Supports Intensity Scale®

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Product Information

What is SIS-A™

The Supports Intensity Scale - Adult Version is an assessment tool that evaluates practical support requirements of a person with an intellectual disability. Available in print and electronic formats, SIS consists of 8-page Interview and profile that tests support needs in 87 areas, and a 128-page User's Manual. SIS is comprehensive and engages the consumer in a positive interview process.

Click here to download a presentation on SIS. 

What SIS-A measures

The SIS-A measures support requirements in 57 life activities and 28 behavioral and medical areas. The assessment is done through an interview with the consumer, and those who know the person well.

SIS-A measures support needs in the areas of home living, community living, lifelong learning, employment, health and safety, social activities, and protection and advocacy. The Scale ranks each activity according to frequency (none, at least once a month), amount (none, less than 30 minutes), and type of support (monitoring, verbal gesturing). Finally, a Supports Intensity Level is determined based on the Total Support Needs Index, which is a standard score generated from scores on all the items tested by the Scale. 

Why SIS-A is different

Traditionally, a person's level of developmental disability has been measured by the skills the individual lacks. SIS-A shifts the focus from lacks to needs. The Scale evaluates practical supports people with developmental disabilities need to lead independent lives.


The SIS-A should be administered by a professional in the human services field with a 4-year degree. Under exceptional circumstances others with experience conducting individual assessments and possess extensive knowledge of behavior rating or psychological testing principles may be acceptable.

Click here to read frequently asked questions on the administration of SIS-A.


A paper and pencil-based test consisting of an 8-page Interview and profile form. Comes with accompanying 128-page User's Manual.


SISOnline is an advanced web application system that enables you to score the Supports Intensity Scale online through a standard web browser. The system allows access to a variety of reports and statistics, and maintains a database of historical information and more. To learn more, click here.

To inquire about SIS electronic options, email

In Development

A suite of tools is under development, including the SIS-A and the SIS-C.
Additional information.

SIS authors

James R. Thompson; Brian R. Bryant; Edward M. Campbell; Ellis M. (Pat) Craig; Carolyn Hughes; David A. Rotholz; Robert L. Schalock; Wayne P. Silverman; Marc J. Tassé; Michael L. Wehmeyer.  Click here to learn more about them.