An area realignment survey of Virginia Special Olympics, Inc.

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The purpose of this study was to gather responses from key Virginia Special Olympics' volunteers about their perceptions of several issues and concerns relating to the realignment of their current geographical areas of service. The study was done in two parts. Part one consisted of a survey which was sent to 222 key volunteers and three paid staff members. Of the 218 surveys which were able to be delivered, 170, or 78%, were completed and returned. Part two was a personal interview with each of the current twenty-one Area Coordinators.

The results of the survey indicated that most volunteers attended on the average 3.5 meetings per month and averaged between 16 and 30 miles of travel per trip (one way). Most respondents felt that their areas' current budget was adequate to provide training programs and area games. They felt that changing the area boundaries would not adversely affect the support of the sponsors. The great majority of volunteers spend between $5.00 and $20.00 a month and few ask for reimbursement from Virginia Special Olympics. Most respondents felt that there were few problems between local, area, and state programs.

A large majority of the respondents felt that there was a need for full-time paid Area Coordinators because most areas have between 76 and 225 participants and the duties of an Area Coordinator are considerable. The majority of the respondents said that their involvement would remain the same no matter what size their area was and that their current boundaries did not need to be realigned at this time.

When the Area Coordinators were interviewed, they substantiated the results of the survey. However, three felt that their area really needed to be changed. only The rest felt that the current area boundaries were adequate for the present.

At the Board of Directors meeting held June 22, 1985, the evaluator made a presentation of the findings of the surveys and interviews. After a lengthy discussion the Board voted to make changes in eight areas and to add four new areas.