First steps toward data informed decisions

This is the post excerpt.

It is not the goal of this report to belittle the efforts made to gather data for 2016 SPIL. However, we must be very cautious in drawing conclusions from the data obtained
Access to the raw data was not obtained therefore additional direct analysis of the data was not possible. However, some observations can be made as the NVSILC 2016 State Plan For Independent Living Survey was a self administered survey conducted via survey monkey and should only be used with caution.
The audience for the survey was not clearly stated. The langue of the survey suggests it was designed for direct consumers of IL services (people with disabilities) yet only 42% of respondents identified as having a disability. The mixed target audience implies survey items may not return the consistency of responses.
The survey has coverage issues as it ignores those without internet access. Given the widely acknowledged issue of the “digital divide” disproportionately affecting people with disabilities this is of significant concern. In addition, the number of surveys distributed was not known, multiple responses were possible.
Selection bias is a concern for accuracy. A pre-determined minimum response rate was not established and a response deadline was used instead. The potential for sampling bias in this case is very high given that the survey was publicized by CILs and other closely associated entities so was mostly a survey of individuals with disabilities who had received some sort of service from the CILS. A cursory comparison of the 704 CSR demographic data with survey results suggests the survey is not representative of the population receiving services from the CILS. The applicability for a statewide needs assessment is even more tenuous in this regard as it does not reflect prevalence data for Nevada.