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Customized Employment Lessons Learned NCDB Webinar; April 13th, 2011


CUSTOMIZED EMPLOYMENT LESSONS LEARNED NCDB WEBINAR; APRIL 13TH, 2011 Explain how we (NCDB) got here Brief overview of Customized process Highlight State perspectives ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Customized Employment Lessons Learned NCDB Webinar; April 13th, 2011

Customized Employment Lessons Learned NCDB
Webinar April 13th, 2011
  • Explain how we (NCDB) got here
  • Brief overview of Customized process
  • Highlight State perspectives and lessons learned
  • Discussion ! Your turn to be heard

  • Mike Fagbemi
  • Jon Harding

  • The human race is faced with a cruel choice
    work or daytime television-
  • Unknown

Why we need innovative approaches
  • Living Arrangements for DB
  • At home with family 66.7
  • Living independently 3.6
  • Employment Status for DB
  • Unemployed 75.4
  • Working for pay 19.3
  • Outcomes for young adults with deaf-blindness
    (based on 2000 survey by Dr. Jerry Petroff)

What is CE?
  • ODEP definition Customized Employment means
    individualizing the relationship between job
    seekers and employers in ways that meet the needs
    of both.
  • 4 Key Elements
  • Individualization
  • Representation
  • Negotiation
  • Ongoing Supports

Why CE??
  • Transition A review of promising practices
  • CE had some evidence of effectiveness with
    individuals with multiple disabilities.
  • CE was innovative, but utilized principles and
    practices that we were familiar with
    self-determination, empowerment, control,
    respect, choice-making.
  • US Dept of Labor supports and promotes this

Our Answer Customized Employment Initiative
  • Young adults 16 22 yrs old
  • Web based distance training for DB projects
    local service providers
  • Onsite training for projects local teams
  • Follow up teleconference with consultants
  • Customized Listserve for information sharing
  • Annual customized think tank hosted by

Partnerships Marc Gold and Associates
  • Founded in 1976
  • Specialize in employment and community
  • Provides consultation, staff training and project
    management to throughout the U.S. and Europe
  • Michael Callahan, Norciva Shumpert, Ellen Condon

Customized Employment at a glance
  • DiscoveryWho is the person?
  • Profiles What did we learn about this persons
    abilities, interests that will help us find the
    right job?
  • Portfolio/visual resume How can we best present
    this persons abilities to an employer?
  • Job development and negotiation What does an
    employer need that this person can provide that
    is good for them both?
  • Job site analysis, accommodations, support- What
    will this person need to make the job successful?

Customized team members
  • Young adult (job seeker)
  • Family
  • Teachers
  • Related service providers
  • Intervener
  • Paraprofessional
  • Community members

Discovery is
  • the foundation of customization. The lessons
    learned in discovery have a direct impact on the
    negotiations with employers and should be
    reflected in the customized job descriptions for
    job seekers.
  • a process that involves getting to know people
    AT THEIR BEST, or helping them get to know
    themselves, before we help them plan
  • ..spending time with applicants, instead of
    testing or evaluating them, as a means of finding
    out who they are
  • a way to show possibilities and leads to things
    a person is motivated to do rather than to fears,
    negativity and deficits.

  • Disability
  • Age maturity/youth
  • Poverty
  • Homelessness
  • Family responsibilities
  • Lack of experience or skills
  • Low vision
  • Balance issues
  • Socialization skills
  • Low self-esteem
  • Cultural
  • Health
  • Addiction
  • Lack of education
  • Habits/life routines
  • Dependence on benefits
  • Hearing loss
  • Literacy
  • Behavior

Customized employment Google
  • Employees have flexible schedules for
    productivity , recreation and creativity
  • Everyone contributes to the companys bottom line
    of effectively serving a million people a day
  • Communication in any mode is welcomed
  • Employees are all individuals working towards one
    common goal

Customized office space?
Lessons Learned (Jon)
  • Parents like the practice and are enthusiastic
    about its use.
  • CE can provide direction for programming and
    school activities and compliments the IEP
  • CE can create new opportunities for partnerships
    outside schools (adult services, ILCs,
    businesses, families).
  • CE challenges us to adopt new, sometimes scary,
    roles in order to achieve employment outcomes for

Lessons Learned (Mike)
  • Businesses have needs that they may not think
    about resolving with a customized job
    description, such as part time employees or
    contract employees to meet their need.
  • Engaging employers about specific job tasks is
    only part of the interaction. Educating employers
    about the capacity of people may involve
    dispelling myths about employing a person with a
  • Assumptions should not be made about a persons
    capacity or willingness to work.

  • Robin Greenfield ID DB Project

Customizing Employment Lessons Learned
Customizing requires exploration of 5 components
from persons perspective
  • Ideal conditions
  • Preferences/interests
  • Contributions to be offered
  • Discrete tasks to be performed
  • Specific employers to be contacted

I would like to introduce you to Emily. Emily is
a recent Skyline High School graduate who is
looking for employment.
Emilys interests include
  • Cooking
  • Playing the Piano
  • Children
  • Computers
  • Crafts
  • Making latch hook rugs
  • Beading
  • Making blankets

Emily likes structure and routine
  • She follows work rules and procedures,
  • She will assist others to keep to schedules,
  • She can follow written schedules, or patterns
    from craft books.

If you show Emily a process for performing a task
she will perform it that way consistently.
Job Tasks which Emily could perform include
  • Delivering items,
  • Stocking,
  • Taking inventory,
  • Scanning documents,
  • Running errands,
  • Returns,
  • Replenishing supplies
  • Supervising children,
  • Making snacks,
  • Handing things out to people,
  • Reminding people of routines and schedules,
  • Sorting mail

Emily has successfully completed several work
experiences through school.
Lessons Learned
  • Preferences /interests may not be enough
  • Team members all need to be on the same
  • Ongoing follow-up is critical to success

  • Linda McDowell

The Master Plan in MS
  • Customized Employment will not just be a
    Deaf-Blind Project effort, but all entities
    providing employment support in MS will be
    introduced to, and hopefully adopt, the CE
    process to implement it (with fidelity) with
    individuals who are DB

Summary of 5 year systemic progression of
adoption of CE in MS
  • CE awareness ? Buy-in Philosophy and Process ?
    Implementation ?Development and Competency ?
    Common Practice (with Fidelity)

Year 1
  • Introduced widely through recorded NCDB webinars
    and conference calls with participants
  • Rehab Services (MDRS)
  • Mental Health
  • Two Independent providers of employment services
  • School Transition Coordinators

Year 2 and 3
  • Individualized training and support for
  • Support from MGA
  • NCDB-funded training in KY
  • Further implementation in MS to get buy-in and
    ownership of CE process
  • More training, piloting, and documenting
  • New materials
  • Continue awareness efforts

New Materials
  • Help in tracking fidelity of implementation of CE
  • Developed from notes of Melynda Ross, edited by
    Mike Callahan
  • New packet includes
  • 5 checklists of the Steps of CE
  • Tracking form for Discovery and Employment
  • Templates and examples of Profile and Employment

Year 4
  • Emphasizing Development of Competency with
    agencies and personnel who are trying to
    implement CE
  • 2 DB specialists at MDRS
  • New leadership at MDRS now requiring training on
    CE process by MGA
  • Two contracts to promote implementation of CE
  • MS Governors Council on DD

Year 5
  • Two more implementation efforts
  • Transition planning with youth families
    (including CE)
  • The ARC of MS has a new 2 yr project to demo CE
    with individuals in lower portion of state

  • Martha Veto GA DB Project

On the Road to Customized Employment
Lessons Learned in Georgia
What we KNEW already
  • The philosophy and goals of Customized Employment
    from Mike Callahans presentation at Topical.
    Everyone can have a job!
  • At too many IEP meetings, transition plans were
    not really planning tools, but just more
  • VR gets jobs for people with disabilities

LESSON 1 The Customized Approach is not for
  • Family and young person need to feel comfortable
    with customized employment
  • Results from traditional vocational assessments
    do not reflect students abilities accurately.

LESSON 2 Teams are good, but the right team
might not be who you thought
  • Position/title less important than concern about
    students future, willingness to do something
  • Knowing the student is not a requirement to start
    the processing - knowing the community and
    resources is

LESSON 3 Clear expectations for participation in
the Customized Approach
  • Looking for conditions, capabilities- not
  • Student interests drive job development not
    existing programs you might fit him into
  • Jobs are negotiated based on students optimal
    conditions for work

LESSON 4 Its all about the money
  • Does the student have waiver funds that will
    cover the cost of job development and ongoing job
  • Are there other agencies that can provide
  • How long will VR funds support job development?
    Job support?

LESSON 5 Wait a minute, Mike, this isnt a
training project, its a big Systems Change!
  • Even when the signs all around them point in
    another direction because what is currently
    being done isnt working for substantial numbers
    of people we found getting agencies to change
    their procedures is HARD
  • Accept new forms of vocational
  • assessment
  • Accept new pictures of what
  • successful closure might look like
  • View students as ready to work
  • based on what they can do instead
  • of results from inadequate
  • assessments

LESSON 6 It takes lots of planning and
leveraging community resources
  • Who are the people in your community- neighbors,
    school, Department of Labor, University
    Disability Center, State Advocacy Office, Council
    on Developmental Disabilities, Parent Training
    Institute, Social Services who can offer
    something to support this???

LESSON 7 Whose Capacity Are We Building?
  • DB project staff did the heavy lifting on both
    NCDB trainings
  • Whose capacity can we build and capacity to do
  • Build capacity of teachers on the discovery
    process to help them develop appropriate
    transition plans and find appropriate work
  • Build capacity of transition specialists to
    recommend the discovery process
  • Build capacity of parents to request the
    discovery process

LESSON 8 Get on the right bus
  • Find the people who are doing what you want to do
    and work together

Customized Employment Pilot Project in Georgia
  • One year in pulling together partners and
  • Mapping community resources to target areas with
    coordinated services
  • Negotiations with agencies about involvement
  • Steering Committee of major partners
  • Advocacy office, Developmental Disabiilties
    Board, DOL/VR, Universities, Job Development
    agencies, Department of Education at state and
    district levels, TACE, parents and parent mentors

Customized Employment Pilot Project in Georgia
  • Get Employment Stewards trained by Employment
    First Georgia registered as vendors for VR
    vocational profiles
  • Train additional VR vendors in Customized
  • Identify 10 students who have waiver funds from 4
    selected counties
  • VR pays for 10 Discovery profiles
  • Employment Stewards and existing job development
    specialists find jobs for the kids

  • Collaborate with Pilot Project training sessions
    for teams around kids on my census
  • Refer students to pilot project
  • Work with 2 teams a year to develop Discovery
    Profiles for students in transition
  • Promote use of CE Discovery through regional
    transition councils

  • Beth Jordan HKNC Regional Rep
  • Megan Cote KS DB Project

Jackie K Bags
  • an innovative entrepreneurship
  • works with her dream and the dream of the
    family (which is not always what you believe the
    dream should be)
  • do not be afraid to ask the community for free
    assistance to help the learner attain their dream
  • e.g. legal help, etc.
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Grant to expand her business

Advocating for District-Wide Systemic Change
  • From our experience, in most KS public school
    districts, learners with dual sensory impairments
    go to job sites where the district has negotiated
    a contract OR to a site on district property
    where kids go to gain /or practice job skills.
  • We have been working with 2 districts to try to
    change this and make the CE process protocol for
    how they place learners in jobs.

HOW have we done this?
  • Modeling the process of CE by doing it with
  • When they see how it works, they are sold!
  • Training staff on the benefits steps
  • Assisting district staff to become part of the
  • Changing the responsibilities of the transition
    specialists in the districts

Lessons from Kansas teams
  • Customized Employment is best practice
  • Need for systemic change within districts
  • Education on embracing the belief that all people
    are employable and deserve that right- IN THE
    COMMUNITY in a job that they enjoy.
  • There is a lot of work still to be done!

Lessons from Kansas teams
  • Get creative to identify who will do Discovery
  • For students still in school, the goal can be
    work experiences (rather than a job)
  • Early on, determine who will provide the support
    on the job

Systems Lessons about VR
  • Key Points
  • Vocational Rehabilitation can provide
    supports/services with the end goal of employment
  • No one can be denied an application
  • Even during Order of Selection, persons with the
    most severe disabilities get first priority
  • An IPE (plan) will be developed with the VR
    counselor once eligibility has been determined
  • Services are time-limited

Systems Lessons about VR CE
  • Typically, VR counselors will open a case 18
    months before the student exits the school system
  • VR can pay for Discovery as part of their
  • Identify long-term supports
  • Service priority dilemma
  • Customized Employment can be successful with OR
    without VR involvement

How to Include your HKNC Regional Rep in the CE
  • Dependent upon the Reps proximity to the job
  • Provide training to employer/co-workers on DB 101
  • Linkage to local, state, and national resources
    that may benefit the job seeker
  • Facilitate the application process for HKNC
    evaluation and training (if needed)
  • Identify other regional teams that have had
    success with Customized Employment or a related
    field of work

  • Ask away!