Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Oregon Needs Assessment

The federal government requires that everyone have a needs assessment in order to get services. The Oregon Legislature told us to create a single assessment tool for all people receiving services.

In the past, we used several needs assessments and other types of tools to identify needs, risks and level of care. The move to one assessment will make moves between services easier and the people who conduct the assessments will only need to learn and use one tool.

In summer 2018, we began using the new needs assessment. It is called the Oregon Needs Assessment, or ONA.​

We’ve been using the ONA for a year now. We gathered information to make sure the ONA is working correctly, that people who conduct the assessments are trained and become skilled, and that we get consistent results.

For now, the ONA does not change the amount of service we provide to any person. At some point in 2020, the ONA may change the number of hours of service people receive if they live at home and may change the amount of funding providers are paid for other services. ODDS will notify anyone who will be impacted in advance of any change.

Also, for now, we will continue to use the current processes for risk-identification, in-home service level allocations, and determining the rate paid to a provider based on tiers.​​


A change that occurred with the ONA is who conducts it. For many people, the case manager did them in the past. Now, a new person, called an assessor, is doing the assessments. Assessors ensure everyone is getting assessed the same way. Assessors are also trained to be objective when doing assessments.

Having someone do assessments who is not the case manager lets the case manager focus on helping the person develop their plan for the future. The case manager and the assessor are working together to support the person through this new process. The case manager can be with the person during the assessment. Other people who can help answer questions during the assessment may also be invited. Read about this change.​​​​​

After the ONA is completed

We encourage anyone who wants a copy of their ONA to ask for it. The assessor or the case manager can provide a copy when it is completed. The results will not be ready right away. If there are questions or the person doesn’t think the ONA results accurately reflect their needs:

  • Talk to the case manager, they can follow up with the assessor
  • Talk to the assessor directly
  • File a complaint if there are disagreements or concerns. The case manager or assessor can help people fill out the complaint or the person can follow these steps to file a complaint.

Read about the upcoming Service Groups​​​​​