Accessible – A program, work environment, facility, piece of equipment, etc. that can be easily approached, entered, operated or used safely independently and with dignity by an individual with a disability.
Accommodations – Adaptations that do not substantially impact the requirements of a job description made to a work environment to allow a person with a disability to perform the duties required for a specific job.
Affirmative Action – The goal of affirmative action is to proactively increase the employment opportunities of specific groups. Not limited to individuals with disabilities.
Alternate Formats – Supplementary ways of presenting information to meet the needs of those with a variety of disabilities. Alternate formats may include audio recordings, Braille and large print.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Passed in 1992, the ADA makes it unlawful for business with 15 or more employees to discriminate against individuals with disabilities. This law applies to public and private sector employers, state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation and telecommunication.
Assistive Technology – Equipment or systems used to improve, maintain or increase the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Auxiliary Aids – Used by individuals with a range of disabilities, auxiliary aids may include interpreters, screen readers, Braille and augmentative communication techniques.
Benefits Counseling – The process of providing accurate information about available benefits such as SSI or SSDI and the impact that earned income, cash benefits or other entitlement programs might have.
Carved Jobs – Opportunities that are created when certain tasks of a job are removed to ensure that the job description meets the abilities of an individual with significant physical or cognitive disabilities. For example, a bookshop warehouse needs a worker who can process, log and stock inventory. An applicant who cannot use his hands, with the help of adaptive equipment, can perform all of the required tasks except stocking the inventory. This individual or someone on his support team could work with the employer to move the stocking duties to another position.
Center-Based Employment – A facility where most employees have disabilities, and have access to job-related assistance and supervision at all times. Also known as a Sheltered Workshop.
Centers for Independent Living – These community-based, private non-profit agencies provide a range of services to support individuals with disabilities and help them live independently.
Competencies – Abilities that must be possessed to successfully perform a job and achieve desired outcomes.
Competitive Employment – Full- or part-time work in the general labor market at or above minimum wage. Coworkers may or may not have disabilities.
Created Job – A position designed specifically to meet the needs of a specific individual.
Customized Employment – A job that is developed to meet the needs of the employee and the employer, and incorporates the reasonable accommodations and supports needed to ensure that the individual is able to do the job.
Equal Opportunity Employment (EEO) – Federal law mandating nondiscrimination in all aspects of employment regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin or disability.
Extended Employment – Often referred to as community rehabilitation programs or sheltered workshops, this work takes place in a non-integrated setting for a public or non-profit entity. Compensation is in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and the employing entity provides needed support serves to support the individual in their efforts to obtain competitive employment.
Extended Supported Services – Long-term support required by individuals with disabilities whose goal is supported employment.
External Supports – Assistance provided by an organization other than the employer to help ensure success in the workplace.
Functional Limitation – Quantitative impediment relative to the individual’s disability that is directly related to employment. May include communication, social skills, self-care, mobility, self-direction, work skills or work tolerance.
Integrated Setting – A site where individuals with and without disabilities work or receive services at the same level.
Internal Supports – Employment assistance that is available at the work site or at a company.
Job Aids – Step-by-step instructions for how to complete a specific task or job. May be written instructions or pictorial depictions of the steps involved.
Job Coach – An individual who assists individuals with disabilities in adjusting to a work environment, as well as helping them learn and perform a specific job. Generally this person is employed by an agency or program that supports individuals with disabilities.
Job Sampling – Giving those with disabilities the opportunity to “try their hand” at a variety of jobs to determine those that might be a good fit given the individuals skills and interests.
Mentor – An individual who provides opportunities for professional development and or personal growth to another individual with less experience, and serves as a role model and counselor.
Natural Supports – Supports that occur organically occur in the workplace. Support, both formal and informal, generally comes from co-workers and supervisors and exists in all work places.
Person-Centered Planning – A formal planning process that focuses on the individual and his abilities, needs and interests. Generally controlled by the individual, this process also involves others from within the individual’s network.
Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) – A provision from the Social Security Administration that allows individuals to set aside assets (monetary and other possessions of value) to start a business, go to school, enter a job training program, etc. without a reduction in Social Security Insurance (SSI) benefits.
Reasonable Accommodation – Adaptations that do not substantially impact the requirements of a job description made to a work environment to allow a person with a disability to perform the duties required for a specific job.
Rehabilitation Technology – Services that use rely upon engineering, computer technology and science to create or modify equipment that allows those with disability to take part in all aspects of life.
Sheltered Workshops – A facility where most employees have disabilities, and have access to job-related assistance and supervision at all times. Also known as a Center-Based Employment.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – A program from the Social Security Administration that provides cash benefits to insured workers who meet the definition of disability established by the SSA.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – A program from the Social Security Administration that provides monthly cash benefits to children and adults with disabilities who meet income and resource guidelines.
Supported Employment – A system of supports that help people with significant cognitive and/or physical disabilities find and maintain employment in an integrated setting.
Tickets to Work – A program offered by the Social Security Administration designed to help those receiving SSI or SSDI benefits access the supports they need to gain or maintain work.
Transition or Transitioning – Terms used to describe the process of helping an individual move from one phase of life to another.
Vocation Profile – A tool designed to assist those with disabilities and their personal network as they work to develop employment outcomes.
Vocational Rehabilitation – Programs that prepare and support those with disabilities as they work to gain and maintain employment.