Thursday, January 20, 2011
Breaking Out the #2 Pencil
This seems to be the season of surveys.
I’ve gotten one from our state’s program that supports students with deafblindness. They wanted to know what they could do to help youth between the ages of birth and 21 who happen to have deafblindness. That survey took me about 20 minutes to complete, and I’m betting my answers won’t be well-received.
A second survey arrived, this one from my community service board. The community service boards provides case management and other elusive services to people with intellectual disabilities. That one took me about 15 minutes, and again I’m betting my answers won’t be well received.
Then came the survey from my oldest daughter’s day support program. Of all the organizations that purport to provide support to one of my children, the day support program does seem the most interested in the clients’ and client family opinions. Over the years I have noticed positive changes.
Finally, my school district sent home a satisfaction survey. Each one of my children who are still in the public school system (4 of them) brought home the same ‘circle the most appropriate answer’ four page survey. Parents were told to return the survey within 15 days, but starting on day 5, we got phone calls, notes from teachers, and brain-washed comments from our children about returning the survey. I imagine a computer will read the responses and spit out data interpretations.
I appreciate that all these organizations are asking for my opinion, but I wish it were a little less structured. How about sitting down with me, or calling me on the phone so we can just chat?
An organization that provides post-adoption support services for my family conducted their satisfaction survey that way one evening this week, and I had a much better feeling about the whole process. Talking to a real person – a person whose name I recognized – was much better than filling in circles with a number 2 pencil.
I’ll just wait and see which, if any, of the organizations does actually make some changes….