• China
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Pakistan
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria

Eligibility for Services and Supports

Provincial standards are implemented to confirm eligibility. This includes documentation of age, Ontario residency, citizenship status, and developmental disability. DSOs confirm eligibility for all adult developmental services and supports.

To confirm a developmental disability, DSO requires documentation from a psychologist or psychological associate – typically, a psychological assessment. The criteria reviewed are: cognitive functioning, adaptive functioning, and age of onset.

Below, we provide information on the specific requirements for each of the three criteria.

Cognitive Functioning

A person`s psychological assessment must indicate an overall (full-scale IQ) score of two standard deviations below the mean, plus or minus standard error of measurement, on a standardized intelligence test, such as the WAIS-R. This equates to a standard score of 75 or lower (due to standard error of measurement); at or below the 5th percentile (due to standard error of measurement); or clinically significant descriptions, such as “mildly delayed range” (or more severe.)

When someone’s full-scale IQ does not meet the cognitive criterion, we can look at specific index or subscale results. When a psychological assessment report confirms that a person’s cognitive functioning falls two standard deviations below the mean in two or more subscales on a standardized intelligence test AND the person has a history of requiring habilitative support, they may also meet the cognitive criterion.

Finally, a psychologist or psychological associate may also make a clinical determination that the person demonstrates significant limitations in cognitive functioning and has a history of requiring habilitative supports. In those circumstances, we may be able to confirm that the person meets the cognitive criterion. This may include situations where someone is unable to participate in testing. This can only be confirmed by a psychologist or psychological associate.

Adaptive Functioning

Once someone has met the cognitive criterion, we look at adaptive functioning. This includes practical, conceptual, and social skills. Practical skills include activities of daily living, work-related skills, and ability to participate in the community. Conceptual skills include language, reading and writing, use of money, time, and number concepts. Social skills include interpersonal skills, self-esteem, social responsibility, and social problem-solving.

When evaluating documentation for adaptive functioning, a psychological assessment will often include use of a test like the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales or the Scales of Independent Behavior. In the results of these tests, we look for a score of at least two standard deviations below the mean, plus or minus standard error measurement in conceptual, social, or practical skills (or equivalent.) This equates to a standard score of 75 or below, below the 5th percentile, or equivalent clinical descriptors of severity or age-equivalents.

In some situations, we may also be able to use other assessment information or documentation to confirm that a person meets the adaptive criterion for eligibility. This would be based on the findings of a psychologist or psychological associate.

Age of Onset

Finally, DSOs need to confirm that limitations in cognitive and adaptive functioning were present before age 18. There are many reasons why a person may have severely limited adaptive skills. Severe mental health issues, learning disabilities, acquired brain injury, or certain other medical conditions can result in severe adaptive impairments. However, a person must have both significant cognitive and adaptive impairments, noted prior to age 18, to qualify for adult developmental services and supports.

 

Reviewed: August 2016