Why Might a Survey about ECF CHOICES Be Important for You and Your Family?

/ August 1, 2023

By Heather Henderson

Participating in surveys may seem mundane or inconsequential, but this seemingly simple act holds immense power and significance. By sharing your thoughts and experiences through surveys, your information can help contribute to shaping industries, influencing decisions, and driving positive change. I want to explore the reasons why participating in surveys is not only valuable but also empowering and to encourage people to participate in “another” survey that will help The Arc Tennessee advocate for current services and supports as well as future needs.

However, first I’d like to tell you a little about the survey I’m focused on right now. This survey is seeking information about experiences with receiving services through our state’s Employment and Community First CHOICES waiver program as well as potential future needs. The survey is for anyone who is eligible for ECF CHOICES services, even if you are not currently receiving services.

With this survey we hope to understand what is working, what needs to be improved, and what challenges ECF CHOICES may later face. Our goal is to be able to open up communication with TennCare and work together to help families and individuals receiving ECF CHOICES. All information shared in this survey is confidential and no identifying information will be shared outside of The Arc Tennessee and its workgroup.

Personal stories of lived experience are powerful and can often move people to act, but survey data can demonstrate that many, many individuals are experiencing similar issues and that can bring about systems change.

So why do surveys such as this one?

  1. Your Opinion Matters: One of the most compelling reasons to participate in surveys is the realization that your voice matters.  Your opinion can spark transformative changes and contribute to making services more aligned with your needs and desires.
  2. Influence the Future: Surveys provide an opportunity to influence the future by voicing your preferences and concerns. Participating in surveys empowers you to shape the world around you actively.
  3. Drive Social Change: Surveys play a crucial role in driving social change. As a nonprofit organization, The Arc Tennessee uses survey data to identify issues, allocate resources, and design policies that address societal challenges. By participating in surveys centered around social issues, you can contribute to creating a more equitable and inclusive society.
  4. Bridge the Communication Gap: When you share your feedback through surveys, you open up a direct channel of communication. This helps us gain valuable insights into strengths and weaknesses of various systems, that can lead to improved transparency and accountability.
  5. Personal Reflection and Growth: Seeing your opinions reflected in survey results can be validating and affirming, boosting your self-confidence and sense of belonging.

Your active involvement in surveys empowers you to make your opinions heard, influence decisions, drive change, and contribute to the betterment of society. Embrace the power of your voice by engaging in surveys when the opportunity arises. Remember, your insights are invaluable, and collectively, our voices can shape a brighter and more responsive future. So, we are asking you to participate in The Arc Tennessee survey about your experiences with receiving ECF CHOICES services and potential future needs.

Please complete the survey by clicking here and be an agent of positive change.

Heather Henderson serves as The Arc Tennessee’s director of advocacy and has been investing in the disability community over the past 10-plus years. Though her career started in architecture and design, she pivoted her focus to the disability community when a friend asked her to consider joining The Arc Tennessee’s People Talking to People program. Since then, she has worked as a direct support professional, program manager for a Medicaid waiver provider agency, an independent support coordinator, a person centered practice facilitator with the Department of Intellectual and developmental disabilities, all before returning to The Arc Tennessee as part of the advocacy team.


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