The NADSA Task Force on Outcomes held a one-day meeting in Chicago on June 22, 2015, to develop a draft document to present to the NADSA Board and members as a template for assessment of outcomes of ADS programs. The Task Force’s goal is to respond to the increasing interest of funders in obtaining information on outcomes. We hope that a set of outcomes informed by people who work within the NADSA community will reflect better the settings and goals of ADS programs than a set of measurements imposed by outside groups.
The June 22 meeting was the outgrowth of a series of meetings that took place over the last several months. Members of the Task Force attending the June 22 meeting were: Keith Anderson, Lyn Geboy, Merle Griff, Shannon Jarrott, Kentrell Liddell, Lydia Missaelides, Lisa Peters-Beumer, and Steven Zarit. Also attending the June 22 meeting were Beth Meyer-Arnold, Simon Ortiz, Kerri Pendley and Teresa Johnson. Prior to the meeting, an initial report was drafted by Keith Anderson and Lydia Missaelides. The result of the meeting was a revised document that presents a comprehensive plan for outcomes assessment, including the domains for assessment and suggestions for measures.
The June 22 report is designed as a first step in a process leading to a consensus among NADSA members of a set of outcomes that will provide reliable and valid markers of the effects of ADS on participants and their families. As next steps, we will seek input from the NADSA Board of Directors and from NADSA members to refine and improve the recommendations. We seek to produce a final document following the NADSA meeting in Phoenix in October.
The immediate next steps will be:
- Incorporate feedback into the June 22 report from NADSA Board members.
- Hold a town hall meeting for NADSA members to discuss and give feedback on the report.
- Create a web-based survey which NADSA members can use to give feedback on the report.
- Discuss the report in a workshop at the NADSA conference in October and in other venues.
Once we have a final report that incorporates feedback from the NADSA community, we plan to do the following:
- Publicize the document to the wider field of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), including public and private funding agencies and to other groups working on measurement of outcomes of HCBS.
- If funding can be obtained, hold an outcomes summit on ADS that invites key stakeholders from federal, state and private funding agencies, as well as leaders in development of outcome assessments for HCBS and related areas.
- Begin a process with NADSA members to develop procedures for implementing outcomes at their sites, including use of electronic devices (pads, computers) for gathering information and development of routines for collating and presenting outcomes
—By Steve Zarit, NADSA Research Committee Chair