One of the major questions that I am asked all the time is "What do you do?" When I respond, "I'm a QIDP," you can imagine the blank stares I get. People look at me with the old "Deer in the headlight" look as they ponder their next question. The next question comes quickly, "What's a Q...?" They naturally trail off because they did not hear exactly what I said or they did not understand.
At this point in the conversation, I usually respond, "I am a consultant for homes serving people with disabilities. I write programs and goals for the individuals living in those homes." Guess what? I'm suddenly classified as a "Computer Programer" and everyone is excited because they think I'll be able to write them a neat little app for their cell phones. While writing apps, and other work is a nice attachment hobby, it is not what a "Q" does or even what it means to be a "Q".
For those aware of the terminology, the next part is going to be a little boring. The old term "QMRP" stood for Qualified Mental Retardation Professional. The term basically means that the person is "qualified" to write goals and to serve in a certain capacity to help people who have a diagnosis of Mental Retardation. There are specific federal standards, and in some cases state standards, around the country that address what a Q does and his or her role (http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/downloads/som107ap_j_intermcare.pdf).
With the changes of terminology brought about by Rosa's Law (http://myqidp.com/Rosa%27s%20Law%20and%20changes.pdf) the use of the term "Mental Retardation" was removed from use in the United States. Naturally, when that change was made, the acronym "QMRP" was no longer appropriate. Some states elected to change the term to "QDDP" or Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional, while others went with the federal change to "QIDP" or Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional.
For lack of a better way to explain the position a QIDP or QDDP is simply a person who works and writes goals and data to help individuals with Intellectual Disabilities learn to live more independently. The Q may be found on a state level working for organizations such as large or small institutions, or on a smaller level working for ICF (Intermediate Care Facilities) in settings with six to twelve people being served. Ultimately, the Q is essentially a "Case Manager" and has duties much like those of any human service case manager. While there are many different views of how a QIDP should work, there is a national organization that bonds these Q's together and even provides formal training (http://www.qddp.org/). Other organizations offer training and consulting services such as my own organization (http://myqidp.com).
QMRP = Qualified Mental Retardation Professional (outdated now)
QDDP = Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional
QIDP = Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional
ICF/MR = Intermediate Care Facility for people with Mental Retardation (outdated now)
ICF/IID = Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
Within the world of ICF settings, there are several other acronyms you may encounter. Some can be found on my site at: http://myqidp.com/ICFMR.htm