About the Study
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) developed a Technical Assistance (TA) Center Program comprising five TA Centers which seek to promote successful employment policy and practices for people with disabilities. Each center had a unique focus, including assisting customers with workforce accommodations, systems-level changes, and accessible technology, as well as finding ways to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
To gain knowledge of customer satisfaction with the TA Center Program, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) of DOL, in partnership with ODEP, conducted a two-phased study to examine the extent to which the Program meets customer needs, as well as the reach and satisfaction with services provided by the individual TA Centers.
Phase I began in 2016 and focused on determining the feasibility of conducting a customer satisfaction survey of the five TA Centers. ODEP conducted semi-structured interviews of staff from all TA Centers, conducted in-person site visits with three TA Centers, and reviewed documents such as monthly metrics reports, quarterly reports, grant applications, work plans, meeting notes, and logic models. Phase II began in 2019 and focused on customer satisfaction with two TA Centers: the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), and the Employer Assistance Resource Network (EARN). ODEP conducted semi-structured telephone interviews of customers and staff from the two TA Centers, and reviewed data on customer satisfaction and service utilization. The study includes a final report and two issue briefs.
- How do the TA Centers operate as part of ODEP?
- To what extent is the assistance provided by the TA Centers of high quality, high relevance, and high usefulness?
- To what extent, has the assistance provided by the TA Centers led to adoption and/or implementation of ODEP’s policies and practices?
- Interviewed customers contacted the technical assistance Centers for various reasons, including: assistance with reasonable job accommodations; questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act; to gather information on topics related to disability employment; or for continuing education information.
- Customers interviewed from both Centers reported they were happy with the websites and valued the extensiveness of the information and the useful templates and examples available.
- When the customers interacted with JAN and EARN, a large majority of customers interviewed (85 percent) used individualized services like one-on-one communication via telephone, email, or chat. More than 60 percent referenced resources posted on the TA Centers’ websites.
- EARN customers interviewed said they were satisfied with the webinars available as they allowed the customers to be informed of the latest disability policies and determine if their own policies match what others are doing.
- JAN and EARN customers were satisfied with the amount of time it took to receive assistance, and believed the staff had sufficient expertise to answer questions and provide guidance.
Bennici, F., Palan, M., Giesen, L. (2020). Westat. Study of Customer Satisfaction with Two ODEP Technical Assistance Centers. Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor.
Bennici, F., Palan, M., Giesen. (2020). Westat. Customer Perceptions of Technical Assistance Centers: Issue Brief. Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor.
Bennici, F., Palan, M., Giesen, L. (2020). Westat. How Customers Used the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) Technical Assistance Centers. Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor.
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.