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Urgent Message:
Nash County residents:
Effective date has been moved to July 1, 2017. See more details here
Urgent Message:
Nash County residents:
Effective date has been moved to July 1, 2017. See more details here

Supports Intensity Scale® (SIS)


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What is the Supports Intensity Scale?

The Supports Intensity Scale® (SIS) - Adult

  • is a nationally normed assessment tool designed by experts for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities age 16 and older
  • is nationally recognized, adopted by 18 states, used internationally
  • identifies and measures the supports needed for an individual to successfully participate in various life activities
  • is conducted through a positive and thorough interview process every three years

The SIS includes three sections, each of which measures a particular area of support need:

Section 1
The Supports Intensity Scale® consists of 49 life activities grouped into six domains:

  • Home Living
  • Employment
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Community Living
  • Health and Safety
  • Social Activities

Section 2
Supplemental Protection and Advocacy measures eight activities. Information learned here is helpful in developing individualized support plans.

Section 3
Exceptional Medical and Behavioral Supports Needs measures support needs across 15 medical conditions and 12 challenging behaviors. An underlying assumption of the SIS® is that certain medical conditions and challenging behaviors predict that a person will require increased support over time. The medical and behavioral items identify important considerations for support needs planning. 

The Supports Intensity Scale® (SIS) - Children

  • is a different assessment tool used to identify the support needs of children younger than 16
  • measures the relative intensity of support needs of children with intellectual and/or developmental disability 
  • focuses on the extent of extra support a child needs to fully participate in a variety of activities
  • is conducted every two years

Who receives a SIS® assessment?

All individuals receiving services through the NC Innovations Waiver are required to receive a SIS.  The SIS gives very valuable information to us and to you. 

To learn more about the SIS® . . . 

Watch the SIS® Community Forum Presentation given in September 2012 to explain the SIS assessment and what an interview is like. 

Watch these SIS® Videos produced by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 

Resources & Links