Fact Sheet for Service Providers - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Fact Sheet for Service Providers

PDD My Life: Personal Outcomes Index

Why is PDD using the My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ survey?

PDD and its partners worked over a period of three years to develop a way to gather valid and reliable data that measures the quality of life of individuals who receive PDD funded supports and services. Using the My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ survey to get information from individuals with developmental disabilities (individuals) about their quality of life and personal outcomes will help PDD and agencies improve how they support individuals.


What is the My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ survey?

The My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ survey is one of PDD?s ways to measure personal outcomes of individuals that receive PDD funded supports. The survey measures how individuals experience their life across eight personal outcome areas:

  • Emotional well being: happiness and safety, and how individuals feel about their life
  • Interpersonal relations: type of support and help individuals get, relationships with family and friends, and the types of activities that individuals do with people in their life
  • Social inclusion: the activities and things individuals do and would like to do in the community, the people individuals do things with and places they go in their community
  • Personal development: the things that individuals are interested in learning about, and things that they enjoy and are important to them
  • Self-determination: the choices and decisions individuals make about areas that matter to them in their life
  • Physical well-being: energy levels, being able to get medical help, health and lifestyle
  • Material well-being: personal possessions that are important to individuals, how much individuals can use money for things they want or need
  • Rights: individuals’ right to privacy, how individuals are treated by people, how much individuals are listened to


How was the My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ developed?

The research, development and test phases of the My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ occurred in the PDD Edmonton Region via a partnership with individuals, families, service providers, industry experts and PDD Regional staff. Throughout this process Dr. Robert Schalock, a recognized leader in the field of quality of life measurement for adults with developmental disabilities was engaged to help PDD in its endeavor to develop a personal outcome measurement framework.

Embedded in Dr. Robert Schalock’s work is the idea that the measurement of personal outcomes must place the individual at the center of the process.

With guidance from Dr. Schalock and Dr. Dale Howard of Howard Research & Management Consulting, an expert in research and methodology of measuring Quality of Life, an extensive and detailed development and testing process was followed. The result was the formulation of survey questions made specifically for Alberta citizens and a survey process that included training surveyors, creating a user-friendly survey for individuals and learning about how the information can be used in the best way to improve services with the result being improved personal outcomes.


How is the My Life Index rolling out across the province?

PDD has one Region’s learning from their experience collecting personal outcomes evaluation data using the My Life survey. During the 2011 ? 2012 year the My Life survey will be tested in other Regions. PDD will use a "test centre approach" which will maximize efforts related to continuous improvement of the survey tool, survey processes and implementation plan


How will the My Life survey help individuals with developmental disability?

PDD and service providers will use the My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ survey results to:

  • Understand the impact of funded supports on adults with developmental disabilities and their quality of life.
  • Identify continuous improvement strategies that will improve personal outcomes for adults with developmental disabilities funded by PDD
  • Inform decision-making about policies and practices that will support quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities
  • Identify best practices that will support quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities.


Who is responsible for seeing that the My Life survey gets done?

PDD, through a contract with Gateway Association, an independent firm, is responsible for seeing that the survey gets done. The independent firm’s involvement deals with all aspects of the survey work such as scheduling survey times, training surveyors, providing transportation for surveys to occur and working with families and service providers to facilitate their involvement.

The independent firm and your PDD Regional staff contact will support you to move smoothly through the survey process. Both parties will be available to help staff, individuals, families and guardians understand how the survey works and what its benefits are.


Do I have to participate in the My Life survey?

No, participation is not compulsory for service providers or individuals. As regions begin to share information, service provider participation will be based on interest and resource availability.

For individuals being supported by the service provider, it is each individual’s choice, either by themselves or with the input and support of a legal guardian who has authority in this area.


How are people chosen?

Names are randomly selected from a list of all individuals served by each service provider. In order to provide data back to service providers that can be used for continuous improvement purposes, a set number of interviews must be conducted. The number of interviews will vary across each service provider and will ensure that the data received is statistically valid.


How is the survey completed?

The My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ survey has been specifically designed with the expectation that whenever possible the individual with development disabilities is the person answering the questions. Modifications have been built into the survey process to ensure that as many individuals as possible are able to self-report on their personal experiences.

For individuals who are unable to self-report, either verbally or non-verbally, two others who know the individual well will be invited to complete the survey on the individual’s behalf by answering the questions in the way the individual would have answered them. These surveys are called proxy surveys.


Are there risks for choosing not to participate?

No. There is no risk if you decide not to participate in the survey.


Is the information kept private?

Yes, service provider results and individual information is kept private and used only to provide aggregate agency results. Aggregate service provider results are provided to the service provider and PDD.

No information on an individual-by-individual basis is recorded in any reports.


How are results reported?

Service providers that participate in the survey process and provide supports to 10 or more individuals will receive a report containing their agency aggregate results. Service providers that participate in the survey process and provide supports to nine or fewer individuals will receive an aggregate report of all small service providers who participated during the same time frame.


Why should service providers participate in survey?

This is an opportunity for service providers and PDD to hear from individuals funded by PDD regarding how they experience their lives across eight personal outcome areas. The survey answers will let PDD and service providers know what impact supports and services have on the lives of individuals. This will allow PDD and service providers to work together to make the supports individuals receives better.


Who will conduct the surveys?

People hired and trained by the independent survey firm will conduct the surveys. Surveyors will also include people who have a developmental disability. This is in keeping with the expert advice that PDD has received from Dr. Schalock and the success of the initial work that was done on this survey. Interviewers work in groups of two; one asks the questions and one records the responses.


How long does it take to answer the survey?

It takes about half an hour to complete the survey.


Where can I find more information about the My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ survey?

You can get more information on the My Life: Personal Outcomes Index™ and the work of the Provincial Personal Outcomes Initiative (POI) and/or express your interest to participate in the survey process by contacting your PDD coordinator, the POI liaison in your region, or the Provincial Coordinator. Regional liaison and provincial coordinator contacts are as follows:

  • Northeast Region: Barb Holmberg @ 780-645-6208
  • Northwest Region: Cheryl Bjorklund @ 780-538-5612
  • Edmonton Region: Vince Pasqua @ 780-427-3367
  • Central Region: Gerald Scotvold @ 403-340-5957
  • Calgary Region: Yvonne Gaudet @ 403-355-4134
  • South Region: Leah Roedler @ 403-381-5458
  • Provincial Coordinator: Gloria Wesley @ 780-644-4677


Modified: 2012-09-26
PID: 15048