Assessments in IDD

Assessments in IDD 

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or IDD, experience many types of assessments. Accurate, relevant assessments are key to meeting a person's needs. Assessment results can be used to identify needs, determine funding for services, and design daily supports. In this course, you will learn about assessments used in the human services field. You will learn about what makes a good assessment, their different purposes, and potential problems with assessments. You will also learn about your role in the assessment process.

This training is an overview of the purpose, function, methods, and basic forms of assessment. It is not a training on any specific type of assessment and will not qualify participants to be an assessor.


Hours: 2.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals


This activity is approved for 2.00 contact hours.

National Alliance for Direct Support Professional Frontline Supervisor Training


Course Details

Course Code: REL-IDD-OADSP-UA-V2
Hours: 2
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 5/31/2026
Learning Objectives:
Explain the general purpose of assessments in IDD services.
Explain potential problems related to assessments and how to address them.
Describe the role of a DSP or supervisor in the assessment process.
Identify types of informal assessments and their purposes.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: The Assessment Experience

A Failed Assessment

Why Assess People?

Problems with Assessment

Preventing Problems

Characteristics of a Quality Assessment

Formal Standardized Assessment vs. Informal Assessment

Your Role in Assessments



Section 3: Assessing Support Needs and Strengths

Determining a Person’s Needs and Strengths

Vineland-3 Adaptive Behavior Scales

The Supports Intensity Scale

Diagnostic Adaptive Behavior Scale

Informally Assessing a Person’s Support Needs and Strengths

Informal Assessment Methods



Section 4: Assessing Mental Processes and Medical Needs

Mental Ability Testing

Intelligence Testing: The “Big 3”

Strengths and Aptitudes

Preferred Learning Styles

Mind and Body

Psychological, Psychiatric, and Neurological Assessments

Medical Assessment

Identifying Medical Needs

Communicating with Medical Professionals

Assessing Pain and Discomfort



Section 5: Academic Assessment

Academic Assessment

Accommodations in Academic Assessment

Types of Accommodations

Modifications and Alternate Assessment

Alternate Assessments



Section 6: Career Assessments

Assessing a Person’s Work Interests and Strengths

Discovery: Essential in Making a Good Job Match

Exploration: Hands-On Job Assessment

Work Skills and Customized Employment

A Change for Daniel

Section Summary

Section 7: Conclusion


Course Contributors




Staff Writer: Katy Kunst, MBA, QIDP
Katy Kunst received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Master of Business Administration from Elon University. She has 14 years of experience serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their supporters, including roles as direct support professional, program director, and training facilitator. She has created and facilitated training on topics including non-violent crisis interventions, person-centered planning, cultural competence, quality service delivery, regulatory compliance, and a variety of topics related to IDD services. Disclosure: Katy Kunst, MBA, QIDP has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Andrea Perry-McKay, QIDP
Andrea Perry-McKay is the Director of Training for the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals. Andrea has BFA from Ohio State University. She has over 15 years’ experience in the developmental disabilities field in local government, education, and non-profits. She has expertise in quality assurance, human rights, and outreach. She is passionate about systemic improvement of supports for people with diverse abilities. She is the President of the Board of the Ohio Public Images Network, a non-profit board whose mission is to promote positive awareness of people with I/DD. Additionally, her expertise in quality systems allows her to consult internationally, helping organizations to improve their supports as a CARF Surveyor. Disclosure: Andrea Perry-McKay, QIDP has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
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All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
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