Diversity Index (Council Key Result Indicator#15)
Olathe is an increasingly diverse community in population size and make-up. With growth comes the challenge of nurturing a sense of community among citizens. Olathe aims to be a model city for inclusion of all populations — a community where engaged residents, in partnership with a responsive City government, work together towards “One Olathe” where all can thrive. Olathe’s multi-faceted approach to diversity includes outreach, advocacy and education that promotes partnerships among community organizations, businesses, government and citizens.
The City’s growth continues to present opportunities for the Human Relations Commission (OHRC), Persons with Disability Advisory Board (PDAB) and City departments to address the changing needs of the community. These groups work year-round to encourage dialogue about differences and to present at community events that honor and celebrate diversity. Events such as the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, Community Awards recognition, an employment resource fair for the disabled community and more continue to exemplify the City’s strong community partnerships and commitment to awareness and understanding.
Staff have developed a Diversity Index that measures components of the DirectionFinder® citizen survey in a number of areas relevant to our diversity initiatives.
Responses to the following measures are included in the calculation of this index:
- Quality of Service Provided by the City for Persons who are deaf or hearing impaired
- Quality of Service Provided by the City for non-English speaking persons
- Quality of Service Provided by the City for Persons with limited physical mobility
- Quality of Service Provided by the City for Seniors
- Quality of Service Provided by the City for Persons with disabilities
Many opportunities exist for the City of Olathe to enhance its community engagement practices and we continue to explore ways to expand diversity measurement.
Since the initial creation of this index in 2008, diversity inclusivity needs, expectations and resources for related programs, practices and services have continued to grow. The target of 110 is unchanged from last year when it was significantly elevated from a prior baseline of 100. While the target was exceeded in 2016, external national factors may negatively impact this score in the future. Similarly, after a slight downward slip following record high levels in 2015, the current target level achieves consistency while continuing to promote a high, yet realistic standard in this area.
Our previous Direction Finder score showed decreases in these categories, and the Human Relations Commission, Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board and the City’s communication division spent considerable time assessing the causes for the decline. Subsequently, all three entities continued a strategic focus on communication and engagement for these categories. That included partnering with police and fire on education and outreach. In addition to the boards, our public safety departments continue working very hard on outreach on these categories.
Our assessment is these efforts are having a positive impact on these perceptions.
Meeting Target | Close to Target | Off Target