Last week, more than 6,300 surveys were mailed to individuals with developmental disabilities and their family members by the Louisiana Department of Health's Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities. The annual survey is designed to gauge consumer satisfaction with the services provided by the State.

Known as the National Core Indicators survey, the questionnaire was mailed to family members or guardians of randomly selected individuals who receive supports and services from State-funded programs.

Mark A. Thomas, assistant secretary for the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, said his office will be better able to meet the needs of the people it serves the more people respond to the survey.

"The survey allows individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to anonymously express their thoughts, concerns and ideas about the services they receive from our office," Thomas said. "We encourage everyone who received a survey to respond and to be as honest and candid as possible with their feedback."

Thomas added that the survey results will be used to implement measures that will improve the quality of life experienced by Louisiana residents with developmental disabilities and enhance the care provided to them.

The survey is part of a national effort, and most of the questions are standard for all participating states, allowing the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities to compare its performance against national averages. Forty-six other states currently participate in the survey.

In addition to the opportunity for states to compare their performance, the NCI survey results also influence national policy decisions concerning services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

People who have received a survey and who have questions should call (866) 783-5553. If your family has received a survey, please complete it and mail it back in the pre-addressed, postage paid envelope by June 24.

To learn more about NCI, please visit www.ocdd.dhh.louisiana.gov or www.nationalcoreindicators.org.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. To learn more about LDH, visit www.dhh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.