The FEAT research team at the Beach Center is in the process of evaluating the effectiveness of FEAT in 2010 and 2011.
To assess the short-term impacts of FEAT participation, the FEAT team administered a pre- and post-training survey to all participants to evaluate participant self-ratings of their transition to employment knowledge and to gather participant perceptions regarding their expectations for competitive employment. Preliminary findings from the 2010 trainings indicate that FEAT succeeded in raising participant expectations and knowledge levels, across all trainings. The team is currently compiling 2011 data to examine the effectiveness of the 2011 trainings.
In addition to researching the short-term impacts of FEAT, we are also preparing to launch a one-year follow-up study on the intermediate and long-term impacts of FEAT. Although the pre- and post-survey data from 2010 revealed a positive shift (statistically significant change) in participant expectations and knowledge, the lasting impact of FEAT remains unclear. The purpose of this follow-up study is to determine:
- if FEAT impacted competitive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities,
- if FEAT participants continued to maintain high expectations for competitive employment following the training,
- if FEAT participants continued to rate their transition to employment knowledge at or above “fair,” and
- if FEAT participants encountered barriers to employment that impacted competitive employment outcomes, expectations and knowledge ratings.
This study includes a survey distributed to all participants and interviews with families. The team will replicate this study in 2012 to assess the long-term impacts of the 2011 trainings.