Life Quality Certification
The Division of Developmental Disabilities has adapted an outcome-based tool to use to certify
agencies regarding quality of services provided to people with developmental disabilities in South
Dakota. The tool has 25 outcomes grouped according to 6 categories that are measured on an individual
basis for each consumer determined through a sample pick. The categories and outcomes are as follows:
CATEGORY #1: Choice
Choice in a person's life pertains to daily routines; what time to get up or go to bed, where to work, eat, who
to spend time with, what to purchase. Choice is being able to choose services and keep personal information private.
CATEGORY #2: Relationships
- People identify their needs, wants, likes and dislikes.
- People identify their needs, wants, likes and dislikes.
- People make major life decisions.
- People make decisions about everyday matters.
- People have a major role in choosing their services and supports.
- Peoples' services and supports change as wants, needs, and preferences change.
Relationships pertain to community experiences, performing different social roles, developing lasting
friendships, and openly dealing with sexuality.
CATEGORY #3: Lifestyle
- People have friends.
- People interact with other members of the community.
Lifestyle pertains to being independent and productive, choosing where to live and work, expressing
sexuality and religion, feeling comfortable with your life.
CATEGORY #4: Health and Well-Being
- People live in the mainstream of the community.
- People work in the mainstream of the community.
- Peoples' lifestyles reflect their cultural preferences.
- People are independent and productive.
- People have stability and security in their living arrangement.
- People are comfortable where they live.
Health and well-being pertains to having access and obtaining needed health care, feeling safe and
knowing what to do in order to be safe.
CATEGORY #5: Rights
- People are safe.
- People have the best possible health.
- People know what to do in the event of threats to health, safety, and well-being.
- People have access to needed health care.
Rights pertain to choosing age appropriate activities/items, services and supports, being protected
from abuse, and having a guardian or advocate assist in making decisions if need be. It pertains to
being treated as an adult and a respected member of the community.
CATEGORY #6: Satisfaction
- People exercise rights and responsibilities.
- People are free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
- People are treated with dignity and respect.
- People have advocate(s).
- People receive appropriate generic services and supports.
Satisfaction pertains to overall happiness with services, supports, and life. People realize where
they would like to live, work, or play in the future and most importantly, they know what the future
is. The provider takes action in relation to helping the individual pursue personal goals.
- People realize personal goals.
- People are satisfied with services and supports.
- People are satisfied with their lives.
Information is gathered by asking questions, observing, and spending time with each consumer in the
sample. For consumers who are not able to verbally answer questions, observation is an integral way
of gathering information. People who work directly with or know personally each consumer in the
sample are also interviewed. These people could be direct care staff, service coordinators/case
managers, employers, neighbors, family members or guardians, advocates, and/or friends of the consumer.
Agencies are offered a choice as to whether they want to have staff member(s) participate as staff
observers for the review sample. Each staff observer will follow the interview process for only
one consumer. They should be staff members who do not work directly or regularly with the consumer
they will be following. These staff observers will observe during interviews, but not participate
by asking questions. The observer and the reviewer will meet to discuss the outcomes in relation
to the information received from the consumer and/or staff.
During the final day of the review, Division of Developmental Disabilities staff will meet individually
with each consumer's service coordinator/case manager in order to discuss that specific individual's
score. Division staff will then meet with people selected by the agency such as direct care staff
members, observers, service coordinators, consumers, parents, advocates, etc., to discuss the agency's
overall score and plan of enhancement. Confidentiality prevents discussion of specific consumer's
scores at the overall agency exit.
Plan of enhancement reports completed by the agency will focus on one or more of the six categories
in which outcomes were not met for the agency. In addition to the overall agency plan, the Division
of Developmental Disabilities requires the agency to include a separate report with specific plans
indicating how each missed outcome will be addressed for the specific consumer interviewed. The
information must include the consumer's name, why the outcome was cited for the consumer, and how the
team plans to address the outcome. In addition, the plan must include timelines and who will be
responsible for implementation of the plan. The Division will continue to encourage each agency to
use the plan of enhancement as a tool to stimulate creativity to improve services.
Certification of the agency through the Life Quality review will be based on the following criteria:
Each outcome must be present for at least 2/3 of the sample for the outcome to be considered met by the agency
17 out of 25 outcomes must be met by the agency
The certification period will be two years.
Council on Quality & Leadership Annual Report 2004-2005
Council on Quality & Leadership Annual Report 2005-2006
Council on Quality & Leadership Annual Report 2006-2007