Customized Employment

About Customized Employment for Those Previously Considered Unemployable

Customized Employment (CE) can include self-employment and, in more traditional work settings, task re-assignments.  CE is another evidence-based tool in the toolbox for facilitating competitive, integrated employment, especially for individuals with significant challenges to more traditional employment. According to the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor, CE is a 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.

CE Components

CE has three components:

  1. Discovery (creatively identifying a job-seeker’s unique strengths, skills, needs, interests, and preferences instead of what the person cannot do);
  2. Job Development (focusing on an employer’s unmet needs, negotiating a new job description to meet those needs that is a good match for which a specific job-seeker); and
  3. Systematic Instruction (to train job-seeker and the natural support system for success).


The CT Developmental Disabilities Network (DDN) has been collaboratively working on a Customized Employment Initiative since the passage of the federal Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act of 2014.  The UCEDD has collected and analyzed data from this initiative, as well as supported training funded by the DD Council.  To date, approximately 150 employment staff statewide participated in three-day intensive trainings. An additional 25 have received national certification in one of the three components and significant positive changes between pre- and post-test scores following trainings have occurred.  The UCEDD continues to support trainings and provide follow-up technical assistance to trainees and the DDN.

For more information about customized employment, please contact Linda Rammler, MEd, PhD, at