|T-TAP||Training and Technical Assistance For Providers|
Customized Employment Q & A - Assisting Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Families to Pursue Their Employment Goals - Federal and state policies have promoted a shift away from segregated day programs for people with disabilities towards employment in integrated settings. This fact sheet explores why adults with disabilities choose to attend sheltered workshops and how this situation can be changed.
Customized Employment Q & A - Addressing Concerns Related to Losing Social Security and Health Care Benefits T-TAP conducted a national survey of Community Rehabilitation Programs asking them their opinion regarding what factors maintain sub-minimum wage employment for individuals with disabilities. Specifically, respondents were asked their opinion on the following statement: "Fear of losing benefits such as SSI, SSDI, and/or other health care is one of the primary reasons individuals in our sub-minimum wage programs / 14 (c) programs do not want competitive jobs."
Self-Employment as a Customized Employment Outcome - Supporting individuals with significant disabilities to start their own businesses may seem like uncharted territory to Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs). Until recently, self-employment was viewed as an employment goal only for people with disabilities who had a business background and/or were thought capable of designing and implementing a business plan. For many individuals, particularly those who had cognitive disabilities, self-employment was not viewed as an attainable goal.
Customized Employment Q and A: Funding of Community-Integrated Employment Outcomes - This fact sheet will provide information on how to use a diversified array of funding resources to support community-integrated employment outcomes. Ms. Nancy Brooks-Lane, Director of Developmental Disabilities Services Cobb-Douglas Counties Community Services Boards in Georgia, provides detailed examples on how to target and use a variety of funding opportunities for this purpose. First, Ms. Brooks-Lane discusses how her organization decided to shift its focus on facility-based programs to community-integrated outcomes. Then, she answers frequently asked questions about how the organization funded this change using multiple resources.
Customized Employment Q and A: Funding Consumer-Directed Employment Outcomes - The Individual Career Accounts and KEYS to Employment projects provide very helpful examples of strategies focused on funding consumer-directed services. The projects demonstrate a variety of ways funding agencies and community rehabilitation program can work cooperatively to support the achievement of consumer-directed employment outcomes.
Assistive Technology as a Workplace Support - Despite the promise of assistive technology, many people with significant physical disabilities remain in facility-based employment programs. Underutilization of AT to facilitate competitive employment is related to a number of critical issues. This includes lack of information on available technology; lack of coordination across services; lack of training on how to use devices for users, families, and professionals; and lack of coordination in the evaluation and selection, as well as lack of funding of assistive technology alternatives. This fact sheet will provide some general information about assistive technology and provide resources that the reader can access for more information.
Developing Collaborative Community Partnerships - This fact sheet describes strategies that enhance the development of effective collaborative community partnerships focusing on competitive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
Demystifying Customized Employment for Individuals with Significant Disabilities - This fact sheet will provide some questions and answers including strategies that CRPs can use to successfully assist their customers in achieving customized jobs of their choice.
Employment Supports for Individuals with Severe Mental Illness - Programs providing employment supports are a valuable resource for people with severe mental illness seeking competitive employment. Employment is a key component of recovery. Individuals with severe mental illness who hold competitive jobs for an extended period of time frequently experience a number of benefits, including improvements in their self-esteem and symptom control. Employment services that follow seven evidenced-based practices have proven successful in assisting people with severe mental illness in achieving and sustaining employment outcomes. This fact sheet summarizes these seven key practices and provides additional resources on effective employment supports for individuals experiencing severe mental illness.
Disclosure - 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. The process involves identifying tasks that must be completed to effectively conduct business and matching them to the unique abilities and interests of the job candidate. This will require employers to consider how existing tasks or unmet needs in the workplace can be accomplished in new or different ways than have traditionally occurred. This fact sheet will provide information about some key considerations to achieving effective disclosure in employment settings.
Employment Negotiations - While there is no magic formula for negotiating customized employment positions, there are some basic principles and strategies on how to negotiate. The job seeker may negotiate with employers, or a support person such as an employment specialist or job developer can represent the individual. When a seasoned job developer or employment specialist is asked if negotiating employment is more of an “art than science”, the reply most likely will be “it is both an art and a science.” Implementing strategies, such as the ones presented in this fact sheet, can lead to an employment relationship that mutually benefits both the job seeker with a disability and the employer who needs an employee.
Developing a Business Plan for Organizational Change - Developing a solid business plan is a critical step for Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) who want to expand their agency’s competitive, integrated employment outcomes. This fact sheet describes strategies that CRPs can use to develop a business plan for organizational change and is based on the experiences of Tri County TEC in Stuart, Florida. Tri County TEC is a member of the CRP Leadership Network that was formed by the Training and Technical Assistance for Providers project (T-TAP).
Staff Development - Customized employment requires a high level of commitment and skill from the staff that provide employment supports on a day-to-day basis. Some Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) may re-allocate resources and staff from facility-based programs to expand their customized employment services. These individuals may need to develop a new set of skills and values that are very different from direct support roles within the facility-based program. This fact sheet discusses strategies that an organization can use to ensure that employment consultants share the same mission and values for promoting competitive, community-based, integrated employment options.
Successful Organizational Change - Over the past 20 years, there have been substantial changes in the delivery and funding of day and employment services for individuals with disabilities. This fact sheet will summarize the experiences of six CRPs that successfully shifted focus from facility-based services to community employment outcomes in which individuals with disabilities earn at least minimum wage. The experiences of these organizations suggested seven characteristics that support organizational change and higher rates of participation in competitive employment.
Workplace Supports - Some employers may need additional assistance in creating workplace cultures that are supportive of individuals with disabilities. This additional assistance or workplace supports may be provided by an agency such as a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP). This fact sheet will address some of the commonly asked questions about the level and intensity of workplace supports that individuals with disabilities may need to obtain and maintain employment.
Creating a Diversified Funding Base - Community organizations providing customized employment services will benefit greatly from tapping into a diversified funding base. Diversifying funding improves the ability of a service provider to represent the job goals and choices of individual consumers responsively with employers. Diversification also presents a number of potential challenges. This fact sheet provides strategies that address key questions on both the challenges and opportunities involved with diversified funding.
Changing Staff Roles - Does your organization want to expand its employment options to include customized employment and downsize its facility-based services? If so, this shift may require a new or different way of doing business including changes in staff roles and job descriptions. In the process, staff may experience rapid changes in their roles, or sometimes these changes may happen slowly. In either case, staff will have questions about how a shift in providing services may impact the agency and their jobs.
Supporting Community Employment as an Employment Outcome - Service providers must empower their “customers” with disabilities to make informed choices and promote active participation in the decision making process. This fact sheet will provide some answers on how to support individuals with disabilities when they decide if they want to go to work in a community business.
Addressing Parental Concerns - In this fact sheet, we address questions frequently asked by family members and provide answers to dispel the concerns. After reading this, we hope that you, as a family member, will agree that the answer to the question: “To Work or Not to Work” is “To Work!”
Fact Sheet on Customized Employment - This fact sheet answers questions about the process of Customized Employment. It explains if Customized Employment is considered "real" employment and what is a customized job.