Customized Employment


In the article last Sunday, Moving in a New Direction, I stated that I feel Mark is better supported in a segregated environment where staff is trained to deal with his and many others’ special needs. However, I realize it isn’t in the best interest for all individuals with disabilities, so I research to find some information on customized employment.

You may wonder what customized employment entails. For clarification I went to 

employment wheelchair“Customized employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. It is based on an individualized match between the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate and the identified business needs of an employer. Customized Employment utilizes an individualized approach to employment planning and job development — one person at a time . . . one employer at a time.

employment_groceriesCustomized employment will often take the form of:

  • Task reassignment: Some of the job tasks of incumbent workers are reassigned to a new employee. This reassignment allows the incumbent worker to focus on the critical functions of his/her job (i.e., primary job responsibilities) and complete more of the central work of the job. Task reassignment typically takes the form of job creation, whereby a new job description is negotiated based on current, unmet workplace needs.
  • Job carving: An existing job description is modified — containing one or more, but not all, of the tasks from the original job description.
  • Job sharing: Two or more people share the tasks and responsibilities of a job based on each other’s strengths.

Self-EmploymentVendingBusinessLess common — though becoming more established throughout the country — is Self-Employment as a form of Customized Employment. Self-employment allows for an individual to receive assistance in the creation of an independently owned small business (typically a micro enterprise, under five employees) based on the strengths and dreams of an individual and the unmet needs of a local market while incorporating the individualized planning and support strategies needed for success.”

Under the direction of federal government, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS),the State of Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD) is developing a plan to help transition day programs, to better support individuals with disabilities in an integrated setting. To help in this transition, Ability and Choice Services is looking to hire people familiar with the Utah Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. In addition, people with job coaching experience and training would be very valuable. If you or someone you know is interested in these positions, please apply online at

Ability and Choice Services are also looking for new work opportunities for the people they serve.  If you are aware of an employer who would consider a customized employment opportunity, please contact Thank you in advance for your consideration!

I also found two interesting and encouraging videos which are worth the watch.

Solutions for Employers


Creating Opportunities and Solutions


I hope this information is helpful and encouraging for those individuals who want to work, which has been so important for Mark’s self-esteem. I believe customized employment can be a win/win situation for both the employer and the employee and I hope more employers will consider how they might benefit from customized employment.







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