ACET recognizes the importance of professional development in maintaining and sharpening one’s skills, and last week I had a great professional development opportunity by attending the ADARA (formerly known as the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association) 2013 national conference. This conference, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, included more than 50 sessions and welcomed 300 attendees. This conference proved to be a great and eye-opening experience. I had the opportunity to attend sessions focused upon the best utilization of American Sign Language and Certified Deaf Interpreters, the domains and competencies for those interpreting in medical or mental health settings, and the opportunities and challenges for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Not only was I able to attend those intriguing sessions, I also presented my own work. In coordination with Trudy Schafer (project coordinator) from the National Interpreter Education Center, we presented the session entitled “What do we know and how do we know it…Improving service delivery for individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.” Ms. Schafer provided background information and context for surveys used by the national center, while I presented best survey design practices and related the practices back to one of the national center surveys. Specifically, this presentation explored designing quality survey questions or items, response options, formatting strategies, and the importance of field testing. The overall intent of this session was that attendees would gain a better understanding of how to design quality surveys that are accurate, valid, reliable, and better inform future decisions. This session was important for ADARA attendees because, when assessing program effectiveness, it is important that surveys are properly designed to measure intended outcomes.
Dan and Trudy Schafer at the 2013 ADARA Conference