Quality Assessment – Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

What is the National Core Indicators (NCI) survey?

A:A survey that is used by many states to assess the outcomes of services provided to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Questions (called indicators) address key areas of concern including employment, rights, service planning, community inclusion, choice, and health and safety.
Q:

Is there only one type of survey?

A:There is a face-to-face/in person interview for adults who are receiving at least one service from a regional center. There is also a mail in survey for families or conservators of people who are receiving at least one service from a regional center.
Q:

Who participates in the California NCI survey?

A:People with developmental disabilities who receive at least one service (not including service coordination) from a California regional center and their families.
Q:

How many people are surveyed?

A:The in person survey interviews approximately 400 people from each regional center who receives services.
Q:

Why should individuals participate in this survey?

A:The survey provides the opportunity to let the State and regional centers identify areas where the system is working well and areas that need change.
Q:

Is participation mandatory?

A:No, if contacted, participation is voluntary.
Q:

Can someone only receiving limited services from the Regional Center participate?

A:Yes, participation requires receiving one service (this does not including service coordination) paid for by the regional center.
Q:

Are answers confidential?

A:Yes, the survey is confidential. The answers are collected anonymously, so no one can identify a single person with the survey answers.
Q:

Will an individual’s services be affected?

A:Services will not change if a person participates or declines the survey.
Q:

How will the survey answers be used?

A:Once answers are collected, Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) will analyze the data and share the results in a report with DDS and regional centers. DDS shares the report with stakeholders, (representatives from the regional centers, area boards, parents, and self-advocates). The results are used to make policy decisions in order to improve services. The report is posted on the DDS website.
Q:

Does DDS conduct the in person interviews?

A:No, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) recruits interviewers independently through the Area Boards.
Q:

Can the survey be done over the phone?

A:While some background information can be completed over the phone, the face-to-face interview is completed in person.
Q:

Are the surveys available online?

A:No, the NCI Survey is administered in person or by mail.
Q:

Where will the in person interviews take place?

A:The interviews can be done in an individual’s home, day program or another place agreed upon.
Q:

How long will it take to complete the survey?

A:Completion time will vary per participant; most interviews take less than 1 hour.
Q:

What is the difference between the NCI survey and the Life Quality Assessment (LQA)?

A:The state no longer conducts LQA surveys. LQAs were used to help people develop Individual Program Plans (IPP). The NCI survey replaced the LQAs and is used to collect statewide information about the satisfaction and delivery of services to people with developmental disabilities and their family.
Q:

Who is the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI)?

A:HSRI is the organization that analyzes the results of the survey and writes a statewide report. HSRI was established in 1976 to assist states and the federal government to enhance services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To learn more, visit: http://www.hsri.org.
Q:

How many other states use the NCI surveys?

A:There are 42 state developmental disability agencies including the District of Columbia who use the NCI surveys.
Q:

Why are 400 people chosen from each regional center?

A:The number of people chosen is based on statistics. It was mathematically determined that 400 people from each regional center is representative of the population.
Q:

Is there somewhere to go for specific questions?

A:Email any additional questions to ncihelp@dds.ca.gov

Last modified: October 30, 2019