"2nd Annual CAPDA Disability Workshop"


Friday, May 11, 2012


Dr. Laszlo Erodi,  Ph.D.
Are we Flipping a Fair Coin?  The True Meaning of Chance Level Responding

At or below chance level responding on forced choice tests has acquired a privileged epistemological status in the evaluation of cognitive effort, and with that, the validity of a response set or an entire neurocognitive profile.  The appeal of the term derives partly from the assumption that scoring at or below a theoretically-defined level of randomness allows the assessor to infer intent to perform poorly.  This presentation outlines the limitations of the default statistical model used (the binomial distribution) to operationalize at and below chance level responding.  At the same time, it offers empirically-based solutions to correct these shortcomings:  recalibrating selected forced choice SVTs.  This procedure can turn a major methodological confound and measurement artifact into an opportunity to redefine the original probability-based cut-offs in precise, empirically-derived and population-specific terms.  The method also allows for comparing the signal detection performance of different instruments in different populations as a function of medical diagnosis and a priori-estimated validity

Dr. Annette Lorenz, Ph.D.
Clinical and Actuarial Measures in Criminal Risk Assessments:  How These Might Inform Objective Evaluations During Medical-Legal and Disability Assessments

Criminal Risk evaluations conducted in Institutional settings such as Medium and Maximum Security Federal Correctional Institutions often have quite diverse and multiple objectives.  These assessments, therefore, are quite comprehensive and are designed to determine issues such as reduction in security, risk or self-harm or harm to other inmates in the proposed institution, needs to be addressed in criminal rehabilitation programming and release planning, and screening for cognitive impairments and disabilities, and literacy.  As well, assessments are potentially completed in anticipation of the Crown's plans to apply for Dangerous Offender Status so an Indeterminate Sentence can be proposed.

This presentation will offer highlights of actuarial and personality measures and various strategies that might be of value in other legal contexts, in general, and the independent medical-legal evaluation, specifically.

Dr. Dawn DeCunha, Ph.D.
How Assessment of Adverse Childhood Experiences Can Inform Our Practice of Adult Assessment

Given the high prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE's) across all strata of society, adult disability assessments can be better informed by obtaining detailed information about a client's childhood experiences.  Assessors should be aware of long-term outcomes to individuals with different types of adverse experiences in childhood.  This can contribute to a more accurate diagnostic picture and more informed recommendations for intervention.  This presentation starts with examining general physical and mental health problems in adulthood and links these outcomes to brain and behaviour changes in childhood due to ACE's.

Dr. Deborah Cowman, Ph.D.
Decision-Making and the Minor Injury Guideline

In this presentation, various considerations for making decisions about the applicability of the Minor Injury Definition will be considered.  These include the diagnosis, the seriousness of the psychological injuries, the predominance of the psychological injuries, the relevance of pre-existing conditions, and whether treatment is reasonable and necessary.  Sample cases will be discussed, as well as various sources of information and opinion, and the difficulties of applying the definition over time and in the absence of guidance from arbitration findings.

Dr. Ronald Kaplan, Ph.D., Richard Feldman and Lawrence Blackman, FSCO discuss psychological reports and expert testimony.

After brief presentations from Dr. Kaplan, Mr. Blackman and Mr. Feldman, Dr. Kaplan will interview FSCO adjudicators regarding their experience with psychological reports and testimony.


Dr. Laszlo Erodi,  Ph.D.
Dr. Annette Lorenz, Ph.D.
Dr. Dawn DeCunha, Ph.D.
Dr. Deborah Cowman, Ph.D.
Dr. Ronald Kaplan, Ph.D.
Richard Feldman, FSCO
Lawrence Blackman, FSCO

Canadian Academy of Psychologists in Disability Assessment

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