When you volunteer your time, donate your resources or dedicate your energy to working with the people we serve, you’re making an investment in ADEC. We want you to see the value in this investment, formally called “Return on Investment” or “ROI.” So we’re introducing a new monthly series called ADEC Makes Cents.

Because ADEC is a good investment.  Not only because we say we make a difference in the daily lives of our clients, but because that difference is measurable and real. In this new series, we’ll take you through the four pillars of our annual outcome measurements process – Effectiveness, Efficiency, Service Access and Feedback.

From now through the month of December, ADEC will share stories from the 2015 Outcomes Measurements cycle by answering these questions with personal narratives:

  1. What were your accomplishments during this past year?
  2. What did you learn? What did you do about what you learned?
  3. What specific actions are still needed?

Each department spent time reflecting on their year as they answered these questions. The end result not only guided the formation of new outcomes to measure in 2016, but it also helped to shape agency policy and expectations by using actual data and results to drive agency results for the people ADEC serves each day.

Why does this matter?

This month, we’re giving you some background on how the outcome measurements process works and why it is important, for both ADEC and the community we serve.

“I think it makes us stronger,” Cary Kelsey, ADEC vice president of advocacy and quality assurance. “Continuous quality improvement is important because we are continually learning about what we’re doing and better meeting the needs of our clients. We can’t be static in our services, we have to be active.”

Each of ADEC’s 10 departments stays active in their service delivery by pinpointing precise goals, such as seeing 50% of their clients using technology on a daily basis, to measure their program’s success and track both growth and changes in service delivery. At first glance, these may look like another boring set of numbers, but, incredibly, it’s actual lives being represented.

For each measure of efficiency or service access, we can visualize a person with a disability rejoicing over moving into a group home after years of waiting for their waiver paperwork to go through. For service access, the numbers transform into the smiling faces of people who enjoy day services at our five locations throughout the week.

Our hope is at the end of this, you’ll have a new perspective on the change ADEC makes in the lives of the people we serve. And that you’ll realize how your investment of money, time or skill makes a tangible difference – not just for that person, but for us all. That’s what we call getting a bang for your buck.