Accommodation: a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done during the hiring process, according to the American’s with Disabilities Act. Reasonable accommodations are not “special treatment” and often benefit all employees.

Competitive, integrated employment: a job located in the community with at least minimum wage where the employee with a disability interacts with other people (co-workers, customers, or vendors) who do not have disabilities during the performance of their duties to the same extent as their co-workers.

Customized employment: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 describes customized employment as “competitive integrated employment for an individual with a significant disability that is based on the strengths, needs and interests of the individual with the significant disability.” It also states that it should be “designed to meet the specific abilities of the individual with a significant disability and the business needs of the employer.”

Disclosure: Sharing information about a person’s own disability with another person, usually an employer, supervisor, or professor in a college settings. People disclose their disability status in order to receive accommodations and services, but should weigh the benefits of disclosure against the potential cost of discrimination.

Employment First: a set of principles that many public systems, agencies, and states have committed to that assert that employment in the general workforce is the first and preferred outcome in the provision of publicly funded services for all working age citizens with disabilities, regardless of level of disability.

Employment Service Organizations (ESO): sometimes also referred to as a community rehabilitation provider (CRP), an ESO is an approved vendor organization that provides community-based employment services to individuals with disabilities.

Person-centered planning: a team-based, problem solving approach used to plan for the future of a person with a disability by focusing on the individual, their own vision for their life, and their strengths, interests, and preferences that should be considered to accomplish those goals.

Self-determination: the freedom to live as one chooses, or to act or decide without consulting another or others. Self-determination is made up of many skills such as choice making, decision making, problem solving, goal setting & attainment, self-regulation, self-instruction, self-advocacy, internal locus of control, self-efficacy, self-awareness and self-knowledge.

Segregated work settings: Also referred to as sheltered workshops, these vocational settings typically pay less than minimum wage, separate individuals with disabilities from nondisabled peers and co-workers, and lack meaningful integration into the community. Studies have shown that these “vocational training” settings do not lead to competitive, integrated employment for participants.

Supported employment: an employment model designed for individuals with significant disabilities which provides intensive job supports in order to employ individuals in integrated community businesses, earning minimum wage or better, and working side-by-side with co-workers, customers, and vendors without disabilities.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR): agencies in each state designed to support individuals with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through funding and services, which include things like gaining skills, interviewing, choosing a career, job development or placement, on the job training, and getting accommodations.