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Quality Assessment and the National Core Indicators Survey (NCI)

Meeting with a consumer

In 2010, in accordance with Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 4571, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) implemented a nation-wide quality assessment survey called the National Core Indicators (NCI). NCI is one tool, developed by the Human Services Research Institute and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), that DDS uses to monitor the performance of the developmental disabilities service system as well as the performance of our twenty-one regional centers in providing services and supports for adults and children with developmental disabilities.

The NCI surveys are conducted through in-person interviews with adult consumers every three years and individuals who have moved out of a developmental center (DC) to the community every year. You can watch this video to learn more about the NCI interview. NCI surveys are also mailed every three years to families of adults and children receiving services.

NCI surveys are conducted by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. Surveys collect data on individual and family satisfaction, and quality of services. In 2014/2015, DDS added questions to the NCI surveys to help evaluate linguistic and cultural competency of services delivered to individuals and their families.

Highlights for Fiscal Year (FY) 17/18

The fourth California NCI Adult Consumer Surveys will begin in FY 17/18. Individuals 18 and older who live in a community residence or with their families will be contacted by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities to participate in a face to face survey.

The survey questions ask individuals about these areas of life:

  • Residence
  • Involvement in the community
  • Access to and delivery of services and supports
  • Satisfaction of services
  • Choices, decision making and control

The eighth California Adult Consumer Survey of individuals who have moved from DCs to the community (movers) will begin in the winter of 2017. All individuals identified in the closure reports of Lanterman and Sonoma Developmental Centers will be surveyed.

Individuals who have moved from other DCs since January 2016 will be contacted to participate in the Mover Longitudinal Study (MLS). The MLS was designed with the intent to better understand the experiences among people moving from a DC to the community. Expanded with Senate Bill 982, the MLS will continue throughout the closure of Sonoma, Fairview and the general treatment area of Porterville Developmental Centers. DDS will survey a total of 250 people who consent to participate in the survey. You can learn more about the MLS here.


NCI Statewide Reports


Project Contact Information

For questions about the National Core Indicators, contact:

Last Updated: 3/2/2018