The indicators – or standard performance measures – used across states to assess the outcomes of services provided to individuals and families. They are meant to provide a big picture “snapshot” of how well each state is performing.
The goal of the project was to develop indicators that are measurable, that are related to issues that states have some ability to influence, and that are important in the lives of people with disabilities and their families – and it does not matter what their level of disability is or where they live.
Indicators address key areas of concern including:
- Civil and human rights
- Service planning
- Community inclusion
- Consumer choice
- Health, wellness and safety
These core indicators are the foundation of the project. There are about 100 indicators that address areas that are important to just about everyone – like having a job, being treated with respect, participating in your community, having input into important life decisions like where you live and what you do during the day, being healthy and having access to health services and being safe from abuse and neglect.
The surveys that have been developed to measure these critical features of someone’s life have been tested across states to ensure they are “reliable and valid” – meaning the information is accurate. There is consistency in the process no matter who asks the questions and the questions measure what they are supposed to measure.
This is really what makes NCI so valuable to individual states and to the field of developmental disabilities in general. It offers a way to consistently include the voice of people we serve and their families when evaluating outcomes.