Using Quality of Life to Assess Performance of Agencies Assisting People with Intellectual Disabilities

  • Ralph Kober
  • Ian R.C. Eggleton
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 41)


Performance measurement is important for agencies assisting people with intellectual disabilities in terms of measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s service provision. In this chapter we argue that agencies that assist people with intellectual disabilities can use quality of life as one potential measure of performance. This is demonstrated with reference to research conducted by Kober (2006) on the effect of different methods of employment on the quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities. The performance of agencies and/or programs can be assessed based on comparisons of quality of life outcomes under different methods of employment.


Competitive employment Intellectual disability Open employment Performance measurement Quality of life Sheltered employment Supported employment 


  1. Baker, F., & Intagliata, J. (1982). Quality of life in the evaluation of community support systems. Evaluation and Program Planning, 5, 69–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Camp, R. C. (1989). Benchmarking: The search for industry best practices that lead to superior performance. Milwuakee, WI: Quality Press.Google Scholar
  3. Conley, R. W., Rusch, F. R., McCaughrin, W. B., & Tines, J. (1989). Benefits and costs of supported employment: An analysis of the Illinois supported employment project. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 22, 441–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Crewe, N. M., & Athelstan, G. T. (1984). Functional assessment inventory manual. Menomonie, WI: Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute, University of Wisconsin-Stout.Google Scholar
  5. Cummins, R. A., & Baxter, C. (1994). Choice of outcome measures in service evaluations for people with an intellectual disability. Evaluation Journal of Australasia, 6, 22–30.Google Scholar
  6. DeStefano, L. (1990). Designing and implementing program evaluation. In F. Rusch (Ed.), Supported employment: Models, methods, issues (pp. 229–246). Sycamore, IL: Sycamore Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  7. Eggleton, I. R. C. (1991). Performance measurement for public sector organisations. Perth, WA: Decision Consulting Training and Research/New Zealand Society of Accountants.Google Scholar
  8. Eggleton, I. R. C. (1994). A benchmarking methodology for the Australian water industry (Urban Water Research Association of Australia, Research Report No. 77, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia).Google Scholar
  9. Eggleton, I. R. C., Silalahi, S., Chong, V. K., & Kober, R. (2005). Antecedents and consequences of performance indicators in the public sector. Working Paper, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  10. Fabian, E. S. (1991). Using quality-of-life indicators in rehabilitation program evaluation. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 34, 344–356.Google Scholar
  11. Hill, M. L., Banks, P. D., Handrich, R. R., Wehman, P. H., Hill, J. W., & Shafer, M. S. (1987). Benefit-cost analysis of supported competitive employment for persons with mental retardation. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 8, 71–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hill, M., & Wehman, P. (1983). Cost benefit analysis of placing moderately and severely handicapped individuals into competitive employment. TASH Journal, 8, 30–38.Google Scholar
  13. Inge, K. J., Banks, P. D., Wehman, P., Hill, J. W., & Shafer, M. S. (1988). Quality of life for individuals who are labelled mentally retarded: Evaluating competitive employment versus sheltered workshop employment. Education and Training in Mental Retardation, 23, 97–104.Google Scholar
  14. Kaul, M. (1997). The new public administration: management innovations in government. Public Administration and Development, 17, 13–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kober, R. O. (2006). The effectiveness of different methods of employment for people with intellectual disabilities. PhD thesis, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.Google Scholar
  16. Kober, R., & Eggleton, I. (2005). The effects of different types of employment on quality of life. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 49, 756–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kober, R., & Eggleton, I. R. C. (2006). Using quality of life to assess performance in the disability services sector. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1, 63–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kober, R., & Eggleton, I. R. C. (2009). Using quality of life to evaluate outcomes and measure effectiveness. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disability, 6, 40–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Landesman, S. (1986). Quality of life and personal life satisfaction: Definition and measurement. Mental Retardation, 33, 141–143.Google Scholar
  20. McCaughrin, W. B., Ellis, W. K., Rusch, F. R., & Heal, L. W. (1993). Cost-effectiveness of supported employment. Mental Retardation, 31, 41–48.Google Scholar
  21. McVilly, K. R., & Rawlinson, R. B. (1998). Quality of life issues in the development and evaluation of services for people with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 23, 199–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Miller, E., Copper, S., Cook, A., & Petch, A. (2008). Outcomes important to people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 5, 150–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Modell, S. (2005). Performance management in the public sector: past experiences, current practices and future challenges. Australian Accounting Review, 37, 56–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Murrell, S. A., & Norris, F. H. (1983). Quality of life as the criterion for need assessment and community psychology. Journal of Community Psychology, 11, 88–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Noble, J. H., Conley, R. W., & Banerjee, S. (1991). Supported employment in New York state: A comparison of benefits and costs. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 2, 39–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Parmenter, T. R. (1990). Evaluation and service delivery research in the area of severe intellectual disability in Australia. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 16, 187–193.Google Scholar
  27. Rusch, F. R., Conley, R. W., & McCaughrin, W. B. (1993). Benefit-cost analysis of supported employment in Illinois. Journal of Rehabilitation, 59, 31–36.Google Scholar
  28. Schalock, R. L. (1999). Could Mother Teresa survive an outcomes-oriented world? Australian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability Conference, Sydney.Google Scholar
  29. Schalock, R. L. (2004). The concept of quality of life: What we know and do not know. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 48, 203–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schalock, R. L., & Keith, K. D (1993). Quality of life manual. Nebraska: Self published.Google Scholar
  31. Schalock, R. L., & Lilley, M. A. (1986). Placement from community-based mental retardation programs: How well do clients do after 8 to 10 years. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 90, 669–676.Google Scholar
  32. Shearn, J., Beyer, S., & Felce, D. (2000). The cost-effectiveness of supported employment for people with severe intellectual disabilities and high support needs: A pilot study. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 13, 29–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tines, J., Rusch, F. R., McCaughrin, W., & Conley, R. W. (1990). Benefit-cost analysis of supported employment in Illinois: A statewide evaluation. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 95, 44–54.Google Scholar
  34. Tuckerman, P., Smith, R., & Borland, J. (1999). The relative cost of employment for people with a significant intellectual disability: The Australian experience. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 13, 109–116.Google Scholar
  35. Wehman, P., Kregel, J., Banks, P. D., Hill, M., & Moon, M. S. (1987). Sheltered versus supported work programs: A second look. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 31, 42–53.Google Scholar
  36. World Health Organization. (2001). International classification of functioning, disability and health. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Accounting and FinanceMonash UniversityCaulfield EastAustralia
  2. 2.School of Accounting and Commercial Law, Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations