Disability Act 2005

Independent assessment of need.

8

8.—(1) The Executive shall authorise such and so many of its employees as it considers appropriate (referred to in this Act as “assessment officers”) to perform the functions conferred on assessment officers by this Part and every person so appointed shall hold office as an assessment officer for such period as the Executive may determine.

(2) An assessment officer shall carry out assessments of applicants or arrange for their carrying out by other employees of the Executive or by other persons with appropriate experience.

(3) Where an assessment officer is of opinion that there may be a need for an education service to be provided to an applicant, he or she shall, as soon as may be, request the Council in writing to nominate a person with appropriate expertise to assist in the carrying out of the assessment under this section in relation to the applicant and the Council shall comply with the request.

(4) An assessment officer shall be independent in the performance of his or her functions.

(5) An assessment under this section shall be carried out without regard to the cost of, or the capacity to provide, any service identified in the assessment as being appropriate to meet the needs of the applicant concerned.

(6) Where an assessment officer carries out or arranges for the carrying out of an assessment under this Part, he or she shall prepare a report in writing of the results of the assessment and shall furnish a copy of the report to the applicant, the Executive, and, if appropriate, a person referred to in section 9(2) and the chief executive officer of the Council.

(7) A report under subsection (6) (referred to in this Act as “an assessment report”) shall set out the findings of the assessment officer concerned together with determinations in relation to the following—

( a) whether the applicant has a disability,

( b) in case the determination is that the applicant has a disability—

(i) a statement of the nature and extent of the disability,

(ii) a statement of the health and education needs (if any) occasioned to the person by the disability,

(iii) a statement of the services considered appropriate by the person or persons referred to in subsection (2) to meet the needs of the applicant and the period of time ideally required by the person or persons for the provision of those services and the order of such provision,

(iv) a statement of the period within which a review of the assessment should be carried out.

(8) ( a) An assessment officer may, for the purposes of carrying out an assessment of an applicant under this section, invite the applicant and, if appropriate, a person referred to in section 9(2) to meet with him or her for interview and furnish any documents or things relevant to the assessment in the possession of the applicant or person aforesaid that he or she may reasonably request and the applicant shall comply with the request.

( b) Where an applicant attends before an assessment officer pursuant to a request made to him or her under paragraph (a) , the officer shall inform him or her of the purpose of the interview unless in his or her opinion the provision of such information might be prejudicial to the applicant's mental health, well-being or emotional condition or inappropriate having regard to the age of the applicant or the nature of his or her disability.

( c) An assessment officer shall—

(i) endeavour to ensure that the person or persons carrying out an assessment communicate with the applicant in a manner which facilitates appropriate participation by him or her in the assessment and promotes dialogue about the nature of the assessment and that note is taken of the views (if any) of the applicant concerning his or her needs or preferences in relation to the provision of services to meet his or her needs, and

(ii) ensure that the applicant is given adequate information relating to the process of the assessment and the results of the assessment unless in his or her opinion the provision of such information might be prejudicial to the applicant's mental health, well-being or emotional condition or inappropriate having regard to the age of the applicant or the nature of his or her disability.

(9) Where an assessment officer carries out or arranges for the carrying out of an assessment on a child and the assessment identifies the need for the provision of an education service to the child, he or she shall, in case the child is enrolled in a school, refer the matter to the principal of that school for the purposes of an assessment under section 3 of the Act of 2004 and, in any other case, refer the matter to the Council for the purposes of an assessment under section 4 of the Act of 2004.