site. The job coach frequently provides assessment information to the student’s IEP team.

LRE

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least restrictive environment

Low Vision Device

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A type of optical or non-optical device used to enhance the visual capability of students with visual impairments. Low vision devices range from bold-line felt-tip markers to magnifiers and telescopes and can be for near, intermediate and distance tasks.

Low Tech

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This refers to communication systems that are not based on computer components.

Local Transition Coordinating Council

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An interagency group consisting of school districts, intermediate units, community service providers, parents, and others. The council addresses the current transition needs of the students with disabilities to prepare the student for post-school activities, and to assure community supports for those activities.

Local Interagency Transition Planning:

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Collaboration among various community service providers and local school districts to address the needs of students with disabilities.

Local Education Agency (LEA)

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LEA means a public board of education that provides administrative control and direction for public elementary and/or secondary schools. LEAs can be school districts, intermediate units or charter schools.

Local Education Agency

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A term for a public organization – such as a school district, charter school, or intermediate unit – that serves students with disabilities

Listening Comprehension and Vocabulary Development

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The ability to listen to stories, answer questions, sequence events, learn new vocabulary, and retell information heard is the foundation of reading comprehension. Because many kindergarten students cannot yet read stories, it is important that they have frequent and rich opportunities to listen to and discuss stories and informational text. This will extend their comprehension and vocabulary knowledge.

Limited English Proficient (LEP)

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LEP is the term used by the federal government, most states, and local school districts to identify those students who are acquiring the English language skills needed to succeed in English-only classrooms. Increasingly, the terms English language learner (ELL) or English learner (EL) are used in place of LEP

LICC

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The Local Interagency Coordinating Council is made up of parents and professionals working together to coordinate and plan for early intervention services in the local community.

Least Restrictive Environment

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IDEA defines least restrictive environment as education provided to children, to the greatest extent appropriate, with their non-disabled peers. The rules about placement further encourage that students be placed in the general program in their neighborhood schools, unless it is not appropriate for meeting their individual needs.

Learning Media Assessment

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An examination of a student’s use of sensory information, need for general learning media, and specific literacy media.

Large Print

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Print that has been enlarged (to 14-18 point) from the size commonly found in magazines, newspapers and books (6-12 point) in order to improve readability.

Language Impairment/Disorder

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A disorder characterized by a problem in the understanding and/or use of oral or written language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) or nonverbally.

Language

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the systematic use of syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, phonological and morphological symbols for communication within a community by engaging in listening and speaking, and sometimes reading and writing.

Mutually Agreed Upon Written Agreement (MAWA)

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A written agreement between the PA Department of Education and a local intermediate unit or school district for the provision of early intervention services to eligible children age three to the age of beginners.

Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE)

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A comprehensive assessment conducted at least yearly that determines early intervention services eligibility. It describes the child’s strengths and needs, identifies the resources, priorities and concerns of the family, and recommends supports and services necessary to enhance the family’s capacity to meet the child’s developmental needs.

Motor Control

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Regulating the timing and amount of muscle contraction to produce smooth and coordinated movement.

Morphology

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How sounds and words are put together to form meaning. A morpheme is the smallest unit of language that has meaning.

Modifications

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Modifications are adaptations to a task that change what is assessed and alter the difficulty level of the math- or reading-related components.

Mobility

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The act or ability to safely move from one’s present position to one’s desired position in another part of the environment.

Mimetic

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This term is also known as motor imitation. A person makes the sign for apple and the other person imitates the exact sign for apple. Another example is one person claps their hands and the other person also claps their hands.

Mentoring

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An instructional process, usually one-to-one, that involves an individual with knowledge, expertise, or experience working with a student to transfer information and skills.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

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An MOU is a written statement detailing the preliminary understanding of parties who plan to enter into a contract of some other agreement. An MOU between the Pennsylvania Departments of Education, Labor and Industry, Public Welfare and Health has launched a cross agency effort around providing services to youth and young adults with disabilities that has gained national attention as a Community of Practice (CoP) on Secondary Transition. The members of the CoP who are representatives of ten offices within the four departments, meet on a regular basis to advance policy and practice around several issues impacting the successful adult outcomes for these youth. The team has jointly sponsored several cross agency projects including statewide conferences and employment expositions.

Medical Services

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Services provided by a licensed physician to determine a student’s medically related disability that results in identifying the student’s need for special education and related services.

Mechanical Skills

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The abilities necessary for efficient Braille reading, including finger dexterity and wrist flexibility, hand movement skills and finger positions, light finger touch, and tactile perceptions and discrimination skills.

MDT

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multidisciplinary team

MDE

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multidisciplinary evaluation

MAWA

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mutually agreed upon written arrangement

Manually Coded English (MCE)

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A sign communication system created for educational purposes by combining American Sign Language signs with invented signs for such concepts as prefixes and suffixes, and by placing signs in English word order to represent the grammatical structure of English.

Manifestation Determination

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A Manifestation Determination is an assessment, required by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 97), which is done when considering the exclusion of a student with a disability from school that constitutes a change of placement.

Mand

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The common term for a mand is request. The term mand implies the function (i.e., command, demand) of the word. A student requests or mands for an item or activity that they want. In other words, the student has a motivation for the item they want.

Mainstreaming

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An outdated term, mainstreaming, describes the placement of students with disabilities into regular education classrooms when they are deemed ready. Inherent in mainstreaming is the belief that a student needs to earn their way into a regular education setting. Typically, children who are mainstreamed receive the bulk of their education in a special education class and visit a general education class when they have attained the skills to function in a general education setting without supplemental supports or services.

Magnifier

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A device used to increase the size of an image through the use of lenses or lens systems. A magnifier may be used at any distance from the eye (e.g., stand type, hand held, or spectacle mounted).

Non-Contracted Braille or Un-Contracted Braille

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Braille consists of a standard alphabet and punctuation plus hundreds of abbreviations and contractions. When a document strictly uses the alphabet and punctuation, it is said to be in non-contracted or un-contracted form. This term is replacing the old terms Grade 1 or Grade I Braille.

Newcomer Program

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A program, most often at the middle and high school level, that addresses the specific needs of recent immigrant students, especially those with limited or interrupted schooling in their home countries. Major goals of newcomer programs are to acquire beginning English language skills along with core academic skills, and to acculturate to the U.S. school system. Some newcomer programs also include primary language development and an orientation to the student’s new community.

Nemeth Code

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A Braille code system designed for use in science and mathematics.

Natural Environment

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Refers to the everyday routines, activities, and places in the home and community where an infant or toddler grows and learns. It does not include specialized clinics or places children go because they have disabilities or medical needs.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)

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The National Library Service is a federal program that administers a free library program of braille and audio materials for qualified individuals with disabilities in the United States.

National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)

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NIMAS is a technical standard used by publishers to produce electronic files for conversion into specialized formats, such as braille, enlarged print, HTML versions, digital talking books using human voice recording or synthesized speech, audio files derived from text-to-speech transformations, and more. Because of an exemption to copyright law, publishers are allowed to deliver the electronic content of textbooks and related core materials (NIMAS files) to the NIMAC (National Instructional Materials Access Center).

National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC)

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The NIMAC is the national repository for NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) files. Only authorized users (AU) have direct access to the NIMAC to download NIMAS file sets or assign NIMAS file sets for download by an accessible media producer (AMP). Pennsylvania’s authorized user is the PaTTAN AIM Center.

Outcome

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A change that the family wants to see for their infant/toddler or themselves related to their child’s development.

occupational therapy

Orientation and Mobility Skills

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Systematic techniques utilizing the senses to establishᅠa position and relationship to all other significant objects inᅠthe environment and move about independently.

Orientation and Mobility Services

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Services provided to a student who is blind or visually impaired by qualified personnel to enable the student to attain systematic orientation to, and safe movement within, their environments in school, home, and community, and to increase skills in other areas.

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist

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A professional who specializes in teaching ntravel skills to persons who are visuall impaired including the use of canes, dog guides, sophisticated electronic traveling aids, as well as the sighted guide technique.

Orientation

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The knowledge of one’s distance and direction relative to things observed or remembered in one’s surroundings, and the ability to keep track of these spatial relationships as they change during locomotion.

Oral Transliterator

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An oral transliterator conveys information to deaf individuals in speech-readable English format, i.e., using natural lip movements supported by facial expression, natural gesture, and message rewording for clarity as needed, and who conveys information from deaf students and adults to their hearing counterparts in speech-readable English format using the same strategies and techniques.

Oral Reading Fluency (ORF)

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The number of words read correctly per minute.

Oral English (Oral Education)

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a philosophy of teaching deaf or hard of hearing individuals to make efficient use of residual hearing through early use of amplification, to develop speech and to use speechreading skills.

Operating System Accessibility

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The Microsoft and Apple operating systems have many features to make computer access easier. Accessibility options can be found in the control panel.

Onset of Hearing Loss

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The age of an individual at which hearing loss occurred. Two major classifications of this term are: 1. Congenital (at birth) or pre-lingual – Before the acquisition of speech and language; 2. Adventitious or post-lingual – After the development of speech and language

On Screen Keyboards

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A virtual or onscreen keyboard can provide text entry access for students with motor impairment. The keyboard displayed on the computer screen can be accessed using a pointing device. Therefore, a standard mouse or any alternative-pointing device can be used to make text selections right on the screen

ODR

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Office for Dispute Resolution

Occupational Therapy

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Services provided by a qualified, licensed occupational therapist that focus on preventing and improving the skill-deficits that affect all aspects of independent functional skills in students.

Occipital Lobe

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An area at the back of the brain that is involved in understanding what we see with our eyes.

Punishment

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A consequence that results in the decreasing the future occurrence of the behavior it follows. For example, a student must complete work during recess because he screamed, so he is less likely to scream next time, under the condition that he really wants to go to recess.

physical therapy

Psychological Services

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Includes a range of activities to support student behavior, learning and adjustment.

Prompts

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Prompts are cues given after the administrator’s actions that aid the student in performing the skills assessed within each task. When scoring, each additional prompt given after the Administrator’s Action is counted and the total number of prompts given affects the student’s score.

Prompting

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Assistance given by the teacher to promote correct responding that uses visual, physical, gestural, or verbal cues.

Progress Monitoring

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Progress Monitoring is the ongoing process of collecting and analyzing student data to determine progress toward either specific skills or general outcomes. This information allows for immediate instructional decisions based on the review and analysis of the collected data

Probe

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A valid, reliable, and standardized assessment used to monitor student progress. Probes used for progress monitoring should be time efficient, curriculum-independent, and sensitive to small increments of growth.

Print Disabilities

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Students with print disabilities under the Copyright Act as Amended are those who have been certified by a competent authority as unable to read printed materials because of blindness, visual impairment, physical limitations, or reading disabilities as the result of organic dysfunction.

Primary Language

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the first language acquired by a child, also known as mother tongue, home language, native language, first language, and heritage language.

Pragmatics

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The rules that govern and describe how language is used in different contexts and environments.

Post-school Outcomes

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A student’s projected life choices following high school. The IEP team should ensure that a student’s secondary educational program prepares the student to be successful after high school in the areas of employment, education/training, residential living, community participation, and recreation/leisure.

Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP)

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A plan that defines, in specific detail, what positive and proactive changes we will make to improve the focus person’s behavior.

Portable Word Processor

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These lightweight, inexpensive devices can be easily taken from class-to-class to provide access to word processing without a computer. Text can be downloaded to a computer or printed with a single cable. Some products also include organizational features such as those in personal digital assistants (PDAs).

Pivotal Response Training

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Teaching skills that have application to many situations, contexts, routines and environments.

Pidgin Sign(ed) English (PSE)

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Pidgin Sign English is a variety of sign communication that occurs when ASL users and English users interact with one another. PSE places ASL signs and features into an English word order so that the user can speak and sign simultaneously without the inclusion of Manually Coded English invented signs.

Physical Therapy

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Services provided by a qualified, licensed physical therapist that focus on preventing and improving muscular and motor skill deficits, and restoring the independent functional skills of students.

Physical Disabilities

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Physical disabilities are conditions that substantially limit an individual’s basic physical activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting, or carrying. For the purposes of this document, the term refers to students who, as a result of physical limitations, are unable to use standard printed materials.

Phonology

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The sound system of language, including the speech sounds, speech patterns, and rules that applies to those sounds.

Phonological Processing

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The ability to identify, manipulate, produce, and remember speech sounds.

Phonological Disorder

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Difficulty with the development of speech sounds and the rules for the sound system.

Phonics-Alphabetic Principle

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This is the understanding that speech is represented by word-segments, words, phrases and sentences. Understanding this letter and sound relationship is a prerequisite to effective word identification and the ability to sound out words.

Phonemic Awareness

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The ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in spoken language and the understanding that spoken words and syllables are made up of speech sounds (Yopp, 1992). Phonemic awareness is an auditory skill and does not involve print.

Performance Standards

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Benchmarks, or specified levels of achievement, for expectations for educational outcomes that provide a basis for measuring learning outcomes

Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System (PVAAS)

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Statistical analysis of students’ formal assessments, including PSSA and standardized assessments. PVAAS allows school personnel to know if students are making their required annual progress.

Pennsylvania State System of Assessment (PSSA)

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The annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student’s attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards. Every Pennsylvania student in grades five, eight, and eleven is assessed in reading, math and writing.

Pennsylvania Special Education Paraeducator Credential of Competency

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A credential offered by the Bureau of Special Education to paraeducators. It is based on ten standards identified by the Council for Exceptional Children as necessary for a special education paraeducator to know or be able to do in order to work effectively with students in special education programs. Paraeducators demonstrate to their supervisors that they have the skills and knowledge contained in the standards. The skills and knowledge are listed by standard on a checklist. The supervisor signs off on each standard and a completed checklist is sent to the Bureau of Special Education.

Pennsylvania Performance Index (PPI)

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A weighted formula designed to measure growth across all levels, not solely the proficient level, using each school’s baseline data. PPI provides for encouraging and rewarding changes across the full continuum of academic achievement, while moving toward the goal of 100% proficiency.

Pennsylvania Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP)

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A comprehensive mental health service system for children, adolescents and their families under the Department of Public Welfare. CASSP is an acronym for the Child and Adolescent Service System Program. CASSP helps children and adolescents with emotional disturbances to gain access to needed services. These services are planned collaboratively with the child’s or adolescent’s family, the mental health system, the school and other agencies. CASSP also gives technical assistance to provider agencies on state-of-the-art mental health services for children and adolescents, supports best practice and assists in communication among all those who serve children in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Accountability Block Grant (ABG)

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All 501 Pennsylvania school districts are eligible forᅠABG grants. The Accountability Block Grant provides Pennsylvania school districts with financial assistance to implement effective educational practices and initiatives to improve student achievement. The Block Grant is an exceptional opportunity for districts in that it supports in-depth implementation of improvement strategies and allows districts to select from a wide variety of programs to meet the specific learning needs of their students.

Penn Data

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Penn Data is the special education data system in Pennsylvania in which LEAs collect data at the student, building, and district levelᅠtwice a year to comply with federal and state requirements.

PDE

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The Pennsylvania Department of Education is the agency responsible for funding services for all students in Pennsylvania.

PaTTAN

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Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network

Part C

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The part of the Federal legislation signed in 1997 called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ’97) that addresses the provision of early intervention services for children from birth to age three.

Parietal Lobes

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These lobes are further back on both sides of the brain and are involved with sensory awareness, including awareness of what is being touched, seeing to the side, and distinguishing between left and right. Damage to these areas can affect the ability to read, write, and do mathematics.

Parent Counseling and Training

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Services to help parents understand the special needs of their child, child development sequences, and to develop skills that will allow them to support the implementation of their child’s IEP or IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan).

Paraeducator Development Plan

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There is a wide variety of experience and knowledge among paraeducators who are working in very different settings with different types of students. Paraeducators may have personal interest in certain topics or may be seeking ways to become a more effective member of their educational team. The Paraeducator Development Plan is a document for a paraeducator’s personal use that will help him or her develop personal strategies and an action plan for professional development.

Paraeducator

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A person who works with a professional educator to provide services for students inside or outside of the classroom. They may also be called a paraprofessional, teacher’s aide, classroom assistant, or teacher’s assistant.

Routines-Based Early Intervention

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A systematic approach to infant and toddler service delivery that is individualized to accommodate the child’s skills and preferences within daily routines. The focus of this approach is the interaction between caregiver and child within these daily routines.

RFFC (Receptive by Feature, Function, or Class)

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Following instructions to identify something by being given a description of the item. For example, the speaker says Show me the one with the tail and the listener points to a picture of a dog.

Residential Treatment Facility (RTF

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This is a residential mental health service that must be prescribed by a doctor. The service provides mental health support in a campus or community setting, with professionally trained staff available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Children may or may not be in the custody of the Office of Children and Youth. This service is funded through insurance based on Medical Necessity Criteria (MNC) and requires that an individual is Medical Assistance eligible.

Research Study

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A research study is a carefully planned series of activities that will result in data to help make decisions. Research is sanctioned by an entity that will stand by the processes and results of the findings. Confidentiality is always strictly maintained to protect the identity of the people (students) involved as the subjects of the study.

Reinforcement

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A consequence that results in maintaining or increasing the future occurrence of the behavior it follows. For example, a student’s screaming behavior allows her to get out of doing work, so she screams again next time she is asked to do work, under the condition that she doesn’t want to do work (negative reinforcement). Or, a student gets attention or praise from the teacher for completing his work, so he does the work next time, under the condition that he wants the teacher’s attention (positive reinforcement).

Rehabilitation Counseling Services

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Services for a student with a disability that focus specifically on career development, employment preparation, achieving independence, and integration in the workplace and community.

Refreshable Braille Display

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A computer controlled electronic device that translates information displayed on the computer screen into Braille in the form of electronically driven plastic pins that pop up to form Braille characters.

Refreshable Braille

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Refreshable braille is an electromechanical device that renders braille with tiny, independently controlled pins used to represent the state of dots in braille cells.

Recreation or Recreational Activities

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Includes support in leisure and recreation services.

Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D)

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Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) is an accessible audiobook library for students with disabilities.

Receptive Language

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The ability to understand or comprehend language.

Receptive

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Following instructions given by another person, or complying with someone’s mand or request. For example, the speaker says pick up the ball and the listener picks up the ball. There is no talking by the listener.

Reading Disabilities

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Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.

Systematic Instruction

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Instruction following a logical sequence of learning focused on the presentation of new skills based on previously mastered skills. Teaching from the known to the unknown and from easier to harder, with instruction driven by continuous assessment through progress monitoring.

Synthesized Speech

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Speech generated by a computer that sounds similar to the human voice.

Syntax

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The way words are put together in phrases or sentences to produce meaning.

Supplementary Aids and Services

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Supplementary aids and services means aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings, to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with ᄃ300.114 through ᄃ300.116. (34 CFR 300.42) The purpose of providing supplementary aids and services is to support students with disabilities as active participants with nondisabled peers as well as to enable their access to the general curriculum. ᅠ To that end, supplementary aids and services include modification to the general curriculum and [a child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modification in the general curriculum]. ᅠ (34 CFR 300.116 (e)) ᅠ

Supplemental Educational Services (SES)

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Supplemental Educational Services is the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirement for low income students in Title I Schools at School Improvement II. Tutoring is provided to low income students in Title I schools, as required for schools in their second year of school improvement under the No Child Left Behind act.

Stuttering

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An interruption in the smooth, easy flow of speech. Examples include repetitions, prolongations, interjections, and silent pauses.

Student with a 504 Plan /PA Chapter 15 (Protected Handicapped Students)

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A student who is not eligible for special education services, but who has a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in, or access to, an aspect of the student’s school program.

Strategic Instruction

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A cognitive, behavioral modification approach designed to teach students to use what they know efficiently when learning content.

STL or Short Term Loan

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A trial of assistive technology and/or resource materials provided by PaTTAN.

STL Kit

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A collection of assistive technology devices and/or resources packaged by PaTTAN for ease of use by the LEA.

STL

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Short Term Loan, PaTTAN‘s program for loaning assistive technology devices and materials for evaluation

Standards-based Transition Activities

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Those activities that, after examining the component skills involved, are then aligned with the appropriate academic standard. For example, having a student practice self-advocacy skills for a post-secondary education outcome would relate to the following reading, writing, speaking, and listening standards: 1.6.11A – Ask clarifying questions; 1.6.11 B – Summarize and reflect on what has been heard; 1.6.11 C – Speak using skills appropriate to the situation; 1.6.11 D – Contribute to discussions by responding with relevant information; 1.6.11 E – Participate in discussions by initiating conversations.

Standards-Based

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Pennsylvanias Academic Standards guide instruction in the schools. The PSSA results allow educators to determine how well students are learning based on the list of areas and standards set by the Department of Education.

Standards Aligned System (SAS)

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Standards Aligned Systems (SAS) is the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s model for achieving consistent, standards-based, sustainable educational improvement across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s public education system.ᅠThe SAS model is based upon the premise that six core components are required to provide a consistent environment in which student achievement is possible in a comprehensive manner: clear standards, fair assessments, effective and engaging instruction, comprehensive instructional resources, targeted and proactive interventions, and strong curriculum framework.

Standard Protocol

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Intensive, short-term instructional interventions that follow a specified script and have research to support its effectiveness. They are typically conducted with a small group of targeted students using materials that supplement the general education curriculum (Fuchs, 2003). ᅠ Standard Protocol Interventions are research-based, have a high probability of producing change, are used in a standard manner across students, and can be orchestrated by a team.

Spina Bifida

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A congenital cleft of the spinal column with hernial protrusion of the meninges and sometimes the spinal cord.

Speech-Language Support Specialist or Clinician

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An individual with a university degree, usually at the master’s level, who is certified to assess speech, language, and voice disorders and implement remediation.

Speech-Language Pathology Services

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Speech and language services that assist in identifying and treating communication impairments.

Speech Disorder

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Difficulty producing speech sounds or problems with voice quality.

Speech

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The physical production of the sounds in the language in order to form words, phrases, and sentences.

Specialized Formats/Alternate Formats

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Under the Copyright Act as Amended, specialized formats are defined as braille, enlarged print, audio, digital text.

Special Education Plan

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The Pennsylvania Department of Education must ensure the appropriateness of special education programs in districts and intermediate units.ᅠThe Special Education Plan outlines programs and services and identifies the plan for a Comprehensive System of Professional Development for the next three years.

Special Education Paraeducator Standards for Practice: Competency Assessment Checklis

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A checklist used by supervisors of paraeducators to document competence and the mastery of skills and knowledge required for the Credential of Competency for Special Education Paraeducators offered by the Bureau of Special Education.

Sound Field System

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an environmental amplification system that utilizes a portable speaker system or a loudspeaker on one or more walls and/or ceiling. This type of system ensures that the speech signal is evenly distributed throughout the classroom with the end goal of improving the signal to noise ratio for each student in the room.

Social Work Services

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Includes a range of activities that address problems in a student’s living situation (home, school, and community) that affect the student’s adjustment in school.

Social stories

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A story written to describe social situations in terms of relevant social cues. The story defines appropriate responses, teaches routines and academics, and addresses a variety of behaviors.

Slate and Stylus

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A portable device for writing Braille by hand, consisting of a metal template with a series of Braille cells (the slate) and the implement used to press Braille dots into the paper (the stylus).

Single Switch Access

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A switch adapter that allows the student to use one or more switches to activate specially designed software or products.

Single Point of Contact (SPOC)

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The Bureau of Special Education’s contact person for intermediate units or geographic regions, assigned to handle compliance, special education plan, and compliance management.

Sign Supported Communication

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The use of speech and natural gestures to convey information to others, and relies upon the use of residual hearing, speech reading ability, and natural gestures to receive information from others.

Sign Language Interpreter

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A sign language interpreter conveys information presented by a hearing person in spoken English to a deaf person in sign language format, and conveys information presented by a deaf or hard of hearing person in sign language to a hearing person in spoken English format

Signed English

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a system that was devised as a semantic representation of English for children between the ages of 1 and 6 years of age. ASL signs are used in English word order with 14 sign markers being added to represent a portion of the inflectional system of English.

Short Term Loan

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PaTTAN‘s program for loaning assistive technology devices and materials for evaluation

Shaping

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A process through which we gradually modify the student’s existing behavior to what we want it to be. Less accurate responses are accepted in the beginning, but the requirement for more accuracy increases with each response and is reinforced.

Service Coordinator

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The person acting as a single point of contact between the early intervention system and the family of an eligible infant or toddler. The person serves as the coordinator of the initial and ongoing assessment and evaluation, the development and review of the IFSP, the monitoring of service delivery, and the linkages to community resources.

Sensory integration therapy

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A therapeutic intervention that uses graded sensory experiences to improve how a person uses sensory information for daily functioning.

Sensory integration

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A neurological process that allows us to process and organize sensory information and be able to respond to it appropriately.

Sensory diet or sensory strategies

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A proactive sensory strategy that is embedded into a daily routine and is designed specifically to help calm, organize and alert the student so that they can benefit from instruction.

Semantics

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The study of the meaning of language, including meaning at the word, sentence, and conversational level.

Semantic-Pragmatic Disorder

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Refers to a difficulty with language meaning and language use difficulties.

Self-advocacy

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The ability of a student to effectively communicate or assert interests, desires, needs, and rights, as well as to explain his or her disability and its effects on learning and other life activities.

Seizure

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An uncontrolled abnormal electrical signal in the brain; also called convulsion.

Section 302

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Refers to the Mental Health Procedures Act (MHPA) regarding emergency evaluation and treatment without consent for observed behavior (within the last 30 days) constituting a clear and present danger to the individual and/or others. A petition must be filed, and if hospitalization occurs, it must not exceed five days without an extension (303) hearing. Further extensions may be approved using sections 304 and 305 of the MHPA.

Screen Readers

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Academic screen readers were specifically designed for students with reading and writing difficulties, especially dyslexia. Generally, they provide speech synthesis, text entry, spell check, word prediction, highlighting and note taking capabilities. Screen readers may also be used to provide computer access for visual impairment.

Screening

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A brief assessment process used to determine if more extensive assessment should be completed.

Scorable Task Components

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Scorable Task Components are the specific reading or mathematics skills assessed within each task.

Scoliosis

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A lateral curvature of the spine.

School-wide Effective Behavior Support (SWEBS)

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A school-wide system of reinforcement, teaching school rules and routines, and effective teaching principles that provide strategies to increase academic learning time, rule following, and to decrease negative behaviors throughout the whole school.

School Health Services

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Services provided by a qualified school nurse or other qualified person.

Scanning

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Scanning is an indirect access method used with communication devices or computer access. Choices are highlighted systematically and the student uses a switch to make selections as the highlighter moves from symbol to symbol.

Scaffolding

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The systematic sequencing of prompted content, materials, tasks, and teacher and peer support to optimize learning. Scaffolding is a process in which students are given support until they can apply new skills and strategies independently.

Types of Hearing Loss

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This refers to the four major categories of cause of hearing loss: 1. Conductive – Impairment to the outer or middle ear; medical or surgical intervention is often possible; 2. Sensorineural – Nerve damage to the inner ear or cochlear hair cells; 3. Mixed – Involves both conductive and sensorineural impairment; 4. Central auditory – Outer, middle, and inner ear mechanisms are intact but dysfunction in processing auditory information is evident

Trend

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The slope of the performance graph, used to indicate the rate at which performance is changing over time.

Travel Training

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Instruction that enables students with disabilities to learn the skills necessary to move effectively and safely from place-to-place within their environment.

Transportation or Transportation Services

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Refers to travel to, from, in, and around school buildings, and any specialized equipment required to transport a student with a disability.

Transliteration/Transliterator

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Transliteration is the process of changing a message from one English code to another in order to convey the message from one person to another in its original syntactic or grammatical structure. In the field of sign language interpreting in the United States, the transliterator typically conveys spoken English in a manual code for English and conveys Manually Coded English in spoken English without changing the form of the language.

Transition Services

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A group of coordinated activities provided over a period of time that support a high school student with a disability in the transition from high school to adult life. These services focus on what the student wants to do after high school in the areas of education or training, employment, and community living.

Transition

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The process of moving from one early intervention service to another early intervention or special education service. Transitions for Pennsylvania’s eligible young children typically occur when a child reaches three years of age or kindergarten age.

Timely Manner

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Chapter 14 of the Pennsylvania Special Education Regulations ᅠ defines timely manner as the provision of accessible instructional materials at the same time as other students receive instructional materials. IDEA requires that LEAs act in a timely manner…to take steps to ensure that children who are blind or other persons with print disabilities have access to their accessible format instructional materials at the same time that students without disabilities have access to instructional materials.

Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS)

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TSS services are delivered in the home and community as part of a child or adolescent’s daily routine. They are designed to provide active, individualized treatment to the child or adolescent. They require careful and constant review to determine their effectiveness and the need for modification to meet the ever-changing needs of the child and the family.

Temporal Lobes

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The sides of the brain. These areas are involved in memory, understanding language, and speaking in a sensible way.

Tasks

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Activities into which specific literacy and numeric skills are embedded. Each student participating in the PASA is assessed with four tasks, two in reading and two in mathematics.

Task Level (A, B, or C)

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Refers to the complexity of each of the four tasks on which students are assessed. Tasks designated with the letter A are least complex in terms of cognitive and conceptual demands; B tasks are intermediate levels of complexity; and C tasks are the most complex.

Talking Word Processors

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Talking Word Processors use text-to-speech technology to provide speech feedback to help students to select words or sentences to be read to them. It allows them to read teacher-prepared material or to check their own compositions.

Tactile Skills

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The ability to explore objects systematically so that students can observe all the features of an object by using their available senses.

Tactile Signing

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Communication methods based on a standard manual sign system in which the receiver’s hand(s) are placed on the signer’s hands to perceive what is being communicated.

Tactile Graphics

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Tactile graphics are graphical representations that have been specially prepared for use by touch.

Tactile

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Related to the sense of touch or act of touching; the process of giving knowledge by using the sense of touch in order to understand and share information. The words tactile and tactual are synonymous.

Tact

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The common term for tact is label. You tact (label) an item (object, person, action) that is visible in the environment. For example, a student walks into a room and sees a dog, and the student then says dog. They are said to be tacting the dog.

UPS

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The package delivery service used to deliver and return Short Term Loan kits.

Universal Screening

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Brief assessment of all students in the school to identify which students are not proficient relative to specified benchmarks (standard that corresponds with successful outcomes in the future), indicating that they are at risk for potential difficulties in language arts, mathematics, behavior, or other domains.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

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UDL provides a blueprint for creating flexible goals, methods, materials, and assessments that accommodate learner differences. A universally-designed curriculum offers the following: multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge, multiple means of action and expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know, and multiple means of engagement to tap into learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.

Unintelligible Speech

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Speech that cannot be understood by the listener.

Voice Recognition

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Voice recognition allows the use of a student’s voice as an input device. Voice recognition may be used to dictate text into the computer or to give commands to the computer (such as opening application programs, pulling down menus, or saving work).

Voice Disorder

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Problems in the pitch, quality, or resonance of the voice.

Vocational Education

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Approved educational programs offering a sequence of courses that are directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid employment with a career objective. Examples of such programs are carpentry, masonry, childcare, and cosmetology.

Vocational Assessment

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A comprehensive process conducted over a period of time that serves as a basis for planning an educational program. Its purpose is to identify individual characteristics, education, and training needs.

Vocal Output Communication Aid (VOCA)

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A Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCA) is an electronic device that generates spoken language. Dedicated devices are intended for communication purposes only, while others are integrated into laptop computer systems. Additional features may include appointment schedules and reminders, environmental controls, switch access, and rate enhancement programs.

Vocabulary

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Vocabulary development involves word knowledge, word instruction, word learning strategies and usage.

Visual Supports (output/expressive)

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Strategies and supports that provide a visual representation of what the student wants to communicate to us, such as choice boards, an actual object, a picture of a toilet, etc.

Visual Supports (input/receptive)

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Strategies and supports that provide a visual representation of what we want to communicate to the student, such as a daily schedule, a menu of options for free time, and one-step behavioral reminders (sit, raise hand, shh, social stories).

Visual Efficiency

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The degree to which specific visual tasks can be performed with ease, comfort, and minimum time, contingent on personal and environmental variables; the extent to which available vision is used effectively.

Visual Acuity Test

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An assessment of detailed central vision using the standard Snellen Chart and other eye charts. Infants are tested by ascertaining papillary responses to light and light fixation reflexes.

Vision Screening

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Initial assessment of a student’s visual acuity and general observation of his or her eyes to determine the need for referral to an eye care specialist or other specialists.

Verbal Behavior

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Using Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior to understand how and why we use verbal behavior to communicate, and applying this analysis to teaching language skills using behavioral principles and techniques.

Variability

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The up and down movement in the data that reveals the stability or consistency in a student’s performance over time.

Word Prediction

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Word prediction technology is used to assist with text entry. This technology predicts the word to be typed based on word frequency and context. It may also include features such as spell checking as you type, speech synthesis, and hot-keys for frequently used words. Word prediction is particularly useful to enhance the rate of text entry and to ease fatigue. Intelligent word prediction, in conjunction with word processors and other applications that require text entry, can be used for correspondence, reports, schoolwork, business, and personal writing.

WCPM

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Words correct per minute.