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ODP Announcement 20-063: Reinstatement of the Supports Intensity Scale-Audit and Pennsylvania Supplement Assessments

Issued: May 28, 2020; Updated: October 9, 2020 


All stakeholders


The purpose of this updated communication is to expand the target population for which the virtual or remote Supports Intensity Scale-Adult™ (SIS-A TM) and Pennsylvania (PA) Supplement assessments may be scheduled, as well as to provide clarification on individual virtual views, virtual assessments, and remote assessments. 

The purpose of this communication is to announce that effective June 1, 2020, the SIS-A TM and PA Supplement assessments will be reinstated for counties that have transitioned to the yellow and green phases of Governor Wolf’s Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania.​


As counties transition to the yellow and green phases, ODP will be beginning virtual SISA TM and PA Supplement assessments through a conservative roll-out strategy, concentrating first on 5-year reassessments, prioritizing those that are overdue, individuals receiving their first assessments, individuals who have a change in need, and select individuals identified by ODP. ODP will gradually increase the target population. ODP has been working collaboratively with the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and Keystone Peer Review Organization (KEPRO) to develop operating procedures that will allow for the completion of the SIS-A TM and PA Supplement assessments virtually or remotely. 

      1. Virtual assessment: an assessment using video technology and a shared online platform that enables the assessor to have a virtual view of the individual during the assessment. ODP prefers this method. 
      2. Remote assessment: an assessment completed over the telephone using a secure conference line. When conducting remote assessments, a virtual view of the individual must be had prior to the telephone call. Ideally, this would take place on the day of remote assessment, but it could be held up to two days earlier. 
      3. Virtual View: an opportunity for the assessor to become acquainted with the individual, using video technology, during a virtual assessment, or prior to a remote assessment. 

If a virtual view of the individual is not possible (the device does not support video technology, the internet or cellular service is not available) the assessment will be placed on hold until ODP resumes face-to-face assessments. For individuals who do not have access to a device that supports video technology, KEPRO will work with the support team to try to obtain one. 

The assessment tools, submission requests and approval process will remain the same. Below is a description of what will need to be done differently when scheduling and completing a virtual or remote assessment. 

      • Once the assessment is scheduled, a confirmation email will be sent from KEPRO containing information on how to access the SIS-A Respondent Guide for Use with Remote Assessments and a link or secure conference line to join the assessment. If a respondent does not have an email address, KEPRO will mail this information to the respondent. 
      • The SIS Assessor will need to have a virtual view of the individual being assessed. This requires the individual to have access to a device that has audio and video capabilities. If an individual does not have access to a device with audio and video capabilities, the virtual assessment cannot be completed. 
      • Respondents that can should also participate virtually (audio and video capabilities). If the respondent cannot participate virtually and has access to a landline phone, the respondent should be sent by mail the telephone number of a secure conference line to dial in. • Respondent teams should plan on logging in to the meeting ten minutes prior to the assessment start time. This will allow time for troubleshooting any connectivity issues. 
      • Virtual assessments may take longer to complete. Ample time should be allocated (up to three hours) for accurate information to be obtained. Breaks should be offered during the assessment and respondents should be instructed to feel free to request a break any time one is needed. 
      • As an additional level of quality oversight, an ODP Regional SIS Lead and/or KEPRO quality staff may listen in on the assessment. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to your SIS Regional Lead.