Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

Coordinated Assessment System (CAS) Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers:

What is the CAS?

The Coordinated Assessment System (CAS) starts with a conversation to gather information about a person’s strengths, needs, and interests. The CAS looks at all areas of a person’s life, such as the person’s interests, living skills, health, behavior, and supports, to help develop a care plan that is right for that person. This approach also includes conversations with the people that know the person well, such as their circle of support, family members, friends and people providing supports.

 The CAS is based on the interRAI Intellectual Disability (ID) assessment, which has been tested and validated for use with people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

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Why is OPWDD assessing people?

OPWDD Front Door Staff complete an assessment for people when they first seek services and OPWDD service provider’s complete assessments for the people they support, usually every two years. This assessment is called the Developmental Disabilities Profile-2, or DDP-2, and has been used for more than twenty years to assess all people receiving services from OPWDD.

OPWDD, people receiving services, families, and providers identified the need for a new assessment that includes a conversation with the person receiving services (person-centered), takes into account the needs of the person’s caregivers, and includes a person’s strengths and interests.  The CAS is OPWDD’s new assessment tool. The CAS provides more information for care planning than the DDP-2 and is the first assessment that includes the person receiving services and/or family members in the process.

 The CAS is being used now for care planning purposes and in the future it will be used to help make decisions about services and funding based upon a person’s needs.  Eventually, the CAS will replace the DDP-2, however, until that time, both the DDP-2 and CAS will continue to be used.


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How is the CAS administered?

The CAS is a 3-part process which includes: discussion/observation with the person, discussion with others who know the person well (i.e. such as family members, residential support staff), and a review of supporting documents. The CAS uses a person-centered approach throughout the assessment process, which begins at the scheduling of the first discussion/observation with the person. The CAS is not a checklist of questions asked and answered. During the person’s discussion/observation, certain areas of the CAS are answered only by the person. Other areas of the CAS require input by those who know the person well, such as direct input from care providers, family, and/or advocates that can only be answered with the information they provide.

The CAS assessor is trained to listen and consider all information shared to get an understanding of a person’s strengths, needs, and abilities across multiple settings. The CAS assessor reviews information gathered from all discussions and provided documents before the CAS is completed. The CAS documents the date of the discussion/observation with the person and uses this as a timeframe for completion of the assessment.  While the assessor may ask about what the person has done in the last three (3) days, the CAS captures information beyond just a three (3) day timeframe, particularly in the areas of behavior, mood, seizures, etc. 


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Is participation in the CAS assessment required?

Participation in the CAS assessment by the person and/or family is voluntary but it is strongly encouraged. The person-centered nature of the process helps to better accommodate the needs, desires, or abilities of the person and actively involved family member and/or legal guardian. OPWDD providers of supports and services are required to participate in discussions with the CAS assessor and to share supporting documents.

CAS assessors are trained to gather information from people with a wide range of abilities and needs through adapted discussions and observation (i.e., knowledge of the use of adaptive equipment, sign language and gestures, and/or by observation of the person interacting with his/her surrounding).  The discussion/observation can be stopped at any time, rescheduled on request, or modified to allow for the person to participate in a timeframe or manner that meets their needs.

If the person and actively involved family member and/or legal guardian choose not to participate, the CAS assessor will complete the assessment by interviewing others who know the person well (i.e., staff that provide supports and services to the person), and by reviewing relevant documentation. It is important to note that regardless of participation in the CAS assessment, the person and actively involved family member and/or legal guardian will still have an opportunity to review the CAS summaries and work with the person’s Care Manager in the person-centered planning process and development of the person’s Life Plan.


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Can the Care Manager be Interviewed?

Yes, Care Managers are welcome to be interviewed. In fact, Care Managers may be one of the only sources of information for some people who receive minimal services. In some instances, the person receiving services may also request that the Care Manager, or other staff, be present for comfort during their discussion with the CAS assessor.  In these instances, the discussion will be directed to the person and a separate discussion will take place with the Care Manager.  However, it is not required for the Care Manager to be present for the person’s assessment discussion/observation. 


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What happens after the CAS is completed?

After the CAS has been completed by the CAS assessor, it is electronically transferred, within 48 hours, to the person’s record in the OPWDD computer system, CHOICES. The Care Manager will review the CAS summaries with the person receiving services, actively involved family member and/or legal guardian and the person’s supports (i.e., residential providers), as appropriate, within 30 days. This is another opportunity for the person, actively involved family member and/or legal guardian to provide any additional information for inclusion in the person-centered planning process and development of the Life Plan.


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What will happen with the results from CAS?

The CAS summaries will be used to inform the development of the person’s Life Plan. The CAS summaries provide the Care Manager with information about the person’s needs, as well as strengths and interests. Details provided in the CAS summaries will help the Care Manager confirm information already known about the person or to identify areas that require further exploration or assessment.


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What if there is disagreement with information in the CAS summaries?

Review of the CAS summaries provides an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns about the information in the assessment. It is necessary to document and capture details of the review, beliefs, opinions, and perspectives of others to provide context for understanding the unique interests, skills, abilities, and needs that the person receiving services may have or desire. The Care Manager may need to talk with those who know the person well, those who were interviewed by the assessor, and review the documents utilized by the assessor, to develop a full understanding of the person’s strengths and support needs.

Once this review has been completed, if questions or concerns have not been resolved the Care Manager should complete the following steps:

  • The Care Manager must use the CAS Request for Review Form and send a message via "Secure:" email to [email protected]  The form must include:
    • Care Manager’s note/documentation of CAS summary review
    • Care Manager’s name and contact information 
    • Name of the person receiving services and his/her contact information, TABS ID, actively involved family member and/or Legal Guardian's name and contact information 
    • Date of assessment 
    • Assessor's name (if known) 
    • Date of review of CAS summaries with the person, actively involved family and/or Legal Guardian, and person’s supports, as appropriate
    • Specific section(s), item(s) and responses of the CAS summary or summaries that have been identified as a concern 
    • Any additional information that may be an important consideration in the review of the concern and that could assist with substantiating the reason for concern or discrepancy.  
  • OPWDD will follow-up with the Care Manager and will provide a response to the questions/concerns that may include additional guidance, a formal correspondence and/or a corrective action plan, if necessary.  

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