Disability Glossary

The definitions for these terms mostly come from public documents and standards. Let us know how we can improve the definitions and the utility of this glossary. Thank you.

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Addiction and Depression

Depression and addiction can go hand-in-hand. The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that people who have had a mental illness at some point in their lives (43% of the U.S. population) consume 69% of the nation’s alcohol and 84% of the nation’s cocaine. Studies have found that when someone with a depressive disorder abuses…

Administration for Community Living

The Administration for Community Living was created around the fundamental principle that older adults and people of all ages with disabilities should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities. By funding services and supports provided by networks of community-based organizations,…

Adult Protective Services Technical Assistance Resource Center (APS TARC)

The mission of the APS TARC is to support federal, state, and local partners’ use of data and analytics, research and evaluation, and innovative practice and innovative strategies to enhance the effectiveness of APS programs. The APS TARC serves as a focal point for ACL’s overall approach to leading the development of comprehensive APS systems.…

ADvancing States

ADvancing States was founded in 1964 under the name National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA). In 2019, the association changed its name to ADvancing States. Today, ADvancing States represents the nation’s 56 state and territorial agencies on aging and disabilities and long-term services and supports directors. ADvancing States supports visionary leadership, the advancement…

Air Carrier Access Act

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination in air transportation by domestic and foreign air carriers against qualified individuals with physical or mental impairments. It applies only to air carriers that provide regularly scheduled services for hire to the public. Requirements address a wide range of issues including boarding assistance and certain accessibility features in…

Alterations

When a small business undertakes an alteration to any of its facilities, it must, to the maximum extent feasible, make the alteration accessible. An alteration is defined as remodeling, renovating, rehabilitating, reconstructing, changing or rearranging structural parts or elements, changing or rearranging plan configuration of walls and full-height partitions, or making other changes that affect…

alternative format

The ballot or accompanying information is said to be in an alternative format if it is in a representation other than the standard ballot language and format.

Alternative Text

Short text used described images—usually 125 characters or less.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. It also applies to the United States Congress. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability. An individual…

Architectural Barriers Act

The Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) requires that buildings and facilities that are designed, constructed, or altered with Federal funds, or leased by a Federal agency, comply with Federal standards for physical accessibility. ABA requirements are limited to architectural standards in new and altered buildings and in newly leased facilities. They do not address the activities…