A disability council wants to interview developmentally disabled Utahns about services they use or would like.
The survey will evaluate the effectiveness of and consumer satisfaction with programs available to developmentally disabled Utahns. The purpose is, in part, to measure the quality of life of the disabled against those without disabilities.Mandated by the Developmental Disabilities Act, the survey is part of a national effort. According to Fran Morse, director of the Utah Council for the Handicapped and Developmentally Disabled, survey results will be tallied nationally, then each state will hold public forums on the results, before sending a report to the governor, the state legislature and, ultimately, the administration.
"The National Association of Developmentally Disabled Councils got a grant to pull together a skeleton survey and survey design," Morse said. "They hired national consultants to design it, and we can add to it, so we're adapting it for in-state.
Specially trained people will conduct 300 face-to-face interviews. Both interviewers and subjects will be paid for participation.
Morse said the council wants a use volunteer participants located through word of mouth.
"In the past, we've had to focus on children and preschool. Now we'll turn some attention to adults. Those coming out of schools are facing a barren desert."
The council will interview 100 people with cognitive impairment (mentally retarded or brain-injured people, for example), and 100 with physical impairments (including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, spina bifida, spinal impairment and any sensory impairments). The final 100 participants must be emotionally or behaviorally impaired (from chronic mental illness or autism, for instance).
A developmental disability is one which begins before age 22, although the council wants to have that age modified or exceptions made.
To participate in the survey or get more information about it, call 538-4210 before April 30 or 538-4184 after April 30.