June 2019, Vol. 5, No. 5
RAISE The Standard Newsletter
Raising the Standard for Young Adults with Disabilities
Technical Assistance and Resources for RSA-funded
Parent Training and Information Centers
Customized Employment and Job Creation
“Your misunderstanding should not affect my ability to get a job, be a success, and be treated like a human…”
- Chantal Buck

Tom Cooney, Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Academic Director of the DIT Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Turku, Finland, brings us a perspective on the opportunities for people with “dif-abilites” to start their own businesses.

Chantal Buck, President/CEO of New Vision for Independence, brings wisdom and honesty to the discussion about employment and disability.
Cartoon illustration  of three people completing a square with oversized puzzle pieces
Job Creation: What to Do
When the Job Does Not Fit

Q: What is job creation?

A: Job creation—sometimes called job carving—is one way to restructure existing jobs, or bring together specific tasks that an employer needs into a new job, based on the skills and strengths of a worker with disabilities.

Q: How does it work?

A: There are many ways to create a job that matches the skills of a worker. One strategy is to create a new position that saves other workers time, such as a mail delivery clerk at a business where personnel used to pick up their own mail at a central location. Another strategy involves selecting specific duties from existing jobs and combining them into a new position (for instance, a worker is hired in an office to support only copying and filing needs).

Q: Who can benefit?

A: Anyone can benefit, but in general, job creation is best for job seekers with more significant disabilities whose physical, cognitive, or emotional capacity seriously limits their potential to perform typical jobs with more complex tasks. Often, these individuals would otherwise be excluded from community-based employment.

Q: How hard is job creation?

A: Job creation requires a full understanding of the desires, skills, and attributes of the person with a disability, as well as an understanding of the employer's workforce needs beyond existing job descriptions. Job creation is not a simple quick fix for job seekers who have been hard to place. It can be very labor-intensive and requires lots of time and commitment on the part of the employer. It can take up to a year to plan, investigate, and secure a created employment situation.
5 Tips for Creating a Job That Fits

We like these simple tips on job carving from the British e-magazine Rehab & Community Care Medicine.

  1. Understand your job seeker
  2. Understand the accommodations
  3. Conduct deep research on the labor market
  4. Understand the business needs
  5. Build mutually beneficial relationships

Orange keyboard key with the word customize and tools icon on it
Customized Employment

Customized Employment is an approach to hiring, retention, and return to work that ties the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate or employee to the business needs of an employer. It provides greater employee satisfaction and productivity, among other benefits, bringing better retention and profitability for employers. It can bring people from diverse populations, including those with disabilities, into the workplace to contribute their untapped talents to businesses.

Customized Employment is a process-driven concept with four essential components.

  1. Discovery – Gathering information from the job seeker and the Customized Employment support team to determine the job seeker’s interests, skills, and preferences related to potential employment, which all guide the development of a customized job.
  2. Job Search Planning – Using the information learned about a job seeker in Discovery to develop a plan for meaningful employment, determine a list of potential employers, and conduct an analysis of benefits.
  3. Job Development and Negotiation – Working collaboratively with the job seeker and the employer to negotiate a customized job; the provision of supports; and the terms of employment that will match the job seeker’s interests, skills, conditions necessary for success, and specific contributions to fill the unmet needs of an employer.
  4. Post-Employment Support – Setting up ongoing post-employment supports and monitoring the employment relationship to ensure satisfaction of both the employee and the employer

Want to watch more and read less? Take a look at this short video from the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky, funded by their state Council on Developmental Disabilities.

This video from the US Department of Labor provides a youth perspective about customized employment.

In Spanish, this video describes how to use Customized Employment.

Guided Group Discovery

We love this brand-new resource from the LEAD Center. Guided Group Discovery lays the foundation for competitive integrated employment as a Universal Design that can benefit all job seekers.

The process assists job seekers in identifying employment that would be a good fit both for them and an employer, and results in a positive written description of each job seeker that provides insight into the settings and circumstances in which he or she is most likely to be successful. The information can be used to facilitate an employment planning process that matches people and businesses to meet the needs of both.

This Guided Group Discovery Facilitator Guide is designed to train people to facilitate Guided Group Discovery sessions with youth and/or adults with disabilities, and/or others who experience barriers to employment.

win-win illustration, hand with marker writing neon words with handshake icon between the two words
How to Negotiate with an Employer

When negotiating a newly created job or a “carved” job, employers may need to know why it is a good idea for their business and their workforce. The key to negotiating with an employer is to emphasize mutual benefit.

The modified or created job must:

  1. be able to be done successfully by the worker (with support), and
  2. meet a need of the company.

So what ARE some of the benefits of job creation for the employer?

  • Increasing current workforce effectiveness and efficiency - A law firm hires someone to take care of the conference rooms or photocopies so the paralegals can spend more of their time working on cases.
  • Filling gaps in the current workforce - A biochemical company hires someone to recycle samples from the chemicals that were not getting recycled before.
  • Reducing costly or inefficient temporary help and overtime wages - A car dealership hires a person to mail out reminders to customers for oil changes and other scheduled maintenance instead of paying the office staff overtime to do it.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction - An amusement park hires someone to sit by the entrance handing out maps of the park and directing visitors to the ride they want to go on first.

Everett Deibler
Finding Your Own Way:
Dignity of Risk

“Instead of shielding me from adversity, failure, and heartbreak, my mom encouraged me to try jobs, go to parties, date, and go on road trips… Taking risks and failing is a part of experiencing life.”

–Everett Deibler

Check out this month’s RAISE blog post by Everett Deibler, a learning specialist at Lehigh Carbon Community College. He coordinates college-wide accessibility efforts and supports the SEED Program, which is the college’s inclusive higher education initiative.

Conferences and Webinars
6/12 @ 3:00 PM EST
"Job Development in Rural America: A Maine & Tennessee Experience," hosted by the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP).

6/13/19 - 6/15/19
Mental Health America 2019 Annual Conference “Dueling Diagnoses: Mental Health and Chronic Conditions in Children and Adults”
Washington, DC.

6/20/19 @ 3:00 PM EST
“Everyone Can Work! Paid Work Experiences for Students with Disabilities,” hosted by the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT). National and state presenters will provide outcome data and share information and resources related to effective programs, projects, and activities that engaged students in paid work experiences.

7/18/19 @ 3:00 PM EST
“Overview of Labor Laws and Employment Related Issues,” hosted by NTACT. Participants will learn how federal and state laws affect work experiences for transition age youth aged 14-21.

11/14/19 - 11/16/19
Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health 30th Annual Conference
Phoenix, Arizona.
Collaboration • Empowerment • Capacity-building

RAISE The Standard enewsletter identifies and shares resources that the Rehabilitation Services Administration Parent Training and Information Centers (RSA-PTI) can use and share with families.
Executive Editor:
Peg Kinsell
Visit our Website:
RAISE, the National Resources for Access, Independence, Self-Advocacy and Employment is a user-centered technical assistance center that understands the needs and assets of the RSA-PTIs, coordinates efforts with the Technical Assistance provided by PTI centers and involves RSA-PTIs as key advisors and partners in all product and service development and delivery.
US Department of Education official seal
RAISE is funded by the US Department of Education to provide technical assistance to, and coordination of, the 7 PTI centers (RSA-PTIs). It represents collaboration between the nation's two Parent Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) and the seven Regional PTACs.