Garten's mission is to support people with disabilities in their effort to contribute to the community through employment, career, and retirement opportunities.
Our actions increase society's awareness of human potential.

Helpful Definitions

Auditory Impairment: an inability to hear within normal limits due to physical impairment or dysfunction of auditory mechanisms, that results in deafness or hearing impairment; audiological evaluation by a specialist qualified in audiology and a speech and language evaluation by certified speech-language specialist required
   
Autism: a pervasive developmental disability which significantly impacts verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as social interaction. Onset is generally before age three. Some characteristics include repetitive activities, stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routine, unusual responses to sensory experiences and lack of responsiveness to others.
   
Cognitive Impairment: below-average general cognitive function that appears during a specific developmental period, usually existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior. “Mild”  means mildly below age expectations in quality and rate of learning, use of symbols for interpretation of information and solution of problems, performance on intelligence test two-three standard deviations below the norm. “Moderate”  means cognitive development and adaptive behavior moderately below age expectations in ability to use symbols in solving problems of low complexity, the ability to function socially without direct and close supervision in home, school and community, and performance on intelligence test 3 or more standard deviations below norm. “Severe”  means functioning severely below age expectations, consistently incapable of giving evidence of understanding and responding in a positive manner to simple directions expressed in the child’s primary mode of communication, and unable to express basic wants and needs
 
Communication Impairment: a language disorder in articulation, voice, fluency, morphology, syntax, semantics and/or pragmatics/discourse, which is not primarily caused by auditory impairment.
 
Deafness: a hearing impairment that is so severe that the individual is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification. 
   
Emotional Disturbances: exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, adversely affecting day-to-day function due to an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors; an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers or teachers, inappropriate types of behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances, a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depress, a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems
 
Hearing Impairment: a permanent or fluctuating auditory impairment.
 
Learning Disability: a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do math calculations; characterized by a severe discrepancy between the student’s current achievement and intellectual ability in (1) basic reading skills, (2) reading comprehension, (3) oral expression, (4) listening comprehension, (5) math computation, (6) math reasoning, and/or (7) written expression.
     
Multiple Disabilities: the presence of two or more disabilities, the combination of which causes barriers that cannot be addressed by a focused program designed for any single disability.
 
Orthopedic Impairment: a disability characterized by a severe orthopedic impairment, including limited use of or loss of bone, muscle or tissue; includes poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, cerebral palsy, limb amputation, fractures or burns that cause contractures.
   
Other Health Impairment: a disability that may be characterized by limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, due to chronic or acute health problems, such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, arthritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes or any other medical condition, including Tourette’s Syndrome.
   
Specific Learning Disability: a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in a limited ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia (but does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of cognitive disabilities; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage).
   
Speech and or Language Impairment: a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects performance.
     
Traumatic Brain Injury: an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or insult to the brain, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, including impairment in cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, speech.
     
Visual Impairment: an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects educational and day-to-day performance; includes partial sight and blindness.



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“We differ, blind and seeing, one from another, not in our senses, but in the use we make of them, in the imagination and courage with which we seek wisdom beyond the senses.”

~ Helen Keller, The Five-Sensed World  (1910).