BESB: Consumer Survey 2005

CONSUMER SURVEY FOR AGENCY STRATEGIC PLANNING

CONNECTICUT BOARD of 
EDUCATION and SERVICES 
for the BLIND 
  
Final Report--2005 

Conducted by the University of Connecticut, Center for Survey Research and Analysis

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
  
  
- Overall, BESB clients are very satisfied with the services they have received. On a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 means “Very Dissatisfied” and 10 means “Very Satisfied”, the overall satisfaction is rated at 8.2.   
  
- Overall, services that help train children's classroom teachers on vision related issues and services providing access to educational material for children top the list of most important services with a respective mean rating of 9 and 8.9. 
  
  
- Career skills training services (5.7), individualized plan for employment services (5.4), and job placement services (5.4) are the least important services. Yet, these services are still above the median. 
  
  
- Low vision services, services that help train the child's classroom teacher on vision related issues (this service only rated by parents), and Assessment services to learn about skills that the child has (this service only rated by parents) received the highest satisfaction mean rating (8.5). 
  
  
- Volunteer services (6.9), career skill training services (6.6), and individualized plan for employment services (6.3) received the lowest satisfaction ratings. 
  
  
- As a result of the services they received from BESB, almost two-thirds of the participants are better able to move confidently around their houses, apartments, or yards (65%) and felt more in control in making decisions that are important in their lives (63%). 
  
  
- The quadrant analysis reveals an empty target area. There are no services that are very important to the clients, which received low satisfaction ratings. 
  
  
- Overall, there are no significant differences among the different segments in evaluating BESB services. 
 
Introduction 
  
In June 2005, the Center for Survey Research and Analysis (CSRA) at the University of Connecticut conducted a customer satisfaction survey on behalf of the State of Connecticut Board Education and Services for the Blind (BESB). For this study, CSRA interviewed 589 respondents composed of Active Adults (200), Inactive Adults (186), Vocational Rehabilitation clients (100), and Parents (103). 
  
  
1. Importance of BESB services 
  
The first series of questions asked clients to rate the importance of BESB services on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means "Not important at all" and 10 means "Very important". Overall, services that help train children's classroom teachers on vision related issues and services providing access to educational material for children top the list of most important services with a respective mean rating of 9 and 8.9. 
  
Low vision services (8.3), assessment services to learn about skills that children have (8.3), the service of identifying clients’ needs that can be met by BESB (8.1), and funding for children’s vision related summer programs (8.1) are the next most important services. Career skills training services (5.7), individualized plan for employment services (5.4), and job placement services (5.4) are the least important services.   
The questions related to services that help train children’s classroom teachers on vision related issues, services providing access to educational material for children, assessment services to learn about children’s skills and funding for children's vision related summer programs were only asked of the parents (n=103). These are parents whose children are under 5 years old, 6 to 18 years old, Braille readers or Non-Braille readers. These questions received high importance ratings from the parents with a mean rating ranging from 8.1 to 9. Of these services, funding for the children’s vision related summer programs received the lowest importance rating (8.1) while the services that help train children’s classroom teachers on vision related issues received the highest mean rating of 9.   
When asked to specify what the most important BESB service was to them, one quarter of BESB consumers cited the provision of equipment and technology as the most important service. Next most important is ‘visual therapy and services,’ at 12%, followed by the ‘supplying of audio materials,’ at 11%.   
  
  


1.1 Low Vision Services 
  
Of the remaining services, low vision services top the list of important services with a mean rating of 8.3. Seven out of ten respondents (70%) rate these services between 8 to 10 on a scale from 1 to 10. The results indicate no significant differences between the Actives (8.6), Inactives (8), Voc Rehabs (8.4), and Parents (8.5). 

1.2 Identification of Needs that can be met by BESB 
  
More than half (60%) of the respondents rate identification of needs as very important. On a scale from 1 to 10, these services received a mean rating of 8.1. Parents (8.8) and Active Adults (8.3) are more likely to rate these services as important as compared to Inactive Adults (7.6). 
  

1.3 Rehabilitation Technology and Adaptive Equipment Services 
  
Six out of ten (60%) respondents rate Rehabilitation Technology and Adaptive Equipment Services as very important. Overall, these services received a 7.9 mean rating on a scale from 1 to 10. Voc Rehabs (8.6) are more likely to rate these services as important as compared to Inactive respondents (7.4). 

1.4 Instructional services, such as Braille, large print, or audiotape 
  
These services received a mean rating score of 7.3. Slightly more than half (55%) of the respondents say these services are very important. The groups show no significant difference in rating these services. 


1.5 Referral services 
  
This question is about referral services to outside agencies for those services that BESB does not offer, such as low vision doctors or English as a Second Language training. On a scale from 1 to 10, these services received a mean rating of 7.2. Less than half (46%) of the respondents rate them as very important while 21% indicate that they have not received the services. Parents (8.3) and Active Adults (7.5) are more likely to rate these services as important as compared to Inactive Adults (6.4). 

1.6 Mobility instruction services 
  
These services are oriented towards teaching respondents or their children how to move safely in their home and/or travel in their community. While more than one quarter (26%) of the respondents say that they have not received the services, less than half (43%) rate them as very important. Overall, these services received a mean rating of 6.8. The groups indicate no statistically significant differences. 



1.7 Volunteer services 
  
Volunteer services, such as helping respondents read their mail or driving to their doctor’s office, received a mean rating of 6.5. While 38% of the respondents rate these services as very important, 1 out of 5 (20%) respondents say that the services are not important. The groups show similar ratings as the results indicate no significant differences. 
1.8 Services to help you understand Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Rights and 
Responsibilities 
  
While 3 out of 10 (30) respondents have not received these services, slightly more than one third (36%) say that these services are very important. On a scale from 1 to 10, these services received a 6.5 mean rating. These ratings are similar across the Active and Inactive Adults, the Vocational Rehabilitation, and Parents respondents as the results show no significant differences among these groups. 



1.9 Clinical counseling for vision related issues 
  
Clinical counseling for vision related issues received a mean rating of 6.4 on a scale from 1 to 10. While 38% of the respondents indicate that these services are important, more than one quarter (26%) of respondents have not received these services. Parents (7) and Active Adults (6.9) are more likely to rate these services as important as compared to the Inactive Adults (5.5). 

1.10 Daily living skills training, such as cooking instruction or personal care 
  
The rating of daily living skills training, such as cooking instruction or personal care, are similar across the four groups. Overall, these services received a 6.2 mean rating. More than one third (35%) of the respondents rate these services as very important, whereas 15% rate them as somewhat important. Twenty two percent (22%) of respondents indicate that the services are not important and more than one quarter (27%) say that they have not received the services. 

  
1.11 Career skills training services, Individualized plan for employment services, Job placement services 
  
Of the services, careers skills training (5.7), individualized plan for employment (5.5), and job placement services (5.4) received the lowest mean ratings. 
  

The pattern of rating these services is similar across the Active Adults (5.7, 5, and 5.1), Inactive Adults (5.5, 5.5, and 5.3), Vocational Rehabilitation (6.6, 5.8, and 5.9), and Parents (6.2, 6.3, and 6.3). Almost one quarter of the respondents indicate that these services are not important, while 35% to 43% within the segments say that they have not received the services. 
  

  
2. Satisfaction with BESB services 
  
The second series of questions asked clients to rate the satisfaction of BESB services on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means “Very dissatisfied” and 10 means “Very satisfied.” The overall satisfaction rating was 8.2. Low vision services, services that help train the child's classroom teachers on vision related issues (this service only rated by parents), and assessment services to learn about skills that your child has (this service only rated by parents) received the highest mean rating, at 8.5. Volunteer services (6.9), career skill training services (6.6), and individualized plan for employment services (6.3) were ranked the lowest.   
Services that help train the child's classroom teachers on vision related issues (8.5), assessment services to learn about skills that your child has (8.5), services providing access to educational material for your children (8.1), and funding for the child's vision related summer programs (8.1) were only rated by parents. 
  
Based on analysis of open-ended questions, a plurality of ‘very satisfied’ clients, 30%, most appreciate the helpful, supportive treatment from volunteers and staff. Nineteen percent are very satisfied due to being provided technological aids and adaptations, such as magnifying devices and audio books. Thirty-three percent of those ‘not very satisfied’ (n=25) are most disappointed with a lack of follow-thru. Fourteen percent do not think adequate services are provided. Given the very satisfied rating for technological aids, and that BESB consumers overall value equipment and technology, it is clear that maintaining appropriate equipment and technology is of great importance to this community.   


2.1 Low Vision Services 
  
Low vision services shares the highest mean rating in terms of satisfaction among the services. Almost half (48%) of respondents are very satisfied with these services (rating of 8 to 10). The overall mean rating of this category was 8.5 on a 1 to10 scale. The survey results indicate no statistically significant differences among the groups for the rating of these services. 

2.2 Identification of Needs that can be met by BESB 
  
Forty six percent (46%) of respondents are very satisfied with these services. Overall, these services received an 8.3 mean rating on a scale from 1-10. Parents (9) are more likely to be satisfied with these services as compared to the Inactive adults (7.9). Almost 4 out of 10 (37%) of the respondents have not received these services. 

2.3 Rehabilitation Technology and Adaptive Equipment Services 
  
Overall, these services received a 7.9 mean rating on a scale of 1 to 10. Almost 4 out of 10 (36%) respondents are very satisfied with these services. Both parents (8.4) and Inactive Adults (8.2) are more likely to be satisfied with these services as compared to Active Adults (7.1). However, almost half (48%) of the respondents have not received these services. 

  
2.4 Instructional Services, such as Braille, large print, or audiotape 
  
Instructional services received a mean rating score of 8.4. Slightly less than half (46%) of the respondents are very satisfied. More than one third (35%) of the respondents have not received these services. The different groups are similar in the rating of these services and show no statistically significant differences. 

2.5 Referral Services to Outside Agencies 
  
Overall, these services received a mean rating of 7.7. One quarter (25%) of the respondents are very satisfied with these services. However, the majority of these respondents (61%) have not received these services. The survey results show no statistically significant differences. 

  
2.6 Mobility Instruction Services 
  
While more than half (57%) of the respondents have not received mobility instruction services, 31% of them are very satisfied with the services. On a scale from 1 to 10, these services received a mean rating of 8.2. The groups show no statistically significant differences in rating these services. 

2.7 Volunteer Services 
  
The majority (77%) of the respondents have not received volunteer services. Twelve percent (12%) of the respondents are very satisfied with these services. On a scale of 1 to 10, volunteer services received a mean rating of 6.9. The results show no statistically significant differences in rating these services. 

  


2.8 Services to help you understand Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Rights and 
Responsibilities 
  
More than two-thirds (68%) have not received services to understand vocational rehabilitation rights and responsibilities. On a scale from 1 to 10, these services received a mean rating of 7.2. Seventeen percent (17%) of the respondents are very satisfied with these services. 

2.9 Clinical Counseling for Vision Related Issues 
  
While more than 7 out of 10 (71%) have not received clinical counseling for vision related issues, 15% are very satisfied with the services. On a scale from 1 to 10, these services received a mean rating of 7.2. The groups show no statistically significant differences. 

  
2.10 Daily Living Skills Training, such as cooking instruction or personal care 
  
Two-thirds (66%) of the respondents have not received daily living skills training services. Twenty-one percent (21%) of the respondents are very satisfied with these services. On a scale from 1 to 10, daily living skills training has received a mean rating of 7.6. The results show no statistically significant differences. 

2.11a Career Skills Training Services 
  
A majority (77%) of the respondents have not received career skills training services. On a scale from 1 to 10, these services received a mean rating of 6.6. The groups show no statistically significant differences. 

  
2.11b Individualized Plan for Employment Services 
  
More than three quarters (77%) of the respondents have not received individualized plan for employment services. On a scale from 1 to 10, these services were rated 6.3. The groups show no statistically significant differences. 

2.11c Job Placement Services 
  
Of the BESB services, job placement services received the lowest satisfaction ratings. On a scale from 1 to 10, these services received a mean rating of 6. The groups show no statistically significant differences. 

  


Quadrant Analysis of BESB Services 
  
  
Based on the standardized table of importance and satisfaction, the following services are considered above-average in both importance and satisfaction: 
· Services that help train children’s classroom teachers on vision related issues · Services providing access to educational material to children 
· Low vision services 
· Assessment services to learn about children’s skills · Services identifying those needs that can be met by BESB 
· Funding for children’s vision related summer programs · Rehabilitation technology and adaptive equipment services 
  
The following services are lower than average importance and lower than average satisfaction (Low priority for improvement: how well BESB performs in these areas will have little impact on participants’ satisfaction): · Services to understand vocational rehabilitation rights 
· Clinical counseling for vision related services 
· Volunteer services 
· Career skills training services 
· Individualized plan for employment services 
· Job placement services 
  
Referral service to outside agencies was rated about average in terms of importance and satisfaction. Instructional services and mobility instruction are rated above-average in terms of satisfaction. The latter is rated below-average in terms of importance. Daily living training is rated about average in terms of satisfaction and below average in terms of importance. 
  
The quadrant analysis shows that the target area which consists of very important services that are rated low on satisfaction is empty. From a management perspective, services that fall into this quadrant should receive high priority as they are very important to participants but rated low on performance. 
  
  
3. Impact of BESB Services 
  
In addition to the importance and satisfaction ratings, participants were asked questions to evaluate the impact of BESB services. While more than 8 out of 10 participants are very satisfied (60%) or somewhat satisfied (23%) with the length of time it took them to receive the services, more than half (53%) disagree with the statement that “if it wasn’t for the services they received from BESB, they would likely be in a nursing home or other institution.” Vocational Rehabilitation participants are more likely to say that the statement does not describe that at all (70%) as compared to Active Adults (52%), Inactive Adults (52%), and Parents (53%). 
As a result of the services they received from BESB, almost two-thirds of the participants are better able to move confidently around their houses, apartments, or yards (65%) and felt more in control in making decisions that are important in their lives (63%). Active Adults (53%) and Inactive Adults (49%) are more likely to strongly agree with the statement “Because of the BESB services they received, they are better able to move confidently around their house, apartment, or yard” as compared to the Parents (37%). 
Overall, more than half of the participants are less dependent on others (56%), feel more confident in their abilities to perform activities they had given up because of their vision loss (56%), and are better able to enjoy reading materials such as books, newspapers and magazines with magnifiers, large print, Braille, or tape (56%). Vocational Rehabilitation participants are more likely to say that they that “because of BESB services they received, they feel more confident in their ability to perform activities they had given up because of vision loss” (68%) than Inactive Adults (55%) and Parents (45%).   
However, less than half of the participants say they are better able to prepare meals for themselves (44%) and better manage their housekeeping tasks because of the BESB services they have received. Three out of ten (34%) of participants strongly agree (24%) or somewhat agree (14%) that because of the services they received, they are better able to manage their paperwork, such as mail correspondence, and writing checks. 

  
4. BESB Overall Programs and Services 
  
Finally, BESB consumers were asked several open-ended questions about BESB overall programs and services. BESB consumers are not of one mind when it comes to selecting a service to be cut. Reducing assistance at home was more often cited (11%) than any other service. Cutting vocational programs (9%) was suggested next most often. 
  
It seems that respondents answered the question, “What would be the one service you would like to see added the most?” as “What current service would you like to see improved?” One quarter want improved counseling and educational services. Fourteen percent want transportation and traveling services.   
There was not a dominant answer to the question, “What one change could do the most to improve BESB services overall?” Fourteen percent want to see existing services improved. Twelve percent desire more responsive service and a greater number of employees.  





Content Last Modified on 9/4/2007 10:05:08 AM