Article

Using the IQ-ATR to Improve the Reuse Program

 

  

Using the IQ-ATR to Improve the Reuse Program

NOTE:  This quick guide for using the Online Program Assessment Tool should be used in conjunction with the Nov. 16, 2010, Webinar on the same topic. The attached form may be used to enter your program's usage of the online tool to win one of three $50 gift cards for the program. Entries are due before Feb. 1, 2011. 

 

The Indicators of Quality for Assistive Technology Reuse (IQ-ATR) were developed in 2009 by representatives from reuse programs, the Pass It On Center and the National Task Force for AT Reuse. Ten categories were identified with varying numbers of indicators for each category. A set of key factors for consideration were identified to indicate compliance with each indicator.

 

The Online Program Assessment Tool converts the IQ-ATR into a quick multiple-choice assessment process. Users may create accounts and have the tool capture the results of completed portions of the survey, or they may use the tool as a guest without an account.

 

Indicators are grouped by categories that may be completed in any desired sequence. Users may choose to survey one or more categories in any single session. A results report is created at the end of each category. The results report provides references to useful resources for areas that do not meet all of the recommended promising practices. Most of the references are to content in the Pass It On Center Knowledge Base. The Knowledge Base is a repository of information about promising practices and contains many documents, examples and presentations from other reuse programs. Some references are to external resources that provide helpful information for program operations.

 

The online assessment is a useful tool for identifying facets of the reuse program that need improvement. It depersonalizes change by framing it in the context of quality indicators proposed by reuse professionals around the country. This sometimes makes it easier to address functional areas or entire programs.

 

Who Should Use the Tool?

 

Any number of individuals may create separate accounts to assess the same program. Assistive Technology for Kansans had six individuals complete separate assessments, and then they discussed the differences in their perceptions.

 

The tool can be used to leverage discussion and identify opportunities for improvement in a number of ways.

 

Individuals

§  A key manager or employee may use the tool alone to get a sense of how the program “measures up” in comparison to the quality indicators.

§  It may be used to frame ideas for improvement in a single area.

§  A program leader may use the tool when meeting with a manager or employee to review quality in a specific area.

 

Internal Groups

§  Managers (or key employees) may do the assessment together to facilitate discussion of opportunities for improvement.

§  Functional teams may assess only the category that applies to the team.

§  Cross-functional teams may assess all categories in the workflow to better understand the needs in other areas.

 

External Groups

The program leader may elect to make use of the assessment tool to facilitate discussion of the entire program or certain areas of the program with external groups. This should be done with a carefully considered approach with people who are committed to developing the program. For example, a Board meeting might be devoted to reviewing the Program Operations category to identify changes and improvements that need to be made before asking the Board to approve increased expenditures to support the changes. External groups might include the Board of Directors, Advisory Council, customers or supporters.

 

Using SWOT Analysis with the Assessment Tool

 

A group may choose to use SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis in conjunction with the IQ-ATR online tool. Indicators for which the program “meets all” factors for consideration should be added to the list of strengths. If the program “meets none” of the factors for consideration, that indicator should go on the weaknesses list. That list will require plans for remediation. Those indicators for which the program “meets some” of the key factors may be added to the Weaknesses list or placed on a separate list. “Meets some” may become a “quick hits” list, depending on how much effort will be required to move from “meets some” to “meets all”.

 

The working lists can be captured with computerized note-taking, using a SMART Board™ or with paper flip charts. The strengths should not be ignored, but highlighted when marketing the program and leveraged to help in other ways. The goal is to become fully compliant with all of the Indicators of Quality that apply to the program. The level of effort and investment required to become compliant with all promising practices for a specific indicator varies. Priorities need to be set. The objective is to create a project plan for improvement. The plan should specify priorities, identify tasks, assign roles and responsibilities and create a timeline. Consistent monitoring and reporting should be used to maintain progress toward the goals.

 

DISCLAIMER

This work is supported under five-year cooperative agreement #H235V060016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is administered by the Pass It On Center of the Georgia Department of Labor – Tools for Life.  However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the Department of Education, or the Georgia Department of Labor, and the reader should not assume endorsements of this document by the Federal government or the Georgia Department of Labor.

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Other Information

Title: Using the IQ-ATR to Improve the Reuse Program
Module: Sustainability
Author: Trish Redmon
Audience: Administrator
Sub Title: Online Program Assessment Tool
Procedure: Evaluating the reuse program
Organization Source: Pass It On Center
Last Reviewed: 11-16-2010 10:34 AM