“What Exactly Does That Mean?”
A Guide for Parents and Students

Effective Communication is important for all individuals involved in transition planning.  Often the “languages” used by schools and agencies can be confusing for parents and students. This brochure provides helpful information that may assist you on your journey for a successful transition from school to work or other community-based opportunities.

Transition Terms, Acronyms & Abbreviations

Accommodations means “to make fit; to adjust”.  This may refer to learning, equipment, and environmental needs in schools, home, community or work setting.

ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) - Guarantees people with disabilities civil rights protections in employment, public accommodations, government services and telecommunications.

Advocacy - Speaking for or urging a cause, such as equal access to community services.

Age of Majority means “the age when the procedural safeguard and other rights afforded to the parent or parents of a student with a disability transfer to the student.  In Virginia, the age of majority is 18. 

Assistive Technology - High-tech adaptive and accessibility aids for people with disabilities and special needs.

Alternative Communication Systems such as communication boards & touch screens that can help with writing, spelling, typing, and other communication needs.

Authorized Representative – A person permitted to give informed consent for disclosure of information and give informed consent to treatment, including medical treatment, and participation in human research for an individual who lacks the mental capacity to make these decisions.

Barrier to Employment is a disabling condition that impedes a person’s ability to work without accommodations or modifications.

Case Management – Assisting individuals and their families to access services and supports that are essential to meeting the individual’s basic needs identified in their individual plan, which include but not limited to medical, nutritional, social, educational, vocational and employment, housing, economic assistance, transportation, leisure and recreational, legal, and advocacy services and supports that the individual needs to function in the community. 

Collaboration means “to cooperate and work with another person.” The team shares mutual responsibility for the intervention programs and look to each other for feedback and support. 

Competitive Employment – Individual job placement with minimum wage or better (paid by the employer) employee benefits, no special adaptations made to job duties or routines and 20 hours or more/week.