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Functional Skills Screening Inventory (FSSI)

The Functional Skills Screening Inventory (FSSI; Becker, Schur, Paoletti-Schelp, & Hammer, 1986) was developed to assess critical living and working skills in individuals with severe handicaps, ages 6 through adulthood.


The FSSI is a criterion-referenced behavior checklist of 343 skills in the domains of: (a) Basic Skills and Concepts, (b) Communication, (c) Personal Care, (d) Homemaking, (e) Work Skills and Concepts, (f) Community Living, and (g) Social Awareness. Scoring yields levels of performance/independence within each domain related to skills required for personal autonomy, skills required to function within a supported living/working environment, and skills needed to function within an independent living/competitive employment environment. The FSSI is administered by observing the individual in natural settings over several periods. Each item is ranked on a 4-point scale (and allowing ¼-point increments) based on the level of supervision or prompting required to complete the task. The standard of four points reflects adult independence. Another domain exists for looking at problem behaviors. This scale is based on the frequency with which a behavior occurs. Scores are graphed as percentages of total achieved in each domain. The authors recommend using the scatter within each domain in the summary in order to identify areas for further training/IEP development. Further, it is recommended that the inventory be completed by a team of professionals, which could include speech-language pathologists, transition specialists, diagnosticians, and school psychologists. It is also helpful to have parents rate the student’s skill levels to contrast levels of performance in the school and the home setting, providing valuable information regarding generalization of skills. In addition to using the FSSI to facilitate IEP development, it may be used effectively to satisfy provisions in the IDEA related to transition planning.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Functional Skills Screening Inventory (FSSI) Becker, Schur, Paoletti- Schelp, & Hammer (1986) 6-Adult

Individualized, criterion- referenced measure of living/working skills for use with individuals with significant disabilities; 343 items (8 scales, 27 subscales); items rated 0 to 4 (in ¼- point increments), with the standard of 4 being adult independence.

Items are based on skills needed for personal autonomy in any setting, those needed to live and work in supported environments, and those skills required for living and working independently.

Teacher or parent can complete.

Good tool for IEP planning and assessment as well as transition planning and assessment

60-120 min.

Percentages of skill area attained in each of seven domains and Functional Skills Total: Basic Skills and Concepts, Communication, Personal Care, Homemaking, Work Skills and Concepts, Community Living, Social Awareness.

Problem Behaviors scale rates as positive the absence of problem behaviors.

Plotting of scores on graphs highlights areas of need for IEP development and/or transition planning.

Provides percentage of skills attained in each of the eight scales (as compared to adult independence) at each of three skill levels (personal autonomy, supported living/working, and independent living/working) and overall Functional Skills percentage

Availability: Functional Resources Enterprises,

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