Phase One - Issue Discovery
What was the process?
The first task of the project coordinator was to become familiar with the stakeholders and aware of the key issues that were of concern to the tri-county region. This was accomplished through the use of personal interview, discussion, and mail-in surveys. Senior and front line staff from rural and urban settings involved in both literacy and developmental services completed the surveys. Please refer to Appendix A for the initial survey.
The information collected was then summarized into a document for use by participants during the focus group.
How was this evaluated?
The project was in its early stages at this point in time. At this stage, information was being gathered and there was no true basis for evaluation or comparison. Success was loosely judged on the basis of having evidence to indicate that information had been gathered from as wide a cross section of agencies as possible representing the two sectors.
What was learned from this phase of the project?
From initial interviews and surveys some common concerns began to emerge. The literacy field expressed concern regarding their ability to adequately serve people with developmental disabilities while meeting the expectations of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Practitioners from the developmental services field expressed general concerns about access to mainstream literacy programs. These were but a few of the initial concerns and issues that were later fleshed out during the focus groups.
It was also learned that while there was a relatively high level of awareness and sensitivity to the issues and concerns of adults with developmental disabilities, many of the programs and agencies still felt that more could be done. At this point, the project was ready to move on to the next phase of conducting focus group sessions to clarify the issues raised.
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