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Department on Disability Services

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Customized Employment

Customized Employment is being promoted by the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) as an effective set of techniques to create a win-win for people with disabilities and employers, by enabling youth and adults with disabilities to achieve employment outcomes that are tailored to both employees’ skill sets and interests and employers’ needs.

Some of the ways DDS is working to implement and promote Customized Employment in the District include the following:

  • DDS has launched a Customized Employment Community of Practice for people who are interested in learning customized employment strategies and practices for people in their employment services or other day activities.
  • DDS has launched a second Customized Employment Trainers Community of Practice geared specifically for Customized Employment Trainers (i.e., people who have been trained to train others on customized employment, including DDA and RSA staff, job/career coaches, people with disabilities, and area employers). Trainers offer tools, resources, and strategies so that people can implement Customized Employment with the people they serve.
  • DDS is working with TransCen, Inc. to offer a monthly webinar series on implementing different aspects of Customized Employment. Past webinars have included the following sessions: Customized Employment Overview and Needs Assessment; Discovery and Assessment; Approaching Employers (Marketing Messages); Surveying Employers; Negotiating with Employers; and Workplace Supports.
  • Through a grant, a DDS employment services provider is working with several other DDS provider organizations, providing technical assistance on customized employment through RSA and the Medicaid waiver. The initiative’s end goal is to increase integrated employment and integrated day opportunities for people served by DDA and/or RSA.