Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 28, issue 3
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Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation will provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of information about the major areas that constitute vocational rehabilitation.
Periodically, there will be topics that are directed either to specific themes such as long-term care or different disability groups such as those with psychiatric impairment. Often a guest editor who is an expert in the given area will provide leadership on a specific topic issue. However, all articles received directly or submitted for a special issue are welcome for peer review. The emphasis will be on publishing rehabilitation articles that have immediate application for helping rehabilitation counselors, psychologists and other professionals in providing direct services to people with disabilities.
Original research articles, review articles, program descriptions, and case studies will be considered for publication. Ideas for special topical issues are welcomed as well.
Abstract: Customized Employment (CE) represents the natural evolution of supported employment (SE). The techniques used challenge traditional methods and build on SE and relevant competitive employment strategies, but they do represent a departure from having the local job market needs dictate the employment sought. Instead, CE starts with the person and engages employers through an interest-based negotiation revealing the benefits hiring a specific job seeker will have for both parties. The promise of this approach is that…stereotypical jobs are reduced and employment better matching an individual's "personal genius" occurs.
Keywords: Customized employment, disabilities, future of supported employment
Abstract: 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. Westat, a private research firm in Rockville, Maryland, conducted an independent evaluation of the program for ODEP. A one-group pretest-posttest study design was used to assess changes to the workforce development system, employment, and employment retention among program participants. Initial and followup site visits were conducted at 31 demonstration sites to examine program implementation and systems change outcomes over time. Quantitative data were also collected from study sites to examine competitive employment and retention rates, as well as demographic and work-related characteristics (e.g., employment history, need for supervision) and program services received by program participants. This study shows that it is feasible to deliver a customized employment approach to people with disabilities as part of the WIA One-Stop system and to build and sustain the capacity of the workforce development system through training, physical and programmatic accessibility improvements, and improved coordination of services. Since some factors were strong predictors of whether or not individuals retain their jobs and earn a living wage (e.g., individualized services, type of disability, previous work experience, years of education), we conclude that continued policy and research efforts are necessary to customize supports and services so the One-Stop system will truly achieve universal accessibility.
Abstract: For individuals with significant disabilities, effective 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. Examples of partnerships demonstrated by Customized Employment and WorkFORCE Action grantees are provided, as well as practical suggestions for local implementation.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze 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. Seven points of analysis on systematic organizational…development emerged from the data review: (1) staff development; (2) community partnerships and diversified funding; (3) sustainability; (4) shift in managerial approaches and supervision; (5) changes in human resource processes; and (6) expanding customized employment to diverse populations; i.e. offenders, youth, welfare to work. This examination illustrates the need for: best practice staff training, person-centered and community-based vocational assessments, customer-directed personal budgets, flexible funding, focus on evidence-based customized employment outcomes as performance indicators, values-based human resource processes, CRP executive leadership involvement with staff and customers to break down barriers and achieve organizational momentum for outcome-driven change. Case studies for individuals who achieved customized employment outcomes are provided.
Keywords: Customized employment, job carving, job creation, job sharing, negotiation, organizational change, conversion, resource ownership, business within a business, self-employment, individual development accounts, individual training account, micro-loans, WIA one stop
Abstract: The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) includes provisions for universal access by people with disabilities to employment and training programs offered to the general public by the nation's One-Stop Career Centers. In order to reinforce these provisions there have been several federal initiatives to promote such access, including the development of customized employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities using the resources of the One-Stop Career Center system. This article describes a partnership led…by a local WIA provider in Maryland, reports on how the WIA sponsored One-Stop services have been adapted to serve people with significant disabilities, reports on employment outcomes achieved through this partnership, and discusses the implications for future One-Stop access and employment service delivery for individuals with significant disabilities.
Keywords: One-Stop Career Centers, customized employment, disability
Abstract: Current school-to-career transition practices are not leading to sufficient levels of competitive employment and post-secondary education outcomes for youth and young adults with significant disabilities despite progressive mandates and policy improvements in federal and state secondary and post-secondary education, vocational rehabilitation, and workforce development services. To address this concern, a coalition in a Twin Cities suburban area established an "interagency community of practice" to explore systems change opportunities and to improve school-to-career…outcomes. The Anoka County Transition & Customized Employment (TCE) Project was designed to inject an "employment-first" philosophy into transition practices by introducing a range of customized employment strategies. After a five-year project demonstration period, TCE had enrolled 475 young people with various disabilities from seven autonomous school districts. An independent evaluation of TCE's performance revealed that 62% of all enrolled students had individualized job placements in the workforce at competitive wages. In addition, competitive employment wage outcomes were attained by 72% of all enrolled "out-of-school" participants including high school graduates, youth completing their Individualized Education Program (IEP) academic objectives, and secondary education dropouts.
Keywords: Customized employment, transition, collaboration, students with disabilities, youth with disabilities