Accessible:Activity or place capable of being reached by persons with disabilities.
Accommodations:Techniques and materials that allow individuals with disabilities to complete school or work tasks with greater ease and effectiveness. Examples include spellcheckers, tape recorders, and expanded time for completing exams.
Acquired Brain Injury: Injury to the brain that occurs after birth and can include anoxia, drug reactions, infection, stroke, trauma and tumors.
Aphasia:An impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due to injury to the brain, most commonly from a stroke, particularly in older individuals. Aphasia may also result from head trauma, brain tumors or infections.
Asperger's Syndrome(AS): a disorder that effects a person’s ability to understand other people and socially interact with them. People with AS, while having trouble making eye contact, are unable to read and respond to social cues and body language. Symptoms of the syndrome can include: clumsiness or lack of coordination, extreme self-absorption, limited interests, preoccupations, ritual or repetitive routines, speech and language peculiarities and non-verbal communication difficulties. AS is a Spectrum Disorder which means that symptoms range greatly.
Assessment: Process of identifying: a) a person's strengths, preferences, functional skills and need for support and services; b) the extent to which natural supports and informal providers are able to meet the person's need for support and services; and c) the extent to which human services agencies and providers are able to provide or develop needed support or services.
Attention Deficit Disorder: A neurobehavioral disorder that affects 3 to 5 percent of all American children. It interferes with a person's ability to sustain attention or focus on a task and some patients may be unable to control impulsive behavior.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:A neurobiological disorder. Symptoms include hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsiveness.
Autism:A developmental disorder of brain function. People with classical autism show three types of symptoms: impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and imagination and limited activities and interests.
Bipolar Disorder: Also known as manic depression, is a mental illness involving episodes of serious mania and depression. The person's mood swings from excessively "high" and irritable to sad and hopeless and then back again, with periods of the person's normal mood in between.
Cerebral Palsy: A life-long condition caused by damage to the brain during pregnancy, labor or shortly following birth. "Cerebral" refers to the brain, and "palsy" to muscle weakness or poor control of movement or posture. It is not a disease; and it is neither progressive nor communicable. There is no single cause of cerebral palsy. It is characterized by the inability to control motor functions and can result in involuntary movement, disturbance in gait and mobility and impairment of sight, hearing and speech.
Depression: Strong feelings of sadness, hopelessness, pessimism and a general loss of interest in life, combined with a sense of reduced emotional well-being which often occurs without apparent cause (such as a death of a loved one) and may persist over time. Clinical depression is the most common of the psychiatric illnesses with 10 to 15% of the population suffering from it at some time in their lives.
Diabetes:A disorder caused by insufficient or absent production of the hormone insulin by the pancreas. There are two principal types of diabetes: Type I - insulin-dependant diabetes, the more severe form usually occurring before the age of 35 and Type II - non-insulin-dependent diabetes, which usually develops in people over age 40.
Eating Disaorders: Disorders characterized by severe disturbances in eating behaviour. Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): A series of mental and physical birth defects that can include developmental disabilities, growth deficiencies, central nervous system dysfunction, cranio-facial abnormalities and behavioral maladjustments.
Fibro Myalgia: A common, chronic condition which causes widespread pain and profound fatigue, as well as a variety of other symptoms such as: sleep disturbance; stiffness; increased headaches or facial pain; abdominal discomfort; irritable bladder; numbness or tingling; cold hands or feet; skin complaints; chest pains; concentration problems and/or memory lapses; and, depression and anxiety.
Ileitis/Colitis: Ileitis (also known as Crohn's Disease) and Ulcerative Colitis are two forms of inflammatory bowel disease; painful conditions that can strike anyone regardless of age, sex, or race.
Learning Styles: Approaches to assessment or instruction emphasizing the variations in temperament, attitude, and preferred manner of tackling a task. Typically considered are styles along the active/passive, reflective/impulsive, or verbal/spatial dimensions.
Macular Degeneration: Deterioration of the macula or that part of the retina which provides sharp, clear, colour vision. If the macula deteriorates, the centre of the person's field of vision blurs, and the ability to see detail is lost.
Multiple Sclerosis: One of the most common chronic progressive neurological diseases, characterized by demylination in certain portions of the nervous system. Symptoms include impaired vision, nystagmus, dysarthria, and ataxia.
Muscular Dystrophy: A hereditary disease characterized by progressive weakness caused by degeneration of muscle fibres. Duchenne Type ( Pseudo hypertrophic) is one of the most common forms.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suffer intensely from recurrent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or rituals (compulsions), which they feel they cannot control. Rituals such as hand-washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed in hope of preventing, obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these rituals, however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety. Left untreated, obsessions and the need to perform rituals can take over a person's life. OCD is often a chronic, relapsing illness.
Panic Disorder: A serious condition that around one out of every 75 people might experience. It usually appears during the teens or early adulthood, and while the exact causes are unclear, there does seem to be a connection with major life transitions that are potentially stressful: graduating from college, getting married, having a first child, and so on.
Retinitis Pigmentosa:A hereditary condition resulting in degeneration of the retina; causes a narrowing of the field of vision.
Spina Bifida: A neural tube defect caused by the failure of the fetus' spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. In addition to physical and mobility difficulties.
Transition: Commonly used to refer to the change from secondary school to postsecondary programs, work, and independent living typical of young adults. Also used to describe other periods of major change such as from early childhood to school or from more specialized to mainstreamed settings