Glossary of Terms
Americans with Disability Act – A federal law enacted to stop discrimination against people with disabilities.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) – Amplification instruments that are designed to be helpful in specific listening situations.
American Sign Language (ASL) – Distinct visual-gestural-kinesthetic language.
Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) – The office within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare which collaborates with other state offices to ensure local access to a comprehensive array of quality mental health and substance abuse services that are reflective of the needs of Pennsylvania citizens, effectively managed and coordinated, and responsive to a dynamic and changing health care environment.
Provider – A person, firm or corporation that provides behavioral health or medical services or supplies.
Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS)/Wrap around Services – Services for children and families are provided in the family’s home and community to prevent out of home placement. “Wrap around” services are a child-centered, strengths-based system.
Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP) – Core principles that should guide service delivery. Services should be child-centered, family-focused, community-based, multi-system, culturally competent and least restrictive.
Consumer-Oriented – Services should meet the needs of the consumer, not the needs of the service provider.
Culturally Competent – Services provided by individuals who have the skills to recognize and respect the behavior, ideas, attitudes, values, beliefs, language and practices of a particular group of people.
Deaf – A condition in which sounds, including speech, have no meaning for ordinary life purposes. Visual communication such as sign language, writing, text reading and speech reading is necessary.
Hard of Hearing – A condition in which there is some degree of hearing loss varying from mild to moderate to profound. The sense of hearing is partial, but not completely functional for ordinary life purposes. The hearing loss can be acquired at any age between birth and late adulthood.
Health Choices – The name of Pennsylvania’s waiver program providing mandatory managed health care to Medical Assistance recipients.
Managed Care Organization (MCO) – An entity that manages the purchase and provision of physical or behavioral health services.
Mental Health/Intellecutual Disability (MH/ID) – Generally, community mental health and intellectual disability services are administered through county MH/ID offices. These offices are part of county government and are overseen by a county administrator. In Allegheny County, drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services, and mental health services for children, adolescents and adults are supported by the Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health.
Services for persons with intellectual disability are supported by the Department of Human Services Office of Intellectual Disability.
Service Coordination (formerly case management) – Direct assistance to adult and children consumers of the behavioral health system, including problem resolution, advocacy and referral to other appropriate services.
Service Coordination Unit (SCU) – Local behavioral health services provider and intake point for accessing the mental health or mental retardation system.
Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI) – A conversational approach to sign language skills assessment which measures a person’s expressive and receptive language proficiency.
Sign Language Interpreter – A professional who is able to listen to another person’s words, inflections and intent while simultaneously rendering them into the visual language of signs using the mode of communication preferred by deaf consumers.
Teletypewriter (TTY/TDD) – A device that enables deaf people and others to communicate by typing interchange over a regular phone line.
Video Relay – A free service that allows persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to conduct a video phone call through a certified ASL interpreter via a high-speed internet connection and a video relay solution.