BBVS Customer Experience Survey Findings Summary

The Pennsylvania Council of the Blind conducted a survey of Pennsylvania residents who either are current or former recipients of services from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, hereafter referred to as BBVS. The purpose of this study was to gather feedback on the quality of services provided by BBVS from the customer’s perspective. The goal was to identify trends that are being experienced throughout the state, across BBVS’ six district offices. The survey was intended to gather feedback from individuals who self-identified as either having applied for service or been the recipient of at least one BBVS service within the last five years. Survey questions were developed by PCB peers who are familiar with BBVS as customers and citizen advocates. Feedback was sought among six question sections: Application Process, Communications, Goals & Objectives, Service Delivery, Customer Satisfaction, and Demographic Information. It was available for completion January through April 2019.
Due to space constraints in this publication, we cannot include the full report here. We have provided a summary of findings. The final report includes an in-depth discussion and analysis of the trends apparent in the data along with two appendices of findings including unedited customer feedback to the open-ended questions. The full report has been converted to DAISY audio and will follow this edition on the cartridge version. For other peers and stakeholders, please feel free to request the DAISY audio, braille, large print, or Word versions of the full report, please contact the PCB office at or 877-617-7407. The full report is also available online at

In total, 85 individuals participated in the survey with an average completion rate of 73 percent. In order to capture as close to an accurate accounting as possible, the findings are given numerically rather than as percentages. The answer choice is followed by the numeric count of respondents who selected it. Since some respondents left some questions blank, not all totals will equal 85.

Application Process
Method of Application: Over the phone 23; Commonwealth’s online application 8; In person 28; Editable email file 4; Other 16

Needed Assistance with Application: Yes, my preference 32; Yes, unable to do independently 31; No, able to complete independently 19

Experienced Difficulty during Application Process: Yes 8; No 71

District Office: Altoona 2; Erie 12; Harrisburg 10; Philadelphia 29; Pittsburgh 17; Wilkes Barre 9

Date of Application: Since 2014 38; Prior to 2014 27: Not sure 20

Time before Initial Contact by Counselor: Less than two weeks 11; Two weeks to one month 28; One to two months 16; Two to six months 9; Six to twelve months 6; More than twelve months 3; Still waiting for initial contact 4

Frequency of Communication after Initial Contact: Once a week 11; Once a month 20; Once a Quarter 19; Once every six months or longer 16

Provided Paperwork or Information in Preferred Format: Always 23; Sometimes 20; Rarely 11; Never 17

Person Who Usually Initiated Contact: I did 30; Counselor did 10; Equally initiated contact 27

Customer Provided with Information about Other Resources for Blindness Services: Yes 34; No 35

Customer Given Information about Right to Appeal Case Decisions: Yes 34; No 34

Customer Was Told about Consumer/Support Groups such as PCB: Yes 24; No 46

Goals & Objectives
Customer Came with a Specific Vocational Goal in Mind: yes 50; No 20
If No, all Methods Used to Determine Goal: Vocational testing 4; Career research 4; Guidance from BBVS counselor 10; Advice from family/friends 9; Other 12

Customer Felt He/She Was Integral to Determining Vocational Goal: Yes 48; No 19

Customer Felt Steered toward Specific Vocational Goal because of Blindness: Yes 26; No 40

Used Testing/Exploration to Determine Practicality of Goal: Yes 15; No 51

Developed a Plan to Achieve Goal: Yes 38; No 29

Customer’s Family Supported Goal: Yes 54; No 8

Service Provision
The comparison of number of customers who either requested or understood the service as necessary to achieving their vocational goal and actual number who received services.

Service Rqst/Rcvd
Counseling & Guidance 23/18
Low Vision Eval. & Therapy 25/20
Facility-based Adjust. Training 14/8
In-home Adjust. Training 21/14
Orientation & Mobility Instruct. 37/28
Assistive Tech Eval. & Train. 38/35
Voc. Testing & Exploration 8/7
Job Search/Resume/Interview 17/8
Vocational Training Programs 13/11
OJT & Internship Subsidies 7/5
Job Jpdy/Workplace Accomm. 13/9
Summer Academy Trans. Prog. 5/5
Pre- employment Trans. Serv. 3/3
College Support 12/7
Referral to Other Resources 9/6
Other 9/7
(Comments listed in Appendix A, Q20-21.)

Time between Initial Application & Receipt of First Service beyond Case Management: One month 15; Two to three months 21; Four to six months 8; Six months to one year 9; More than one year 9

Customers Are Currently Receiving service or on a Waiting List for Services: Yes 18; No 43; I don’t know 5

Customer Feels Vocational Goals & Service Expectations Have Been Met: Yes 31; No 30 (Comments listed in Appendix A, Q24.)

Customer Satisfaction
Customer Filed an Appeal/Grievance: Yes 9; No 54
(Comments listed in Appendix A, Q25.)

Client Assistance Program Researched Claim Objectively & Fully: Yes 12; No 8

Customer Satisfied with the Appeal Outcome/Resolution Rendered: Yes 8; No 6
(Comments listed in Appendix A, Q27.)

Overall Satisfaction as a BBVS Customer: Very satisfied 10; Satisfied 23; Dissatisfied 18; Very dissatisfied 5

Description of Difficulties Encountered: This was an open-ended question to which 33 individuals offered comment. In general, difficulties mentioned included: counselor/customer communication breakdowns; wait times/perceived delays; incompetent staff; limited job search assistance; not getting enough training; poor equipment selection; and staffing shortages/vacancies.
(Comments listed in Appendix A, Q29.)

General Comments or Additional Information: 26 customers gave comments which included some positive feedback regarding counselors and more expressions of service concerns. (Comments listed in Appendix A, Q30.)

Demographic Information
Customer Current Age Range: 14-21 0; 22-35 15; 36-55 14; Over 55 31

Length of Time Experiencing Visual Impairment or Blindness: Less than 2 years 3; 2-5 years 8; 5-10 years 4; More than 10 years 25; Since birth 19

Customer Described Visual Function:
Totally Blind 11
Can tell if the light is on or off 35
Can see colors and match clothing. 23
Use color contrast for daily living tasks 19
Can read large print without magnification 19
Need magnification to read print 27
Use a computer with screen reader 23
use a computer with magnification 20
Vision fluctuates from day to day 21
Vision loss is stable/not likely to deteriorate 10
May lose more vision based on my diagnosis 27

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