INNOVATIVE THINKING
RIGOROUS APPROACHES
REAL WORLD IMPACT

 

Ms. Linda Toms Barker

Linda Toms Barker, M.A., has over 35 years of experience in program evaluation and public policy research, with a focus on education, employment, health and disability policy. Her work has emphasized integrated mixed methods approaches, linkages from research to practice, identifying innovations and promising practices, and assessing the replicability and transferability of program models and strategies.

Ms. Toms Barker has extensive experience with integrated mixed methods designs both as a program evaluator, and in the role of capacity building among grantee programs to enhance their ability to conduct evaluation to support program improvement. Her work has included experimental and quasi-experimental impact evaluation, mail, phone and online surveys, structured interviews and case studies, and benefit-cost analysis. Ms. Toms Barker has identified exemplary programs and practices, developed standards and benchmarks for measuring program performance, measured the impacts of services and system changes, assessed the transferability of approaches, and created linkages from research to practice through provision of training and technical assistance, development of  training materials, and conducting workshops and seminars. Her experience includes evaluation of professional development strategies and technical assistance to educators, workforce professionals, and service providers, as well as studies of approaches to enhancing education and employment systems.

Ms. Toms Barker has developed a national reputation as a leading disability policy expert through her work evaluating independent living centers, community living arrangements, the state/federal vocational rehabilitation system, deinstitutionalization efforts, supported employment programs, psychosocial rehabilitation programs, access to health care, and almost every disability subgroup, including women, youth in transition, elders, parents with disabilities, and persons with a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities. Currently, she serves as Principal Research Associate on the Evaluation of the Disability Employment Initiative for DOL, and the Evaluation of One-Stop Career Centers’ Accessibility to Persons with Disabilities.

Ms. Toms Barker has acquired an in-depth knowledge of workforce development and employment and training programs. She served as Survey Task Leader for the Evaluation of the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative, Project Director of a contract to develop a DOL Technical Assistance Guide for Increasing Access to WIA Services for LEP (Limited English Proficiency) Customers, and directed a series of projects designed to improve the quality of Job Corps services to limited English and Hispanic populations including: developing the national Limited English Proficiency/English Language Learner Strategic Plan; a technical assistance guide to Improving Job Corps Services and Support to Hispanic and LEP/ELL Youth; a Job Corps Program Guide For Serving English Language Learners; a Job Corps Cultural Competency Curriculum; and an ESL/VESL Program Guide and ESL Curriculum. She also directed Technical Assistance to the High Growth Job Training Initiative, which assisted ETA in ensuring that the tools, models, products, and effective approaches developed by DOL-funded grant programs reach full market penetration.

In the field of education, Ms. Toms Barker has directed studies of educational technology, after-school programs, curriculum for students with limited English proficiency, and teen pregnancy prevention curriculum. Currently, she serves as Principal Research Associate on the Evaluation of the Comprehensive Centers program and Project Director of a randomized controlled trial of a middle-school sexual health curriculum. Her educational research and evaluation experience has included structured classroom observations, analysis of academic achievement data, student surveys, teacher surveys, focus groups, and portfolio assessments.

Ms. Toms Barker received her M.A. degree in Health Services Administration with degree specialization in services for people with disabilities from Antioch West University in 1979, and her B.S. degrees in Psychobiology and Biology from the University of California, Riverside in 1974 and 1976.

IMPAQ Papers and Presentations

Toms Barker, L., Eliason, M., McElroy, J., Garbers, S. & Radix, A. (2017). Comparing women with and without disabilities in five-site “Healthy Weight” interventions for lesbian/bisexual women over 40Disability and Health Journal, 10:2, 271-278.

Toms Barker, L. (2016, October). Listening to the Customers’ Voices: Findings of Participant Focus Groups on the Accessibility of the Public Workforce System. Presentation at the American Evaluation Association Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Toms Barker, L. (2016, October). Rigorous Evaluation of a Culturally Responsive Teen Pregnancy and STI Prevention Program for Hawaii Middle-Schoolers. Presentation at the American Evaluation Association Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Abe, Y., Toms Barker, L., Chan, V. & Eucogco, J. (2016). Culturally Responsive Adolescent Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention Program for Middle School Students in Hawai‘i. American Journal of Public Health, 106(S1), S110-S116.

Magill, K. & Toms Barker, L. (2016, April). ​Increasing Employment of Persons with Disabilities through Section 503: Affirmative Strategies that Work. Presentation at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, Honolulu, HI.

Magill, K. & Toms Barker, L. (2016, April). ​Promising Practices and Innovations in the Public Workforce System. Presentation at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, Honolulu, HI.

Magill, K. & Toms Barker, L. (2016, April). ​Toward an Accessible and Inclusive Public Workforce System. Presentation at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, Honolulu, HI.

Magill, K. & Toms Barker, L. (2015, May). Removing Roadblocks to an Accessible Workforce System. Presentation at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, Honolulu, HI.

Toms Barker, L. (2015, November). Conducting a Culturally-Sensitive Rigorous Evaluation of a Culturally-Responsive Intervention: Preliminary Findings, Lessons Learned, and Challenges from an RCT of a TPP/STI Program in Hawai’I. Presentation at the APPAM Fall Research Conference, Miami, FL.

Toms Barker, L., Magill, K. & Chamberlain, A. (2015, November). Disclosing Disability to Access Opportunities through the Workforce Development System. Presentation at the APPAM Fall Research Conference, Miami, FL.

Toms Barker, L. (2015, September). Rigorous Evaluation of a Culturally-Responsive Teen Pregnancy and STI Prevention Program for Hawai‘i Middle Schoolers. Presentation at the Hawai‘i-Pacific Evaluation Association Annual Conference, Honolulu, HI.

Magill, K. & Toms Barker, L. (2015, May). It Takes a Village: The Beacon Hill Village Model of Interdependent Living. Presentation at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, Honolulu, HI.

Toms Baker, L. & Magill, K. (2014). Career Pathways: Transition from School to Work and Lifelong Learning. Presentation at the Pacific Rim International Conference On Disability and Diversity,  Honolulu, HI.

Toms Barker, L. (2014, October). Sustainability as Institutionalization: Strategies for Adoption of Pono Choices Middle School Curriculum​. Presentation at the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference, Denver, CO.

Toms Barker, L. & Rayyes, N. (2014, October). Evaluating "Doing it for Ourselves": A Community-Based Health Program for Older Lesbian/Bisexual Women. Presentation at the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference, Denver, CO.

Magill, K. & Toms Barker, L. (2014). Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships That Support In(ter)dependent Living. Presentation at the Pacific Rim International Conference On Disability and Diversity, Honolulu, HI.

Toms Barker, L. & Rayyes, N. (2011). Evaluating Your 21st CCLC Program: Evaluation Planning You Can Use​. Presentation at the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Summer Institute, National Harbor, Maryland.