Terms in Definitions » O


  • Observation
    The process of watching or listening to an individual's behavior and performance and recording relevant information.
  • Observation
    Direct observation provides depth of analysis, validity and flexibility. However, it is time consuming, difficult to analyze, and susceptible to subjectivity.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
    A medical brain disorder that causes problems in information processing. OCD usually involves having both obsessions and compulsions, though a person with OCD may sometimes have only one or the other. Obsessions are thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again and feel out of a person's control. The person does not want to have these ideas, finds them disturbing and intrusive, and usually recognizes that they don't really make sense. People with OCD typically try to make their obsessions go away by performing compulsions. Compulsions are acts the person performs over and over again, often according to certain "rules". OCD compulsions do not give the person pleasure. Rather, the rituals are performed to obtain relief from the discomfort caused by the obsessions. OCD symptoms cause distress, take up a lot of time (more than an hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person's work, social life, or relationships.
  • Occupation Specific Certification Tests
    Assessments given by licensure boards, businesses, apprenticeship programs, and workforce preparation programs (such as community colleges, technical colleges, or workforce development training programs). They measure individual achievement and the ability to perform very specific work or jobs, are often compared to industry standards, and can be used to document the effectiveness of training programs themselves.
  • Occupation Specific Skills
    Occupational or job specific standards address the skill expectations of a specific occupation. This is the level at which many existing career-preparation programs and certification systems are focusing.
  • One-Stop Center
    The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) requires that a number of employment-related services be provided through a system of One-Stop Centers, designed to make accessing employment and training services easier for job seekers. One-Stop Centers are also required to help employers identify and recruit skilled workers. The One-Stop system is required to be a customer-focused and comprehensive system that increases the employment, retention, and earnings of participants. WIA names 17 categories of federally-funded programs that are to be mandated partners within the One-Stop system (GAO, 2003).
  • Opportunities
    Chances for young people to learn how to act in the world around them, to explore, express, earn, belong, and influence. Opportunities give young people the chance to test ideas and behaviors and to experiment with different roles. It is important to stress that young people, just like adults, learn best through active participation and that learning occurs in all types of settings and situations (Center for Youth Development and Policy Research, 1996).
  • Oppositional Difiant Disorder (ODD)
    Refers to a pattern of negative, hostile, and defiant behavior (social aggression) lasting at least six months, during which four (or more) of the following behaviors are present: 1) often loses temper; 2) often argues with adults (oppostition to authority figures); 3) often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules; 4) often deliberately annoys people; 5) often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior; 6) is often touchy or easily annoyed by others; 7) is often angry and resentful; 8) is often spiteful or vindictive; and 9) frequent use of obscene language.
  • Order of Selection
    Refers to the rules that State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies must develop to prioritize the provision of VR services when funding is limited. Federal law requires that individuals with the most significant disabilities be served first when resources are inadequate to serve everyone determined eligible for services. This means that individuals that with less significant disabilities are placed on waiting lists and will only receive services if or when all of the individuals with the most significant disabilities have been served.
  • Orientation & Mobility (O & M)
    The training process that prepares individuals who are blind or visually impaired to travel safely and independently.
  • Outpatient Treatment
    Is one of the most common types of mental health treatment and simply refers to the mode of service delivery in which the youth and family visit an office for treatment while living in a home environment. This intervention covers a large variety of therapeutic approaches, with most falling into the broad theoretical categories of cognitive, interpersonal, and behavioral psychotherapy.

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