Customized Employment Bibliography

by DB-LINK on May 1, 2011
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This is a partial list of materials on this topic available from the DB-LINK Catalog Database.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via email:

Updated 2011


Choice and customized employment: A critical component --Inge, Katherine J. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 2008, Vol 28, #1, pp. 67-70. (2008) Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) often report that individuals with disabilities prefer to stay in facility-based programs rather than move into “real jobs” in community businesses. The important question to ask is whether the person with disabilities is making an informed choice to stay at the facility-based program. The point is to not “blame” the person for not being successful or not wanting to leave the facility- based program. Rather, the focus is on identifying the person’s support needs that can be provided to promote success in a community job. One strategy is to learn as much as possible about the individual in order to customize a job that reflects the person’s interests and abilities. This article addresses some of the commonly asked questions related to empowering individuals to move from segregated facility-based programs to integrated community employment. Available on the web: 08_Choice_and_Customized_Employment.pdf.


Customized Employment : A growing strategy for facilitating inclusive employment --Inge, Katherine J. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation; 2006, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p191-193. (2006) The article discusses the issues on customized employment and its relationship to supported employment of disabled individuals in the U.S. The best practices and core values of supported employment are now described as the characteristics of customized employment. As a result, community rehabilitation providers are now questioned about how they implemented supported employment service. Furthermore, the customized employment strategy faces the same pitfalls that have limited supported employment implementation since there are no formal regulations regarding customized employment implementation.


Customized Employment: A Growing Strategy for Facilitating Inclusive Employment - -Inge, Katherine J. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 2006, Vol. 24, #3, pp. 191-193. (2006) This article offers a general introduction to customized employment. It includes the definition published in the Federal Register in June, 2002 and describes some ways in which customized employment differs from supported employment.


Customized Employment: A Strategy for Developing inclusive Employment Opportunities --Greenfield, Robin. DEAF-BLIND PERSPECTIVES, vol. 15, #2, Spring 2008, pp.1-4. (2008) Customized employment is a strategy that strives to highlight an individual’s qualifications and interests in an effort to negotiate a job that satisfies both the employer and the job seeker. Available on the web:


Customized Employment and Disclosure --Inge, Katherine J.; Targett, Pam. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 2008, Vol. 28, #2, pp. 129-132. (2008) A key component of customized employment involves negotiating an individualized employment relationship between a job seeker and an employer in ways that meet the needs of both. Employers will have questions regarding why a person is asking to customize his or her job. This may require disclosing the job seeker’s disability. Disclosing a disability may be a major cause of anxiety or concern for people with disabilities as well as those who assist them when looking for a job. It is very important to consider how an individual will disclose his or her disability as well as when and what will be disclosed. This article will provide information about some key considerations for achieving effective disclosure in employment settings.


Customized Employment in the One Stop Career Centers --Targett, Pam; Young Cynthia,; Revell, Grant; Williams, Sophie; Wehman, Paul. TEACHING Exceptional Children, Nov/Dec 2007, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 6-11. (2007) The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 (PL 105-220) marked a major reform in the nation’s job training system. It consolidated more then 60 federal training programs into three block grants to states: adult employment and training, disadvantaged youth employment and training, and adult education and family literacy programs. The cornerstone of this legislation is a national system of One Stop Career Centers, which serve as key employment resources to communities. The One Stops offer vocational resources and assistance to anyone, including people with disabilities. This article focuses specifically on the use of One Stop Career Centers in working with youth with disabilities transitioning from secondary level education to employment in an urban setting. Publisher's web site: ildren/default.htm.


Customized Employment Q and A --Office of Disability Employment Policy. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor. (2007) This fact sheet from the US Department of Labor contains basic information about customized employment including a definition, descriptive information about the process and negotiating with employers. Available on the web:


Customized Employment Q and A for Parents --Office of Disability Employment Policy. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor. (2007) "To Work or Not to Work"… that is a question being asked by many individuals with disabilities and their family members as they begin to think about going to work in their local communities. This fact sheet addresses frequently asked questions by family members and provides answers to dispel the concerns. After reading this, it is hoped that family members will agree that the answer to the question: "To Work or Not to Work" is "To Work.” Available on the web:

2008-0452 Customized Employment Q and A: Funding Consumer-Directed Employment Outcomes -- Revell, W. Grant; Inge, Katherine J. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 2007, Vol. 26, #2, pp. 123-127. (2007) In the past, funding representatives usually controlled the decisions and allocations of resources, including the choice of service providers, for individuals with disabilities needing employment supports. Today, the concepts and practices of funding employment supports are evolving to focus on consumer-directed, customized employment outcomes. Since funding practices vary greatly from state to state, funds for customized employment continue to be scarce in many communities. There are a growing number of examples illustrating the prescriptive alignment of dollars needed to provide the individualized supports that facilitate customized employment outcomes. This article reviews practices for funding consumer-directed, customized employment outcomes. It also provides examples of how community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) can encourage and support more consumer-directed funding approaches.

2008-0454 Demystifying customized employment for individuals with significant disabilities --Inge, Katherine J. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 2007, Vol. 26, #1, pp. 63-66. (2007) An approach to finding community jobs for individuals with significant disabilities that has proven to be successful is customized employment. Customized employment begins with an individualized determination of the strengths, needs, and interests of the job candidate with a disability. Support and input can be provided by an employment specialist, family members and significant others. Once the individual’s job goals are established, potential businesses can be identified. Employers targeted on behalf of the individual should be selected based on a match between the job seeker’s expressed interests, skills, and type or nature of work performed at the company. This customized approach to employment allows for the job seeker and the employment specialist to negotiate job duties that match the individual’s skills. In other words, the approach results in a negotiated position for which the individual with a significant disability is qualified. This article contains questions and answers that provide additional insight into how customized employment can lead to integrated employment outcomes for individuals with significant disabilities. Available on the web:


Evaluation of customized employment in building the capacity of the workforce development system --Elinson, Lynn, et. al. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 28 (2008) 141-158. (2008) 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. Although one of the principles of WIA is universal access, it is generally acknowledged that the workforce development system does not yet have the capacity to fully meet the complex needs of people with disabilities. The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in the United States Department of Labor is the federal agency assigned to address this issue. Consequently, ODEP initiated the ODEP Demonstration Program to improve the capacity of the One-Stop system to meet the needs of people with disabilities through a customized approach to employment in an adult targeted program. This paper describes the evaluation of the ODEP Demonstration Program.


Individualized Career Planning for students with significant support needs utilizing the Discovery and Vocational Profile process, cross-agency collaborative funding and Social Security Work Incentives --Condon, Ellen; Callahan, Michael. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 2008, Vol. 28, #2, pp. 85-96. (2008) Nationally, less than 8% of students with a disability exit school with a job, enrollment in post-secondary education, involvement in community recreation and leisure activities, or independent living arrangements [8]. Those students most likely to leave school without skills and supports necessary to work in the community are those with the most significant disabilities. The Individualized Career Planning Model provides a transition planning template for these students. The process includes conducting Discovery, writing a Vocational Profile, facilitating a Customized Employment Planning Meeting, and creating a Representational Portfolio. Using the model, students obtain Customized Employment/self-employment, are linked to collaboratively funded supports, and are assisted to access Social Security work incentives such as Plans for Achieving Self Support. Publisher's web site:


The Job Developer's Handbook : Practical Tactics for Customized Employment -- Griffin, Cary; Hammis, David; Geary, Tammara. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. (2007) This guide walks employment specialists step by step through customized job development for people with disabilities, revealing the best ways to build a satisfying, meaningful job around a person's preferences, skills, and goals. It offers tips and ideas for every aspect of job development for youth and adults with significant support needs including: discovering who the person is and what he or she really wants; ensuring goodness of fit between employer and employee; finding—or creating—"hidden jobs" in smaller companies; empowering people through resource ownership (investing in resources that employers need); skillfully negotiating job duties while managing conflicts that might arise; creatively maximizing benefits using social security work incentives; and encouraging family support while respecting the individual as an adult. Publisher's web site:


Life Beyond the Classroom : Transition Strategies for Young People with Disabilities --Wehman, Paul, Ph.D. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes. (2006) Offers professionals and students information and strategies for successful and supported transitions. Contains techniques for individualized transition planning; work skill competence and confidence building; fostering support from businesses and community organizations for training and employment programs; family and community participation; and interagency cooperation. Includes applications for youth with mild mental retardation; severe disabilities; sensory impairments; learning disabilities; behavior disorders; orthopedic and other health impairments; and traumatic brain injury. This fourth edition includes updated and new chapters on inclusion, postsecondary education, autism spectrum disorders, testing and accountability, assitive technology, employment, Social Security benefits and work incentives, and self-determination.


Making employment a reality --Eaton, Bill; Condon, Ellen; Mast, Melinda. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation; 2001, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p9-14. (2001) Significant issues for people with severe physical and multiple disabilities and for professionals working in the employment field continues to be how to determine an applicant's goals and abilities, how to approach employers and how to effectively represent the strengths and potential contributions of an applicant. This paper presents an individualized approach that includes discovery as the key component leading to job development for people with physical and significant disability. Case studies serve as examples of the process. Contains many elements of customized employment.


Self-Directed Employment for People with Developmental Disabilities : Issues, Characteristics, and Illustrations --Sowers, Jo-Ann; McLean, Debra; Owens, Cynthia. Journal of Disability Policy Studies VOLUME 13, NUMBER 2, Fall 2002. (2002) Some analysts and advocates suggest that the original goal of supported employment has not been realized because insufficient training and technical assistance has been devoted to building the capacity of the stakeholders within the current service structure. However, some of these same people, as well as many others, also believe that real change will not occur until the service structure itself is changed from one that is professional directed to one that is customer directed. The purpose of this article is to review key characteristics of a customer-directed employment process for individuals with developmental disabilities. The seven characteristics discussed here have been identified based on the experiences gained and lessons learned through the initiatives and demonstrations, including customized employment, in Oregon and other states. Available on the web:


Tough Love --Hutchins, Kevin. TX SenseAbilities, Summer 2007 Volume 1, No. 2, pp.4-5. (2007) This article describes how one family created a life filled with enjoyment, productivity, and responsibility for their son, Preston, who is deafblind, as the owner of his own successful business. They utilized the principles of customized employment. The parents, along with networks of support, have worked diligently to establish a small business for Preston. Through vocational training at school, Preston found that he loved to shred paper. He will shred for up to 60 minutes without prompts. Thus was born Handy Able Hands, a document shredding business. Available on the web: love. Publisher's web site:  

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