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More About the Supports Intensity Scale

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The Supports Intensity Scale ® is a tool known all over the U.S. and was developed over a period of five years by a team of experts from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). This team included self advocates, family members, and professionals in the field of developmental disabilities.

Before the SIS, a person's level of need was usually measured by the skills a person didn’t have. To change this, the SIS focuses instead on what supports a person needs to do an activity. The SIS allows you, your family, and your support team to begin planning for the supports you need to live your everyday life.

SIS assessments identify the level of support a person with intellectual or developmental disabilities needs in order to do the same things that everyone does in their community every day.

The SIS is a "normed" or standardized assessment tool. This means that it gives information that shows and compares a person's need for support with others who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. To do this, the SIS authors made sure to include people in their sample or norm group who represent people with IDD in general. Read more about this tool by visiting the AAIDD website.

SIS Assessment Checklist
SIS Scheduling and Interview Guidelines

The SIS Results in New Mexico

The SIS Supports Needs Index (SNI) is a combined score that represents a snapshot of an individual's support needs scores in the six life areas (home living, community living, lifelong learning, employment, health and safety, and social life). The SNI found on your SIS profile also gives you a percentile rank which shows how your level of support needs compares with others with IDD. For example, if your SNI is in the 50th percentile, you have as much or more support needs than 50 percent of the population with IDD in the norm group for the assessment. This comparison helps with planning so you receive the supports you need. The NM distribution follows the outline of a bell shape where most individuals cluster around the average SNI score.

View a graph of the Distribution of the Supports Needs Index scores of people who have received a SIS assessment in New Mexico.


Getting a SIS for Adults Webinar
Getting a SIS for Adults Slideshow

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