Meet Dave - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Meet Dave

Photograph of Dave conducting a survey

Dave works as a surveyor for the My Life Personal Outcomes Index. What’s that? It is a survey tool that PDD uses to measure the results that our services are getting for the people we support. It is done by adults with developmental disabilities who have had training on how to do the survey. They ask other adults with developmental disabilities to answer some questions about their life experiences.

Dave has been doing this job for six years, and is the most senior surveyor on the team. Not only does he conduct surveys, but he also does presentations to self-advocates and families on the survey and how it works.

“I like it because I get to meet people, I get to see people in their own environment, their home,” says Dave. “I like the fact that a lot of people really want to talk… I like to feel like I make a difference.”

Dave sees the value in the work he does because it is all about how individuals feel about their own lives. “I live in a group home and I feel like I belong. I feel like I can invite people over and they feel welcome. There’s not rules all over the place, it’s less of a group home and more of a house. This is where I live. I think that’s important for other people to feel that way too. If you feel that way then you don’t feel like you’re obligating somebody else. It’s an important survey because it’s the only survey really that talks about those kinds of things.”

He has a lot of experience in working with people with a range of disabilities, and he says that although he can do proxy surveys with family and staff if the person can’t communicate, there are many ways to connect with a person. “I’ve done surveys with people who were unable to talk, people who were quadriplegic and the only thing they could move was their eyes, people who didn’t have the use of their hands,” says Dave. “So if you’re doing the survey with somebody who can only move their eyes, they have three choices, and they can look over here for yes, and over there for no, and in the middle if it’s in the middle. You don’t have to talk to let us know how you feel.”

Dave also encourages more individuals with developmental disabilities to take the survey, which is entirely voluntary. “The more people that are willing to take the survey, the better it is,” says Dave “It helps improve their quality of life, and it gives us a broader scale, so the more people who are involved, the more accurate the outlook. If you only get 10 people, you have to base your results only on those 10 people.”

Dave is one of a team of about 11 surveyors who work for Gateway Association to conduct the My Life survey across the province.

Created: 2013-12-03
PID: 17383