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Prevention Activities

The term "prevention activities" means activities that address the causes of developmental disabilities and the exacerbation of functional limitation, such as activities that—(A) eliminate or reduce the factors that cause or predispose individuals to developmental disabilities or that increase the prevalence of developmental disabilities; (B) increase the early identification of problems to eliminate circumstances that create or increase functional limitations; and (C) mitigate against the effects of developmental disabilities throughout the lifespan of an individual. (114 STAT. 1682 PUBLIC LAW 106–402—OCT. 30, 2000)


As defined by federal law, (a) engagement in income producing work by a person with a developmental disability which is measured through improvements in income level, employment status, or job advancement, or (b) engagement by a person with a developmental disability in work which contributes to a household or community.


A restorative process through which an individual develops and maintains self-sufficient functioning consistent with his/her capability.

Relay NC

Relay North Carolina is a dual-party relay system that provides 24-hour access to public telecommunications services for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and/or speech impaired. Trained specialists receive calls and then relay messages through teletypewriters or orally, according to the needs of the person sending or receiving the call. For more information, contact Relay North Carolina’s customer service office at 800-735-0341 (voice) or 800-735-0533 (TTY).

Respite Care

Care for an individual with a developmental disability, in or out of the home, to provide a break from care giving for the family/primary caregiver.


A restraint is—(A) Any manual method, physical or mechanical device, material, or equipment that immobilizes or reduces the ability of [an individual]; (C) A restraint does not include devices, such as orthopedically prescribed devices, surgical dressings or bandages, protective helmets, or other methods that involve the physical holding of [an individual] for the purpose of conducting routine physical examinations or tests, or to protect the [individual] from falling out of bed, or to permit the [individual] to participate in activities without the risk of physical harm (this does not include a physical escort), to move his or her arms, legs, body, or head freely; or (B) A drug or medication when it is used as a restriction to manage the [individual’s] behavior or restrict the [individual’s] freedom of movement and is not a standard treatment or dosage for the [individual’s] condition.


The involuntary confinement of [an individual] alone in a room or area from which the [individual] is physically prevented from leaving.

Secondary Conditions

Those conditions that are a direct or indirect consequence of a primary disability.


Sudden, uncontrollable spasm of muscles caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain (see epilepsy).


An individual speaking or acting for him-/herself. Includes the individual determining what is best for him/her and taking charge in getting it as well as standing up for his/her rights as a person.


An individual with a disability who speaks or acts for him/herself. This includes making choices and decisions about one’s life.


Self-determination means giving the person with a developmental disability control over how public funds allocated for his/her services and supports are spent. Because self-determination is based on the principles of freedom, authority, support and responsibility, it also means things like setting and pursuing goals, living in a place of one’s choosing, holding a job and taking responsibility for making a contribution back to the community.


Self-sufficiency refers to the ability to meet one's needs without outside assistance. For example, a person who is economically self-sufficient would not rely on cash assistance or cash benefits to meet his/her daily living needs.

Service Coordination

Assistance provided to persons in gaining access to needed social, medical, vocational and educational services and supports. See also "case management."

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Funds available to individuals who have worked and paid into the Social Security system and who are too disabled to work according to Social Security guidelines.  This differs from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) generally in that SSI recipients have not worked previously.

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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities
820 South Boylan Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27603
919-527-6500 (voice/tdd)
800-357-6916 (voice/tdd)
800-357-6916 (TTY)
919-850-2915 fax