Customized Employment Demonstration Project

About the study

The detailed summary report provides information outcomes of the Customized Employment Demonstration Project. This 4-year customized employment project (2008 – 2012) was developed and implemented by Community Living BC and the BC Ministry of Social Development, and helped people with developmental disabilities find employment placements that were customized to their needs.

What can be learned from this study?

• 78 percent (179 out of 285) of participants in the project were youth under 30.

• There were a total number of 242 placements and 64 percent of participants found work through this demonstration project. Many required support from career practitioners for approximately 48 weeks to become stabilized in a job, in which case they will no longer need job coach assistance.

• Following proper steps for customized employment were crucial for facilitating better employment placements. The report notes that there were challenges to recruiting, training and keeping skilled employment specialists who are able to deliver Customized Employment services. Service providers needed to adjust their policies and procedures to reflect the competencies their staff required to build relationships with employers.

• Customized employment should not be the only approach but should be one of many ways in which career practitioners can support people with disabilities find work and maintain their jobs. Service providers need continuous skills training and support in the customized employment process to provide effective service to their clients.

• The project identifies an individualized approach and discovery process to serving job seekers with disabilities, job development, and stronger relationship between employee and employer to be the strengths of the customized employment. Creating new partnerships with employers to engage them in the customized employment process was a challenge but the relationship between service providers and employers is crucial for placing people with disabilities in a job through customized employment. The report emphasizes relationships between individual, community, employers, and service providers.

• Based on the results from a survey developed for the project’s evaluation, participants (70.6 percent), family members (78.1 percent) and employers (95 percent) were very satisfied with customized employment.

• Nearly all of the participating employers had positive experiences with customized employment and would recommend this approach to others. Customized employment has further enhanced employers’ image in the community and helped employers become more inclusive of people with disabilities in the workplace.


What method(s) did the study use?

Summary of project outcomes and evaluation