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Guide to Common Assistance Dog-Related Acronyms

Guide to Common Assistance Dog-Related Acronyms

When reading about or researching guide, hearing, or service dogs, you’re bound to encounter some acronyms. We’ve compiled a list of many of the most common assistance dog-related acronyms below to help make sense of these abbreviations.


504: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act


AAAD: Area Agency on Aging and Disability
ACAA: Air Carrier Access Act (Read about flying with an assistance dog)
ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act
ADI: Assistance Dogs International (read about ADI)
ADLs: Activities of daily living
ADRC: Aging and Disability Resource Center
ALF: Assisted living facility
ASD: Autism spectrum disorder (Read about autism service dogs)
ASL: American Sign Language
AT: Assistive technology
ATTS: American Temperament Test Society
AWD: Adult with a disability


BAER: Brainstem auditory evoked response (a canine hearing test)
BDQ: Brief disability questionnaire
BPD: Bipolar disorder – or – borderline personality disorder
BSL: Breed specific legislation – or – British Sign Language


CC: Closed captioning
CI: Cochlear implant
COTA: Certified occupations therapist assistant
CP:Cerebral palsy
CSHCN: Children with special health care needs
CT: Clicker training
CWD: Child with a disability


DB: Deaf-blind
DOJ: Department of Justice (read about filing an ADA complaint with the DOJ)


EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
ESA: Emotional support animal (read about emotional support animals)


FHA: Fair Housing Act (read about housing rights with an assistance dog)
FHAA: Fair Housing Amendments Act


GDUI: Guide Dog Users, Inc. (read about GDUI)
GRD: Golden retriever dog (read about golden retrievers as assistance dogs)
GSD: German shepherd dog (read about German shepherds as assistance dogs)



HA: Hearing aid
HI: Hearing impaired (read about hearing dogs)
HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
HOH: Hard of hearing


IAADP: International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (read about IAADP)
IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IGDF: International Guide Dog Federation (read about IGDF)
ILC: Independent living center


MD: Medical doctor – or – muscular dystrophy – or – multiple disabilities
MH: Multiply handicapped
MI: Mental illness
MS: Multiple sclerosis


NAGDU: National Association of Guide Dog Users (read about NAGDU)


O&M: Orientation and mobility training
OT: Owner-trained – or – occupational therapist


PAT: Public access test
PCCM: Primary care case management
PCP: Primary care physician
PD: Physical disability
POTS: Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
PSD: Psychiatric service dog (read about psychiatric service dogs)
PT: Physical therapy
PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder
PWD: Person with a disability


R-: Negative reinforcement
R+: Positive reinforcement


SA: Service animal
SD: Service dog
SDID: Service dog – invisible disability
SDIT: Service dog in training
SIL: Services for Independent Living
SPD: Sensory processing disorder
SSA: Social Security Administration
SSDI: Social Security disability income
SSI: Supplemental Security income


TBI: Traumatic brain injury
TDD: Telecommunication devices for the deaf
TDI: Therapy Dogs International (read about therapy dogs)
TT: Temperament tested (the ATTS temperament title)


VA: US Department of Veterans Affairs (read about getting an assistance dog through the VA)
VI: Visually impaired (read about guide dogs)


W/C: Wheelchair

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