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FAQ - Supports Intensity Scale

  1. What is the Supports Intensity Scale?
    The Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) was developed over a period of five years by a team of national experts endorsed by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), the world’s leading organization for professionals in the developmental disabilities field since 1876.  The SIS is a multidimensional scale designed to determine the pattern and intensity of an individual’s support needs. The SIS was specifically designed to a) assess support needs; b) determine the intensity of needed supports; c) monitor progress, and d) evaluate outcomes of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  2. Who developed the Supports Intensity Scale?
    The SIS was developed over a 5-year period of time by a team of experts from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).
  3. Why is North Carolina choosing to use the Supports Intensity Scale?
    North Carolina chose to use the SIS because it is positive and supports oriented, it is engaging, it is reliable and valid, it is simple with well-defined item descriptions, and it has an excellent measurement scale. The SIS can be used in conjunction with other assessment tool, such as the NC SNAP, psychological assessments, risk assessments, etc. to assist the individual receiving services and their support team in developing a person centered plan that focuses on strengths and abilities, not deficits.
  4. Is this a State Wide roll out?
    Yes. Participation in the Innovations Waiver requires individuals to receive a SIS assessment.  Therefore individuals in all parts of North Carolina will receive a SIS assessment.
  5. Whose responsibility is it to coordinate the interview meeting time and location?
    An Trillium SIS Evaluator will schedule interview appointments for the SIS assessments. Along with those selected by the individual/family, providers and Care Coordinators will be invited to participate in the interview. Individuals and Families may select their preferred location for the interview. There must be at least two respondents at each SIS interview in order to have a valid SIS evaluation.  In order to be considered  a respondent, the participant must know the person being assessed for at least three months.
  6. Can the interview be conducted over the phone? 
    No, the interviews are face-to-face interviews only, and require at least 2 people who know the person well to attend the interview.
  7. How long does the interview take to complete? 
    Interviews take 2-3 hours to complete.
  8. Must the individual receiving services participate? 
    No, but it is preferred that the individual receiving services be present if at all possible. The SIS evaluator must meet the person prior to or after the meeting. There may be alternative methods of obtaining information from the individual receiving services that might not do well in a group situation.
  9. What if there is a disagreement about scoring an item? 
    The SIS Interviewer will ask probing questions in order to make the best decision for the rating
  10. How will your Care Coordinator use the results from the SIS?
    A major strength of the SIS is that it identifies supports that are needed to help an individual be successful in a variety of life domains. As such, during the person centered planning meeting, as needs are identified, corresponding supports should also be identified to assist the individual receiving services in meeting those needs.
  11. Will the SIS be completed yearly?
    The SIS is completed every two years for children and every three years for adults unless here has been a significant change in an individual’s life or circumstance.
  12. If individuals have a SIS assessment completed, will a NC SNAP be complete also.
    Yes. The NC SNAP will continue to be used until the new funding model has been developed.
  13. What if an individual or family declines their SIS?
    Individuals/Families may not decline to participate in their SIS assessments. Participation in the Innovations Waiver requires the individual to receive a SIS assessment.
  14. Who completes the SIS interviews? 
    A certified SIS Evaluator from AAIDD or Trillium.
  15. Is the same SIS tool used for children and adults?
    There are two SIS tools that are currently used. The tool for adults, SIS-A, assesses individuals 16 and older. The tool for children, SIS-C, is for those under the age of 16.
  16. Should Individuals/Families prepare to bring medical documentation or a copy of the ISP to the SIS interview?
    It is not necessary to bring medical documentation or  lists of medications.
  17. Where can I find additional information about the SIS?
    Additional information on the SIS can be obtained by going to SIS website.
  18. Will results from SIS interviews completed be shared? 
    Yes, this information will be shared immediately for use in upcoming ISP discussions with individuals and their families and service providers. Also, the family is offered an opportunity to have the SIS evaluator review the completed SIS with them.