How are these supports classified?
Supports are classified according to the level of intensity a person needs to be able to live normally in their environment. This depends on a variety of circumstances related to the individual in question, their situation and phase in life. Supports vary in duration and intensity.
There are four levels of intensity of support:
- Intermittent: supports are provided as and when they are needed. This means that the supports are not always needed, or that they are only necessary for short periods, coinciding with life-span transitions. Intermittent supports may be high or low intensity.
- Limited: support is characterized by consistency over time, for a limited period but not intermittent. It may involve less cost and fewer staff members than more intensive levels of support. For example, it might involve employment training for a limited period.
- Extensive: support is defined by its ongoing, regular need (daily, for example), related to some environments and with no time limit. One example is long-term support at work.
- Pervasive: support is characterized by constancy and high intensity. It is provided in various environments and is potentially for life. Normally, it is more intrusive and requires more staff members than other intensities.
When outlining the supports needed and their intensity, the 2002 system proposes a four-step evaluation process:
- Identifying the relevant areas of support.
- Identifying the relevant support activities for each area.
- Evaluating the level or intensity of the supports needed.
- Drafting a personalized support plan that reflects the individual.