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Customized Employment

  • Citron, T., Brooks-Lane, N., & Crandell, D. (2008). A revolution in the employment process of individuals with disabilities: Customized employment as the catalyst for system change. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 28, 169–179.
    The authors describe and analyzes a seven-year systems change effort focused on developing customized employment opportunities through a community rehabilitation program (CRP) that provides supports to persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and addictive diseases in Georgia. By using case studies and qualitative data, the path to real and effective organizational improvement in the area of customized employment outcomes is explored.
  • Elinson, L., Frey, W. D., Li, T., Palan, M. A., & Horne, R. L. (2008). Evaluation of customized employment in building the capacity of the workforce development system. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 28(3), 141–158.
    The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 established a national system to meet the needs of businesses and job seekers through a one-stop system of employment services, job training, and education. This article evaluates the results. Findings from this evaluation show that it is feasible to deliver a customized employment approach to people with disabilities as part of the WIA One-Stop system. Findings also show that it is feasible to build and sustain the capacity of the workforce development system through training, physical and programmatic accessibility improvements, and improved coordination of services. As the first comprehensive test of customized employment, findings from this evaluation have also laid the groundwork for further testing of specific aspects of customized employment with rigorous quasi-experimental or randomized controlled trials.
  • Fesko, S., Varney, E., DiBiase, C., & Hippenstiel, M. (2008). Effective partnerships: Collaborative efforts that support customized employment. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 28(3), 159–168.
    Customized employment services often require the support and coordination of multiple entities and/or funding sources. This article describes a variety of partnership models that have been developed among the workforce development system and disability providers.
  • Inge, K. J. (2008). Choice and customized employment: A critical component. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 28(1), 67–70
    Inge reflects on customized employment. She discusses the origin of the term "customized employment" in the speech of U. S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Choa. She describes the process of customizing employment wherein the needs of the employer and the person are met. She also comments on the benefits of customized employment for people with disabilities.
  • Phillips, W. L., Callahan, M., Shumpert, N., Puckett, K., Petrey, R., Summers, K., & Phillips, L. (2009). Customized transitions: Discovering the best in us. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 30(1), 49–55.
    This article focuses on using customization as a strategy for successful transitions. Six students in rural Kentucky will be receiving resources from vocational rehabilitation and special education to create a discovery portfolio, individualized job development, and customized employment. Their transition will be part of a ten year follow-up study that will track their employment history, inclusion in their chosen community, and asset building. The goal is to place them in full-time employment that provides a living wage.
  • Revell, W. G., & Inge, K. J. (2007). Customized employment Q and A: funding consumer-directed employment outcomes. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 26(2), 123–128.
    This article gives answers to questions on customized employment and funding. Questions such as: How can funding approaches inhibit or encourage consumer-directed funding? What are the characteristics of a more consumer-directed funding approach to achieving customized employment outcomes? The first indicator of consumer-directed funding is that an individual with a significant disability has reasonable access to services. Do you have examples of consumer-directed funding strategies?
  • Smith, T. J., Dillahunt-Aspillaga, C., & Kenney, C. (2015). Integrating customized employment practices within the vocational rehabilitation system. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 42(3), 201–208.
    The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) conducted a two-day training on the Discovery process. This is the results of a pilot project to test the feasibility of a systems change to build the capacity of the public VR system to effectively serve individuals with complex disabilities by adding Discovery, a component of the customized employment process, as an alternative to traditional vocational evaluation. This resulted in a certification process to train community-based providers to provide Discovery as a billable service for VR customers who have not been successful in obtaining competitive, integrated employment through traditional strategies. The article includes an overview of this innovative project and lessons learned to assist other states and communities in replicating the process.

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