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The DDA Assessment

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The DDA Assessment is designed to measure the individual support needs of persons with developmental disabilities over a broad spectrum of life areas and activities. This information is essential in understanding the needs of persons who are assessed and assists case resource managers with development of an individual support plan when DDA services are authorized.

The DDA Assessment was implemented on June 1, 2007.

The DDA Assessment Modules

There are three sections in the DDA Assessment:

  1. The Support Assessment Module
    The Support Assessment Module will be used with all DDA clients. It will give DDA information about potential waiver eligibility and identify persons receiving or approved for paid services who will need the additional two assessment modules.
    This module includes a special part for clients age 16 and older called the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS). The SIS is a nationally recognized tool used in many states to measure the support needs of people with disabilities.
    This module also includes an assessment of caregiver needs, behavior issues, and protective supervision. If the person is not currently eligible for paid services, the DDA Assessment ends after gathering this information. The person is given a copy of the results.

  2. The Service Level Assessment Module
    This module will be used with DDA clients who are authorized to receive a DDA paid service. The answers to these questions will help case resource managers develop the Individual Support Plan (see below).
    The questions being asked now for Medicaid Personal Care (MPC) will continue to be part of the new DDA Assessment, along with some new and different questions specifically designed to measure the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities.

  3. The Individual Support Plan (ISP) Module
    All DDD clients who are receiving DDA paid services will have an Individual Support Plan that describes the services they are authorized to receive. The case resource manager will print this plan and give it to the client following the assessment and planning session.

Development of DDA Assessment Rules

The rules (called the Washington Administrative Code or WAC) that govern the DDA Assessment were adopted June 1, 2007.

Rule development occurred as follows:



Informational Flyers


The Supports Intensity Scale

The Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) is a nationally normed assessment tool for people with developmental disabilities age 16 and older. It is used in the Support Assessment Module of the DDD Assessment to assess employment needs, help build the Individual Support Plan, determine need for community support, and highlight additional needs for community or informal support.

The tool was designed by experts in the field of developmental disabilities specifically to identify the needs of people with developmental disabilities. The tool is nationally recognized and has been adopted by Georgia and Utah. There are plans for a future SIS scale to be developed for children under the age of 16.

The Assessment Process

The DDA Assessment process has several steps:


In 2003, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) recommended that ADSA develop a standardized and automated assessment process that is consistently applied for DDA clients, in all parts of Washington State, prior to decision-making about service needs.

The Aging and Disability Services Administration (ADSA) worked with stakeholders to develop a standardized, automated assessment process that would measure the specific support needs of both children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Significant stakeholder input resulted in the development of the DDA Assessment.

Phase I of the DDA Assessment Project -- completed October 2004.

The Phase I development of the Children’s Medicaid Personal Care (MPC) Assessment standardized the assessment process and authorization of MPC services for children with developmental disabilities. The adult assessment was modified with developmental age guidelines to assess the specific needs of children with developmental disabilities. The assessment generates standardized care plans for MPC, which outline authorized paid care tasks and additional informal supports.

The Children’s MPC Assessment provides a consistent measure for the number of paid care hours DSHS may authorize based upon a child’s functional need for assistance and the amount of informal support available. Informal support includes the care a child receives from parents and other adults as well as school and other community resources.

Phase II of the DDA Assessment Project -- completed September 2005.

The products from this phase included:

Phase III of the DDA Assessment Project – completed June 2007

Phase III products included: