Check-In: Oregon Needs Assessment

Posted by on Dec 12, 2018

If you or someone you care about receives DD services in Oregon, chances are that you have or will receive an Oregon Needs Assessment (ONA) before the end of June 2019. And maybe that has left you wondering, what was that about, and will it affect my services? Hopefully you feel comfortable asking your Personal Agent any person-specific questions you might have, but let’s talk a little about the general ONA project, and OSSA’s advocacy on the subject.

A Re-Cap of the Oregon Needs Assessment Project  The Oregon Needs Assessment is a series of questions about a person’s needs and abilities. It will replace several older tools used to assess and verify needs, including the Adult Needs Assessment (ANA). This is a project that has been in the works for years now, in an effort to create the most accurate and user-friendly needs assessment possible. The Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) contracted Mission Analytics to create and validate the assessment tool itself. Next, OHSU was brought in to check that work, and make recommendations for the assurance of a thorough and solid development process. You can rea

Implementation to move forward in 2019.

d DD Director Lilia Teninty’s recap of OHSU’s findings here. In summary, the assessment tool performed as it is meant to, but it isn’t clear whether it works as well to assess children and their needs. Currently, work on this project is being conducted primarily by HSRI, Brokerages, and CDDPs. Brokerages and CDDPs have hired and trained Oregon Needs Assessors, who are currently working full time to conduct needs assessments. These assessments are not currently tied to services. Though the assessment is helping to inform the ISP as to what supports are needed, there is currently no change in service eligibility based on ONA results. The data from all of these assessments is crucial to the work of HSRI, which has been contracted by ODDS to make recommendations on how services should be allocated based on ONA results. HSRI is not done yet, and isn’t scheduled to be done until sometime in 2019.

We don’t yet know how ONA results will impact people in services. As soon as information is available, we will share it.

Stakeholder Involvement and Advocacy  A stakeholder is someone with an interest or concern in the outcome or function of something. In this context, the stakeholders in the outcome and function of the ONA are people receiving DD services, families, agency service providers, PSWs and their representatives, CDDPs, and Brokerages. ODDS solicits in-put from stakeholders on a variety of topics, in lots of different ways. The ONA project has been communicated out via DD Director Messages (you can click up top to subscribe to these, and get an email notification when something new is posted), in meetings, in ODDS community forum visits around the state, in legislative committee sessions, and through the state website.

As stakeholders, the Brokerages have representatives on the ODDS-hosted Vision Advisory group that meets with ODDS each month. We offer feedback from the perspective and experience of supporting the nearly 8,000 adults with developmental disabilities who are currently served at Brokerages. Our advocacy on the Oregon Needs Assessment has primarily focused on creating a thoughtful and fully-informed development process, with plenty of time set aside for testing and refinement. We’ll also advocate for an implementation process that interferes as little as possible with people’s lives.

If you’re reading this post, you are likely a stakeholder, too. If you want to share your point of view and contribute to the policy work of ODDS, you can go to the Engagement and Innovation site for ODDS. ODDS posts draft documents and policies on this page for written feedback. Check the list out regularly to comment on issues of interest to you. Scroll to the bottom to view the list of Stakeholder Groups forming. Groups are updated regularly with requests for self-advocates, family advocates, PSWs, agency providers, staff from Brokerages and CDDPs, and other specialized participants, depending on the subject matter. Click the “subsribe” button up top (under the word Overview) to be notified via email when new additions are posted to this page.

Please share your questions with us!

Still have questions? We would love to offer answers to any questions you might have about this process, or to bring them

forward at our regular stakeholder engagements with ODDS. Please consider commenting on this post with questions, or contacting me (Katie Rose) directly at, or (971)202-6952.