ERIC Number: EJ1123533
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Linking User and Staff Perspectives in the Evaluation of Innovative Transition Projects for Youth with Disabilities
McAnaney, Donal F.; Wynne, Richard F.
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, v20 n2 p165-182 Jun 2016
A key challenge in formative evaluation is to gather appropriate evidence to inform the continuous improvement of initiatives. In the absence of outcome data, the programme evaluator often must rely on the perceptions of beneficiaries and staff in generating insight into what is making a difference. The article describes the approach adopted in an evaluation of 15 innovative projects supporting school-leavers with disabilities in making the transition to education, work and life in community settings. Two complementary processes provided an insight into what project staff and leadership viewed as the key project activities and features that facilitated successful transition as well as the areas of quality of life (QOL) that participants perceived as having been impacted positively by the projects. A comparison was made between participants' perceptions of QOL impact with the views of participants in services normally offered by the wider system. This revealed that project participants were significantly more positive in their views than participants in traditional services. In addition, the processes and activities of the more highly rated projects were benchmarked against less highly rated projects and also with usually available services. Even in the context of a range of intervening variables such as level and complexity of participant needs and variations in the stage of development of individual projects, the benchmarking process indicated a number of project characteristics that were highly valued by participants.
Descriptors: Youth Programs, Transitional Programs, Disabilities, Program Evaluation, Innovation, Formative Evaluation, Graduates, Dropouts, Education Work Relationship, Quality of Life, Community Services, Benchmarking, Individual Development, Statistical Analysis, Models, Capacity Building, Self Advocacy, Incidental Learning, Experiential Learning, Mentors, Coaching (Performance), Well Being, Stress Management, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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