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SIS-A is Unique



What makes SIS-A unique?

The SIS-A is positive, supports-oriented, and person-centered. The SIS-A shifts the paradigm from lacks to needs, the SIS-A evaluates what practical supports adults with developmental disabilities need to lead typical, independent lives.


  • Is an evidence-based assessment, normed with unimpeachable statistical strength and greater cultural diversity than most tools developed in the US for people with IDD.
  • Accurately measure support needs across cultures and languages.
  • Focuses on the strengths of the individual.
  • Is consistent with community inclusion, self-direction, and person-centered services.


Support Intensity Scale
The interview format provides an opportunity to ask supplemental information, which can be stored in the data record.
Individual Level

The SIS-A provides the opportunity for discussions about topics important to and for the individual. The SIS-A provides a comprehensive profile of support needs to inform individualized support planning.

Agency Level

Aggregated SIS-A data can inform staffing plans, training, budgeting, strategic planning, and evaluation.

Systems Level

Aggregated data can be used to drive the efficient use of public funds, promote flexibility in the selection of services, and ensure greater equity.

 Unique Features

Team Approach

The SIS-A is designed as an interview of the individual, with participation from a team of friends and supporters.

Practical Orientation

The SIS-A interview forms rank support requirements by frequency, daily support time, and type of support needed.

Useful Information

Results include a visual profile of high and low intensity support needs, an Index score, and a percentile ranking.

Valid and Reliable

The SIS-A was extensively field tested before it was initially launched in 2004. Ongoing research around the world continues to confirm the assessment's reliability and validity. The psychometric and technical properties are provided in the User's Manual.

Uses in Addition to Support Planning

SIS-A data can also be used to examine support needs across comparable groups for a number of purposes, including program planning, projecting future population needs, analyzing resource distribution, and program evaluation.

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