Griffin-Hammis Associates is an international leader in the evolution of Customized Employment providing training and technical consultation on all aspects of this approach.
The U.S. Department of Labor definition states that:
“Customized employment means individualizing the employment relationship between employees and employers in ways that meet the needs of both. It is based on an individualized determination of the strengths, needs, and interests of the person with a disability, and is also designed to meet the specific needs of the employer.
It may include employment developed through job carving, self-employment or entrepreneurial initiatives, or other job development or restructuring strategies that result in job responsibilities being customized and individually negotiated to fit the needs of individuals with a disability.
Customized employment assumes the provision of reasonable accommodations and supports necessary for the individual to perform the functions of a job that is individually negotiated and developed (Federal Register, June 26, 2002, Vol. 67. No. 123 pp 43154 -43149).
Griffin-Hammis Associates’ approach to Customized Employment ensures that:
The job-seeker’s interests, preferences, and talents drive the employment development process, not the labor market;
A negotiation of mutual benefit between the job-seeker and the employer is a critical component of successful employment;
These strategies work in urban, suburban, and rural communities when proper adaptations and approaches are utilized;
We all customize our jobs, however, the typical job-seeker customizes after being hired and many people with significant disabilities will succeed only if the customization occurs prior to beginning work;
Groups of people with disabilities are never offered up to employers, the process requires absolute individualization, otherwise it violates the basic premise of Customized Employment; and
The individual job seeker, not a program, is presented to the employer.
Customized Employment approaches include: Individualized Supported Employment, Job Carving, Job Creation, Natural Supports Utilization, Small Business Strategies, Resource Ownership, Social Security Incentive Initiative, and blended funding. GHA provides training on all these topics, as well as Systematic Instruction, Job Analysis, Job Development, Interest-based Negotiation and Problem- Solving for Employment Specialists, Using Customized Employment in a One-Stop, and Customized Employment for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities, et al.
Thanks to our friends at The Rural Institute, University of Montana; Cobb/Douglass CSB Georgia; The Resource Exchange in Colorado Springs; The Kentucky Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation; Allegan County Community Health in Michigan; Bridges of Indiana, and all the other folks who contributed these examples!
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