To view a full list of acronyms used in Missouri, download the Acronyms and Abbreviations List from the Department of Mental Health.

Americans with Disabilities Act
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations. The ADA’s nondiscrimination standards also apply to federal sector employees under section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, and its implementing rules.  To view more facts about the Americans with Disabilities Act visit 
A brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Autism is a developmental disability.
Case Management
Assists individuals eligible for services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities in accessing comprehensive medical, social, educational, and other specialized services. Case managers are professionals who are trained in the field of mental health and/or closely related fields. Each eligible individual who applies for services from the regional office is assigned a specific case manager. This case manager will become acquainted with the individual, and work with the individual to identify, locate, coordinate and monitor services that meet the individual’s distinct needs.
Cerebral Palsy
An umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, motor, non-contagious conditions that cause physical disability in human development.  Cerebral refers to the cerebrum, which is the affected area of the brain, and palsy refers to disorder of movement. Cerebral palsy is a developmental disability. 

Developmental Disability
A term used to describe life-long, disabilities attributable to mental and/or physical or combination of mental and physical impairments, manifested prior to age 22.  The term is used to refer to disabilities affecting daily functioning in three or more of the following areas: capacity for independent living, economic self-sufficiency, learning, mobility, receptive and expressive language, self-care, and or self-direction.  Frequently, people with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, various genetic and chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder are described as having developmental disabilities. 

Defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”  An individual may also qualify as disabled if he/she has had an impairment in the past or is seen as disabled based on a personal or group standard or norm. Such impairments may include physical, sensory, and cognitive or intellectual impairments. Mental disorders (also known as psychiatric or psychosocial disability) and various types of chronic disease may also be considered qualifying disabilities.  A disability may occur during a person’s lifetime or may be present from birth. 
Down Syndrome
A chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome.  The condition is characterized by a combination of major and minor differences in structure. Often Down syndrome is associated with some impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth as well as facial appearance. Down syndrome is a developmental disability. 

Habilitation Center
The Division of Developmental Disabilities operates six habilitation centers – Bellefontaine Habilitation Center, Higginsville Habilitation Center, Marshall Habilitation Center, Nevada Habilitation Center, Southeast Missouri Residential Services in Sikeston and Poplar Bluff and St Louis DDTC; which provide residential care and habilitation services. 
Missouri Department of Mental Health/Division of Developmental Disabilities (DMH/DD)
Established in 1974, the DMA/DD serves a population that has developmental disabilities such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, head injuries, autism, epilepsy, and certain learning disabilities. Such conditions must have occurred before age 22, with the expectation that they will continue. To be eligible for services from the Division, persons with these disabilities must be substantially limited in their ability to function independently. The Division of DD funds services for approximately 30,000 Missourians with developmental disabilities and operates 6 institutions across the state. 

Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Enacted after the passage the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  The Title V of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act requires private employers with federal contracts over $2,500 to take affirmative action to hire individuals with a mental or physical disability. While this means that employers must make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees, it does not mean they must hire unqualified individuals. Additional Vocational Rehabilitation services may include vocational counseling, training assistance and job placement for individuals with disabilities. 
National Accredited Organizations
Provide services to people with disabilities may apply for accreditation from national organization such as CARF.  Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of human service providers in the areas of aging services, behavioral health, child and youth services, DMEPOS, employment and community services, medical rehabilitation, and opioid treatment programs. The CARF family of organizations currently accredits more than 5,500 providers at more than 19,000 locations on five continents. More than 7.2 million persons of all ages are served annually by CARF-accredited providers.
Olmstead Supreme Court Decision
The Olmstead decision was primarily based on the non-discrimination mandate under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes a federal regulation that requires states to administer their programs, services and activities “in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.” “Most integrated setting” is a setting in the community where people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community life.The Olmstead decision pertains to any person, regardless of age, who has a disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, such as mental illness, physical disability, developmental disability, and substance abuse.Basically, ALL states must make community living options available to people with disabilities when three conditions exist. 1) When “the state’s treating professionals have determined that a community placement is appropriate” for the person, 2) when “the transfer from an institution to a more integrated setting is not opposed by the affected individual”, and 3) when “the placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the state and the needs of other person with disabilities”. In other words, Olmstead is about choice. The goal of implementing the Olmstead ruling is that “no one should have to live in an institution or a nursing home if they can live in the community with the right support.”

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Regional Offices
Provide or purchase specialized services. The Division of Developmental Disabilities operates eleven regional offices that provide service coordination and work with individuals, families and providers in the following areas:  Albany, Central Missouri, Hannibal, Joplin, Kansas City, Kirksville, Poplar Bluff, Rolla, Sikeston, Springfield, St. Louis.  The regional offices, the primary points of entry into the system, provide assessment and case management services, which include coordination of each individuals person centered plan. A regional office may refer an individual to a habilitation center. 
Senate Bill 40 Board
Allows counties to pass a property tax levy to develop services and supports for residents with developmental disabilities.  You may find the list of counties that have a Senate Bill 40 Boards by going to the following link:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Occurs when an outside force traumatically injures the brain. Head injury usually refers to TBI, but is a broader category because it can involve damage to structures other than the brain, such as the scalp and skull.  TBI is a major cause of death and disability worldwide, especially in children and young adults. Causes include falls, vehicle accidents, and violence.  Prevention measures include use of technology to protect those who are in accidents, such as seat belts and sports or motorcycle helmets, as well as efforts to reduce the number of accidents, such as safety education programs and enforcement of traffic laws.  TBI can cause a host of physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects, and outcome can range from complete recovery to permanent disability or death. 
Utilization Review Process
Evaluates the need for a service based on its necessity in assuring an individual’s health, safety and quality of life. UR considers the following:
  • Homelessness
  • Immediate need for life-sustaining services and there are no alternatives to Division services
  • Danger to one’s self or others
  • Legal/forensic status
  • Need to move from an institution and or Health or age of primary caregiver.
Utilization Review Process also assigns points based on individual need in one or more of the following five categories: Health and Safety, Daily Living Supports, Family Supports, Inclusion and/or Recreation Supports, and or Long Term planning.  A maximum of 12 points across categories may be assigned. 
Wait Lists
Organized due to limitations on the availability of funding to immediately provide services to all individuals with disabilities. Persons awaiting services within the Division of Developmental Disabilities will be served based on priority of need.  This process was developed to ensure fairness among all consumers and families.