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Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training
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Scope Outcomes Project

Research Summary | Aims/Objectives

The aim of the research is to obtain reliability and validity data for three surveys that have been developed by Scope to measure outcomes in the disability sector.

What we already know

Measuring outcomes associated with disability services is becoming increasingly important, especially in light of the upcoming implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In an NDIS environment, there will be a need to demonstrate that services lead to positive outcomes for people with disability and their carers/families. Funding bodies are also beginning to expect that services report on outcomes (e.g., changes for people) rather than outputs (e.g., number of people accessing a service).

Although there is an increased emphasis on outcomes, there is a lack of outcomes surveys that are appropriate for use in the disability sector. Many of the existing surveys cannot be completed by people with disabilities, particularly intellectual disability, and instead rely on proxies/carers to obtain information about outcomes. Relying only on carers means that the views of people with disability are often ignored. Scope has developed surveys that measure outcomes and are completed by people with disability.

What we do not know

Although Scope has developed the three surveys, we do not know if they are reliable or measure what they claim to measure (i.e., valid), which means that we cannot say with confidence that the surveys actually measure outcomes. It also means that the conclusions that we can draw about outcomes associated with service provision are also limited.

What this research will add

The current research seeks to gather reliability and validity data for the three surveys. By having this information, we can promote the surveys to the sector with confidence and provide them with evidence regarding their use. Having good surveys also means that people with disability can use the information from the surveys to make informed choices about which services to purchase (i.e., in an NDIS environment).

What we will do

The surveys will be tested across Australia by people with disability, carers, and support workers.People will be invited to participate in the research through the services they access, and will test the surveys online. At the end of the research, we will write and distribute a report with the results. For more information, contact Celeste Cuzzillo or 9843 2042.

To participate

We are inviting adults with disabilities (and/or their carers or support workers) to complete the survey/s available online at Participation is voluntary and anonymous. No identifying information will be collected. The project has ethics approval from Scope. The surveys are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities. We have standard and easy English versions of surveys and the website works with a range of assistive technologies.