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Providing information, training, and resources on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and 

Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada & the Pacific Basin (Region 9)

Need ADA Assistance? 1-800-949-4232 (Voice/TTY) or Email Us



The Pacific ADA Center Web site contains a large amount of information which may not be familiar to our users. New technological terms and acronyms may be difficult to understand so we have provided this glossary for your use.


Acronym for Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, which addresses scoping and technical requirements for accessibility to sites, facilities, buildings, and elements by individuals with disabilities. Visit The Access Board's Web site

Accessible I.T.
Accessible I.T. or Accessible Information Technology is technology that can be used by people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. It incorporates the principles of universal design, whereby each user is able to interact with the technology in ways that work best for him or her.

Acronym for The American with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. More information on the ADA

Adaptive Technology
The name for products which help people who cannot use regular versions of products, primarily people with physical disabilities such as limitations to vision, hearing, and mobility. See also assistive technology.

Acronym for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Generally pronounced [aski], this is character encoding based on the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, including Assistive Technology such as Screen Readers and TRS Equipment.

Assistive Technology
Any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Examples include message boards, screen readers, refreshable Braille displays, keyboard and mouse modifications, and head pointers.

Acronym for American Sign Language, which is the dominant sign language of the Deaf community in the United States, in the English-speaking parts of Canada, and in parts of Mexico. More about American Sign Language

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Acronym for the Center for Applied Special Technology. Resources, research and examples to assist in the design of learning materials and activities for all learners. Visit Center for Applied Special Technology


Center on Technology and Disability. Visit Center on Technology and Disability Web site

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Distance Learning
Training from a remote location. Available training options are conducted by way of Teleconference, streaming audio over the internet, and real-time captioned over the internet.

Acronym for the Department of the Interior, whose Civil Rights division handles ADA Title II. Department of the Interior

Acronym for the Department Of Justice, which enforces Title II (Public Services provided by state and local government) and Title III (Public Accommodations) of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Department Of Justice Web site

Acronym for the U.S. Department of Labor, which is responsible for administering and enforcing the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). U.S. Department of Labor Web site

Acronym for The U.S. Department of Transportation, which, in cooperation with the U.S. Access Board, develops standards for transportation vehicles, including over-the-road buses, under the ADA. Department of Transportation Web site

Acronym for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc., which is a National law and policy center dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities. Visit Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc Web site

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Acronym for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is a United States federal agency tasked with ending employment discrimination in the United States. Visit the Commissions web site 

Acronym for Electronic & Information Technology. Section 508 was originally added as an amendment to The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in 1986. The original section 508 dealt with electronic and information technologies, in recognition of the growth of this field.

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Acronym for the Federal Communications Commission, which is the primary link to telecommunications consumers. The FCC address all types of consumer-related matters - from answering questions and responding to consumer complaints, to distributing consumer education materials and assuring consumer input in their policy making activities. Visit the Commissions web site


Federal Region 9
The area served by the Pacific ADA Center. This area includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Basin (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau).

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Acronym for Hearing Carry-Over, which is a less common call type than VCO. The HCO method is used by people who have difficulty speaking, but have no difficulty hearing voice. HCO allows a speech-impaired person to type messages on a TTY (which are voiced by the relay operator) and then pick up the handset and listen to the other person's response. More Information about Hearing Carry-Over services

Acronym for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is the Federal agency designated to enforce the Fair Housing Act. Visit site for information specific to rights of people with disabilities in residential dwellings. Visit U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Web site

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Information and Communication Technology





Acronym for Masters of Public Health.

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Acronym for the National Center on Accessibility, which provides training, technical assistance and research on access to parks, recreation, and tourism. Visit National Center on Accessibility Web site

The National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress on issues affecting 54 million Americans with disabilities. Visit National Council on Disability Web site

Acronym for The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research

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Acronym for the Office of Disability Employment Policy, which under the U.S. Department of Labor, provides national leadership by developing and influencing disability-related employment policies as well as practices that affect the employment of people with disabilities. Visit Office of Disability Employment Policy Web site

Acronym for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which is responsible for ensuring that employers doing business with the Federal government comply with the laws and regulations requiring nondiscrimination. OFCCP is part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration. Visit Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program Web site

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Acronym for Portable Document Format, which is an open file format created and controlled by Adobe Systems for representing two-dimensional documents in a device independent and resolution independent fixed-layout document format. Unless properly tagged, these documents may be inaccessible to those with visual impairments. More Information about Portable Document Format

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Acronym for the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, an interdisciplinary association for the advancement of rehabilitation and assistive technologies. Visit Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America Web site

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Section 508
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, was enacted by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Visit Section 508.gov Web site for more information

Acronym for Speech-To-Speech. STS Relay is the Speech To Speech Relay Service available to any telephone callers or callees with speech disability and to those who wish to talk with them. More Information about Speech-To-Speech

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Acronym for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf. A telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) is an electronic device for text communication via a telephone line, used when one or more of the parties has hearing or speech difficulties. More Information about Telecommunications Device for the Deaf

Acronym for Telecommunication Relay Service. Also known as Relay Service, or IP-Relay, is an operator service that allows Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, Speech-Impaired, and Speech-Disabled persons to place calls to standard telephone users via TDD, TTY, personal computer or other assistive telephone device. More Information about Telecommunication Relay Service

Title I
Portion of the ADA that states that covered entity shall not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. This applies to job application procedures, hiring, advancement and discharge of employees, worker's compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. More Information about Title I

Title II
Portion of the ADA pertaining to Public Services. Title II requires agencies to comply with regulations similar to Section 504of the Rehabilitation Act. These rules cover access to all programs offered by the entity. Access includes physical access described in the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards or the ADA Standards for Accessible Design and access that might be obstructed by discriminatory policies or procedures of the entity. More Information about Title II

Title III
Portion of the ADA. Under Title III, no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability with regards to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation. More Information Title III

Acronym for Teletypewriter or Teletype, a typewriter with an electronic communication channel. More Information about Teletypewriter or Teletype.  More Information about Teletypewriter or Teletype

Abbreviation for the word Telephone.

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Universal design
Related to "inclusive design" and "design for all," is an approach to the design of products, services and environments to be usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation

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Acronym for Voice Carry-Over. VCO allows the deaf or hard of hearing person to use his or her voice while receiving responses from a hearing person via text typed by the relay operator (also known as communication assistant or relay agent). There are many variations of VCO, including 2-Line VCO. More Information about Voice Carry-Over

Acronym for Video Relay Services. This service allows people who use American Sign Language are able to place phone calls by signing instead of typing. The VI (video interpreter) uses a web cam or videophone to voice the Deaf or Speech-Disabled person's signs to the Hearing person and sign the Hearing person's words to the Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing person. More Information about Video Relay Services

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Acronym for the Web Accessibility Initiative. The WAI is the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) effort to pursue accessibility of the web through technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development. Visit W3C's WAI Web Page

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. W3C is a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding. On this page, you'll find W3C news, links to W3C technologies and ways to get involved. Visit W3C Web site.

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