Karrie Shogren, associate professor of special education and associate director of the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Michael Wehmeyer, professor of special education and executive director of the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, are at the forefront of efforts to develop standardized measures of the support needs of children and adults with intellectual disability. Such tools represent a new way of thinking about how to enable people with disabilities to actively participate in the community and engage in activities and life experiences.
Along with other colleagues worldwide, they were invited to participate in the development of a “refreshed” version of the ground-breaking Supports Intensity Scale — Adult Version, known as SIS-A, (first published in 2004) and were invited to participate in the development of Supports Intensity Scale — Children’s Version, known as SIS-C.
“These scales were developed to focus on what support is needed by people with disabilities to participate in their communities and in valued life experiences like school, work and social activities,” Shogren said. “If we know what support an individual needs, we can develop a plan to provide it. In the past, the focus had been on a person’s deficits, rather than the person’s preferences, skills and life goals which has failed to enable people to achieve what they want and need in life.”
The SIS-A has already found worldwide success, having been translated into 13 languages and adopted in 23 U.S. states and Canadian provinces to assist in the planning of individualized supports and more equitably distribute resources by state developmental disability service systems. The SIS-C is showing signs of similar success, being translated into five languages already. Both of the scales will be published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the coming year.
Read the full article on KU News.