Americans with Disabilities Act (P.L. 101-336), a federal law guaranteeing the civil rights of persons with disabilities.


Evaluation of what skills a child has and areas of weakness that need to be worked on in an intervention program.

Assistive Technology:

Devices, including toys, switches, and computer equipment which have been adapted for use by persons with disabilities.


A system of reading and writing for the blind in which letters, numerals, and punctuation are made of raised dots, distinguishable by the fingers.


Thinking abilities or skills.

Developmental Delay:

A lag in acquiring skills in one or more areas of development.

Expressive Language:

Gestures, talking, or writing used to express ideas, feelings, or wants.

Fine Motor Skills:

Skills that make it possible for a child to perform hand and finger movements.

First Steps:

Kentucky's Early Intervention System for providing services to infants and toddlers.

Functional Vision Assessment:

Evaluation of how much vision is remaining and how well it is used.

Functional Delay:

A lag in ability to perform tasks typical for a given age.

Gross Motor Skills:

Skills that make it possible for a child to make large muscle movements using arms, legs, and the whole body.


Tightness of muscles that makes it difficult to move.


Looseness of muscles that makes it difficult to hold upright positions.

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act):

A federal law providing for education of all children with disabilities.

IEP (Individual Education Plan):

Describes all special services a child with a disability is to receive in order to function in school to the fullest extent possible, who is to provide services and how often, and when services will start and end, as required by IDEA (see above).

IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan):

Specifies all services to be received by a child with a disability (birth to age three) and the child's family, how often services are to be provided and by whom, and when services will start and end, as required by IDEA (see above).


A teacher trained to work with young children with disabilities in various settings, such as the home, a daycare, or preschool.


Kentucky Early Intervention System (called First Steps).

Legally Blind:

A condition in which an individual has less than 20/200 vision (can see at 20 feet what can typically be seen at 200 feet) in his or her better eye, or a very limited field of vision (20 degrees at its widest point).

Low Vision:

Generally refers to a severe visual impairment, not necessarily limited to distance vision. Low vision applies to all individuals who are unable to read the newspaper at a normal viewing distance even with the aid of corrective lenses.


An imaginary line down the center of the body.

Muscle Tone:

The amount of tightness or looseness in the muscles.

Occupational Therapy (OT):

Therapy to improve fine motor skills, sensory processing, and self-care skills such as feeding, dressing, and playing.


A medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and defects, prescribes glasses, contact lenses, prism lenses and/or exercises, and performs surgery.


A technician who grinds lenses and prepares eyeglasses, and fits contact lenses from prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists.


A non-medical practitioner who measures refractive errors and eye muscle imbalances, and prescribes glasses, contact lenses, prism lenses, and/or exercises.

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist:

Teaches individuals with visual impairments skills needed to manage safe and independent travel in familiar and unfamiliar environments.

Physical Therapy (PT):

Therapy to improve balance, strength, coordination, and movement.

Receptive Language:

Language said by another that is understood by the listener.

Residual Vision:

Vision that remains with a visual impairment.

Self-Stimulatory Behaviors:

Repetitive behaviors that children with disabilities may exhibit, such as rocking, hand-flipping, or head-wagging.

Tactile Defensiveness:

A dislike or fear of touching certain things or textures.


Visually following a moving object.

Visual Acuity:

Sharpness of vision, or how clearly things are seen.

Visual Field:

The entire area the eye can see without shifting the eyes or moving the head.

WHAS Crusade for Children United Way of the Bluegrass Metro United Way Kosair Charities: Protecting the Most Precious Gift of All
KSBCF: Kentucky School for the Blind Charitable FoundationFirst Steps: Kentucky's Early Intervention System Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity

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