267,195 research outputs found

    Quality Services, Better Outcomes: A Quality Framework for Achieving Outcomes.

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    The Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) is an innovative, community based response to a comprehensive consultation process undertaken in Tallaght West. Working with a wide range of locally established service providers, CDI is delivering services to children and families which meet identified needs. Etch of these is being rigorously evaluated, and considerable attention is being given to quality assurance, promotion of reflective practice, and professional training and support. The insights gained, and techniques developed during this process are central to delivering high quality services with the view to improving our understanding of what enables children to meet their potential, gain their developmental milestones within appropriate timeframes and become healthy and active citizens. This Workbook describes key processes relating to practice, organisational culture and systems change which support the implementation of evidence-based and evidence-informed programmes and practices. From CDI's experience, implementing evidence-based programmes not only requires specific structures and processes in place to support programme implementation and fidelity (e.g. training, coaching, and supervision) but also necessities a focus on the more generic aspects of delivering quality services (e.g. engaging in reflective practice in order to promote and maintain fidelity to a programme). The Workbook also addresses some fundamental areas in relation to monitoring and evaluation as a way of determining whether an intervention was effective or not. In effect, this Workbook hopes to explain the 'what', 'why', 'how' and 'did we?' of evidence-based practice. The Workbook is intended to provide readers with a comprehensive introduction to both the shared language and concepts underpinning the science and practice of implementation. It complements the 'What Works Process' guide published by the Centre for Effective Services (CES, 2011) which supports services in assessing how effective they are in improving outcomes for children and helps them to think about what works

    Reliability, Sufficiency, and the Decomposition of Proper Scores

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    Scoring rules are an important tool for evaluating the performance of probabilistic forecasting schemes. In the binary case, scoring rules (which are strictly proper) allow for a decomposition into terms related to the resolution and to the reliability of the forecast. This fact is particularly well known for the Brier Score. In this paper, this result is extended to forecasts for finite--valued targets. Both resolution and reliability are shown to have a positive effect on the score. It is demonstrated that resolution and reliability are directly related to forecast attributes which are desirable on grounds independent of the notion of scores. This finding can be considered an epistemological justification of measuring forecast quality by proper scores. A link is provided to the original work of DeGroot et al (1982), extending their concepts of sufficiency and refinement. The relation to the conjectured sharpness principle of Gneiting et al (2005a) is elucidated.Comment: v1: 9 pages; submitted to International Journal of Forecasting v2: 12 pages; Significant change of contents; stronger focus on decomposition; Extensive comments on and extensions of earlier work, in particular sufficienc

    Digital signal processing techniques for application in the analysis of pathological voice and normophonic singing voice

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    Singing voice is one specific example of vocal sound made by human beings. If we consider the larynx apparatus as a type of singing instrument then we can further say that sung voice is perhaps the best and most stable utilisation of such an instrument. Singing remains at a stable pitch over time, and professional singers may well be the people who utilise the vocal apparatus most appropriately. If we compare a healthy sustained vowel given by a non-singer to that given by a professional singer, the difference in quality of recording can be seen in the stability of energy, pitch, jitter, shimmer and other classical perturbation parameters of Voice Quality assessment. In order to make assumptions about the health of the voice, signals produced at the vocal folds are the most interesting, as it is around this area specifically that most vocal problems are encountered. Using Digital Signal Processing techniques to extract such signals we can ascertain a number of things. Firstly, we can examine what happens to the structure of the vocal folds in intonation, and in particular, which parameters are more pertinent than others in analysis of the system. Secondly, we can attempt to use the results to make statistical studies on groups of subjects, in the hope that the pertinent parameters can pull out any abnormal samples. Results from this process have a potential medical application. The thesis will provide a description of the analysis of singing voice, paying particular attention to the changes happening due to pitch increase, and give a detailed example of statistical experimentation using parameters taken from the signals of interest. La voz cantada nos ofrece un ejemplo específico del sonido de la voz humana. Si consideramos el aparato de la laringe como una especie de instrumento para el canto podremos suponer asimismo que la voz cantada nos muestra quizás la mejor y más estable forma de uso de tal instrumento. El canto permanece en una frecuencia estable durante un periodo de tiempo y puede considerarse que los cantantes profesionales son aquellos sujetos que utilizan las cuerdas vocales de forma más apropiada. Si comparamos una vocal estable y continua producida por un cantante no formado con la misma producida por un cantante profesional, la diferencia en la calidad del registro se aprecia en la estabilidad de la energía, frecuencia, jitter, shimmer y los parámetros clásicos de perturbación de uso en la evaluación de la Calidad de la Voz. Para formular una hipótesis acerca de la salud de la voz, las señales más interesantes son las asociadas a las variables dinámicas en las cuerdas vocales porque la mayoría de los problemas de la voz se ponen allí de manifiesto. Al utilizar las técnicas de DSP para extraer tales señales se consigue extraer asimismo una serie de evidencias de gran interés. En primer lugar se puede examinar la dinámica que tiene lugar en la estructura de las cuerdas vocales respecto a la entonación y, en particular, qué parámetros guardan relaciones más importantes que otros en el análisis de la dinámica de dicho sistema. En segundo lugar, se puede utilizar los resultados para llevar a cabo investigaciones estadísticas con grupos de individuos para averiguar si los parámetros pertinentes muestran desviaciones anómalas. Los resultados de este estudio poseen un indudable interés médico. La presente tesis tiene como objetivo proporcionar una descripción del análisis de la voz cantada. Dirige su atención hacia los cambios en la dinámica de la cuerda vocal producidos por las variaciones de la frecuencia y ofrece un ejemplo pormenorizado de la experimentación a mediante la parametrización avanzada de las variables dinámicas de interés

    Consumers\u27 Awareness and Perceptions of Luxury Counterfeits

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    Counterfeiting is a global phenomenon. Because counterfeiting has drastically increased over the past several decades, it is easier for consumers to obtain counterfeited merchandise without any penalties. As the seriousness of the issue increases, companies and scholars suggest that consumer education and awareness may reduce the impact of counterfeit manufacturing. Recently, the luxury goods industry has become one market that is highly affected by counterfeiting, due to their popularity with consumers (Phau, Teah, & Lee 2009). Based on a thorough analysis of literature, many factors have been examined that influence consumers’ attitudes and purchasing intentions towards luxury counterfeits. Results show that luxury counterfeit products are purchased because of their low price and the specific characteristics that the genuine luxury brand portrays such as uniqueness and exclusivity. This pilot study presents the topic of luxury counterfeiting, consumers’ awareness and perceptions of counterfeiting, and attitudes and behaviors towards counterfeit products. A survey was conducted on a Mid-southern university campus to measure consumer awareness and perceptions on luxury counterfeits. Three primary factors were measured: awareness of luxury counterfeits, purchase intentions towards counterfeits, and the specific type of luxury counterfeit products owned. Results indicate strong support for the effectiveness of a consumer education seminar on knowledge, attitudes, and planned behavior towards consumption of counterfeit merchandise. No statistical significance between the three variables, participants’ sex, ethnicity, and annual income can be determined due to the low number of respondents. However, the descriptive statistics indicate that further study utilizing a larger population is warranted

    Linking Disability and Intercultural Studies: the adaptation journey of the visually impaired migrant in Ireland

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    This study focuses on the lived experiences of the visually impaired migrant in Ireland and this is the first study to document the lives of these members of Irish society. It examines how visually impaired migrants are simultaneously adapting to their disability and a new cultural environment while living in Ireland. In so doing this study aims to link the two academic fields of Intercultural Studies and Disability Studies and theoretical underpinnings for this study are drawn and woven together from both fields. As such this study draws from the development of theories relating to disability as well as the intercultural aspects of migration. Qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 participants living in the larger Dublin region, which comprised of two groups; migrant users and providers of services for the visually impaired. Data analysis was assisted through the software package Atlas.ti. A grounded theory approach to collecting and analysing data was adopted as this facilitates the flow from raw data to codes to concepts. Purposive sampling was employed and the typical method of grounded theory of constant comparison was not used, rather interviews were analysed individually once they were all completed then compared. Research findings indicate that the cultural perceptions of disability may help or hinder the individual’s adaptation process both to their visual impairment and to living and integrating into a new culture in Ireland. Findings cluster around the three areas of cultural perceptions of disability, support networks and cultural barriers to adaptation. Synergising theoretical concepts and data steered the development of a new integrative model which identifies the inhibitors and facilitators for the process of adaptation to visual impairment for a migrant in Ireland
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