What is the Capability Approach (CA) MODEL?

What is the Capability Approach (CA) MODEL?

young people in my study 2Are You Seeking Increased Capability and Adaptation in Someone you know with  Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Related Disorders?



We are seeing a rise in individuals with ASD who are living isolated as adults living unemployed or underemployed. Many do not have resources to practice adaptive skills, or have access to community settings or social contacts. Others may not have individualized supports to maintain employment or pursue college. While federal and state resources are in demand, less is known about how to closely a) identify personal desires and strengths and most importantly, b) measure support needs and adaptive progress within personal goals. These pieces can be critical contributors to emotional well being and capability outcomes. 

Persons with ASD and DD of all levels often require services and supports to live their own lives as community members, pursue a job and enjoy educational opportunities with people connections. Using the Capability Approach (CA) with the young adult with ASD and DD can make a positive impact on fulfilled living and emotional well-being.

What is the Capability Approach?

The Capability Approach (CA) is an ASD and DD vocational and therapeutic holistic model to life planning and emotional well living. The Capability Approach (CA) examines soft vocational skills, life skills, strengths, interests, talents and capabilities in a rating scale. The Capability Approach (CA) contains a unique system of in-depth broad supports that uses vast evidence based approaches to individually increase vocational soft skill development.

Research indicates that Soft Skill Capability Predicts Success in Life. The Capability Approach (CA) includes two user friendly assessment tools, the ‘Capability and Independence Scale’ and the ‘ASD Strengths Based Scale’.  The Capability Approach (CA)’s unique attributes indicates areas of void in a person’s life and intensity of need for supports that resonates with the individual. Because the The Capability Approach (CA) uses the a rating scale with the broad creative support system, progress in adapting to new exciting goals or through challenging times and set backs can be measured. The CA has been used with persons of all levels of developmental disability including autism spectrum disorders, and ages 8 and up.

Because the Capability Approach examines and supports soft skill/life skill development, individualized strengths, personal interests and talents, then employment and increased capability and adaptation can be realized. Additionally, implementing these critical support pieces can increase the young adult’s self determination and emotional self awareness.

Each individual is incomparable to another with unmatched needs, gifts, and abilities. Youth need our help to navigate through the sea change of transition and the uncertainty that faces the family during teen years and when adulthood begins. The Capability Approach can be your navigational system.

The (CA) begins with us acknowledging the teen/young adult’s challenges, recognizing strengths and determining supports that promote progress. It is about noticing the individual’s verbal and nonverbal communication as he or she is the voice that tells us what works for them or doesn’t.

I use the Capability and Independence Scale (CAIS), containing 35 life skills within 7 quality of life areas: general life functioning, cognitive, domestic/home, occupation, social, emotional stability, and communication.

Through an interview with individual and his or her parents/advocates, I use your information. With the findings, I can help you make the shift from childhood interventions to  ‘broad creative supports’ building a bridge from the past into the next life phase. For success with new life goals, it is important that young adults are enabled in their capability and more importantly emotional stability. I give recommendations that are specific to your teen/young adult’s personal needs, goals, and desires that can enhance social belonging, a positive self image, daily participation, emotional stability and positive life outcomes (i.e., job, college, hobby, living in independence or community living).

If you want to use these tools with your clients or students, please call for more information, 502.417.6063 or jackie@drjackiemarquette.com

If you are a young adult or a parent of a young adult, I am available by appointment, in person or by phone and skype, to guide you to start your path and facilitate your son or daughter’s personal journey to increased personal life outcomes and emotional stability.

To read more about how this service can help you go to: