Transition Terminology Glossary

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Welcome to the APH ConnectCenter Transition Hub. As you search these resources you will encounter a lot of terminology, jargon, and acronyms that are used within the Vocational Rehabilitation and Blindness and disability field. Often these words and phrases may appear abbreviated in written and verbal communication including in publications, email correspondences and in journals (online and print) where information on programs and services offer transition curriculum and courses.

While this is not intended to be an exhaustive list, we are providing this glossary as a point of reference to help you navigate the information found within the Transition Hub.

Where agencies, organizations and service providers may be listed within the Transition Hub as abbreviated programs, we have also listed them here for reference.


ABLE: Achieving a Better Life Experience

ACB: American Council of the Blind – a national advocacy organization run by blind people with state and local chapters. ACB offers seminars for parents of blind children and provides consultation services.

ADL: activities of daily living such as getting dressed, cooking, household chores, etc.

AERBVI: Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired: an organization for people who work in jobs related to blindness.

AJC: America’s Job Centers – these offices, which can be found throughout the USA, provide. information about how to choose a career and how to prepare for and find a job. Formerly known as one-stops.

APH: American Printing House for the Blind

AT: Assistive Technology/ Adaptive Technology

BEP: Business Enterprise Program

BFS/BS: Blind Services, Blind Field Services

BIA: Braille Institute of America

BRL: abbreviation for “Braille”

BVI: abbreviation for “Blind / Visually Impaired”.

CAP: Client Assistance Program: provides information and advocacy for people who are experiencing problems getting services from vocational rehabilitation agencies or independent living Centers

COMS: abbreviation for “Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist”.

CRP: Community Rehabilitation Programs – often referenced within vocational rehabilitation sponsored programs and services available to consumers.

DB: abbreviation for “Deafblind”.

DEI: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

D/HH: abbreviation for “deaf / hard of hearing”

DSS: Disabled Student Services – offices on college or university campuses that work with disabled students to arrange for the disability related services they need in order to equalize the playing field. Students are not required to use these services. Students must be proactive in working with DSS offices to determine what accommodations they will need; the process and philosophy is very different from that used by elementary and high schools. These offices are often referenced by other names.

DVR: Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, may have similar abbreviated names per the state and region where one is from)

ECC: Expanded Core Curriculum – The ECC is a disability-specific set of skills that compensates for vision loss and is foundational to all other learning. It focuses on independence, assistive technology, vocational training, social engagement and more to prepare your child for his or her fullest life possible.

FFB: abbreviation for “Foundation for Blind Children”.

HOH, HH, or H/H: abbreviation(s) for “Hard of Hearing”.

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – a law that mandates rules are regulations around how children with disabilities are to be educated in public schools.

IEP: Individualized education Program –based on the individual child’s needs, and taking into account parent input as well as the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; a plan which includes the specially designed instruction, classroom adaptation and accommodations a child needs to access the school environment and make educational progress

IPE: Individualized Plan for Employment – a document that outlines the services an eligible person will receive from a vocational rehabilitation agency in order to get a job that matches their interests, skills and abilities. For those under 18, parents and their visually impaired children will usually work together with a vocational rehabilitation counselor to develop this document.

ILS: abbreviation for “Independent Living Skills”.

ITP: Individualized Transition Plan – a plan that documents what will be done to help your child transition from school to adult services. You and your child will work with school and rehabilitation personnel to put together this plan.

LEA: Local Education Agency

LH: abbreviation for “Lighthouse for the Blind” which refers to local agencies providing services and/or employment to persons with blindness or visual impairment. Most Lighthouse agencies are independent and unaffiliated with each other.

LP: abbreviation for “Large Print”

NFB: National Federation of the Blind – a national organization run by blind people with state and local chapters. Through its affiliated organization, National Organization for Parents of Blind children, NFB offers seminars and provides consultation services to parents.

OJT: On-The-Job Training

O&M: Orientation and mobility – a skill area of the ECC that encompasses the skills a person with a visual impairment needs to travel safely, efficiently and independently. It covers everything from getting around the house safely to retrieving dropped objects to learning safely and efficiently travel routes, cross streets, and travel on public transportation.

OT: abbreviation for “Occupational Therapist”

PT: abbreviation for Physical Therapist

Pre-ETS: Pre-Employment Transition Services – a set of career exploration activities supporting exposure to advocacy, independence and various forms supporting work experiences. For more information about Pre-ETS please see:

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

TAY: Transition-Age Youth

TPP: Transition Partnership Programs – programs that help students gain work experiences.

Transition Services: a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment including supported employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. Transition services for children with disabilities may be special education if provided as specially designed instruction, or a related service, if required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education

TSVI: abbreviation for “Teacher of Students with Visually Impairments”

TVI: abbreviation for “Teacher of the Visually Impaired”

VR: abbreviation for “Vocational Rehabilitation” for state-specific information – State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies | Rehabilitation Services Administration (

VRC: abbreviation for “Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor”.

VRT: Vision Rehabilitation Therapist – a VRT teaches activities of daily living (i.e., cleaning and organizing clothing, cooking, household chores, etc.) with particular emphasis on adaptive skills used by people who are blind or visually impaired.

WIOA: Workforce Information Opportunity Act – a federal legislation providing for activities related to career exploration and paid and unpaid work experiences.

WorkAbility: WorkAbility can be WorkAbility I, II, III or IV – a program similar to a Transition Partnership program providing training and most often work experience to high school, community college or at the university level.