How to understand jargon around disabilities


The more you get involved in the disability community (and the more you wade into the government’s bureaucracy), the more jargon you’re going to find. Here are some of the terms that crop up, and what they mean:
Individualized Funding
Individualized Funding – often just called IF – is a funding model that gives funding directly to the individual or his/her family, and they can then develop or purchase the services they want (within a set scope) with the funds.  IF is seen to provide the individual/family with significant control over the delivery of their service.  If you Google Individualized Funding you will get lots of information.
A Microboard in a registered society that has come together for the sole purpose of supporting one (sometimes two) individuals. The Microboard receives funding from government and administers the funding on the individual’s or individuals’ behalf; this usually involves the delivery of daytime and residential services.  Family members and close friends generally make up the Microboard.  

Self Advocate
A Self Advocate is an adult person with disabilities who advocates on his/her own behalf, and on behalf of others.  Self Advocates are sometimes part of the ‘Self Advocacy Caucus – a group supported by BC Association for Community Living.  Some people call all adults with disabilities ‘Self Advocates’ whether they do any advocacy work or not.

In order to receive government funded services children/adults must be determined to be eligible.  In the case of people with disability, eligibility criteria generally focus on IQ and other indicators of functioning. 

Dual Diagnosis
If some one has a dual diagnosis, it usually means that they have been diagnosed with two conditions – one of which is a mental health condition.  In the disability world, dual diagnosis usually means that someone has a developmental disability (example, Downs Syndrome) and a mental health issue (Bi Polar).

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