Research Article

Article Details

Citation:  Riesen, T. & Morgan, R.L. (2018). Employer views of customized employment: A focus group analysis.. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 49 (1), 33-44.
Title:  Employer views of customized employment: A focus group analysis.
Authors:  Riesen, T. & Morgan, R.L.
Year:  2018
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Research summary:
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes

Structured abstract:

Background:  The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) modified the definition of supported employment to include customized employment. Because customized employment emphasizes meeting the business needs of employers, it seems critical that the employment specialist understand how to effectively engage employers during the customized employment process.
Purpose:  Because there is limited research on employer perspectives regarding hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities using the customized employment process, this study sought to identify the perceptions of employers about barriers and facilitators to the customized employment process
Data collection and analysis:  A standardized open-ended focus group interview method (Patton, 1990) using semi-structured “stem questions” was used to learn about employer perceptions of customized employment.
Findings:  Ten employers representing a variety of small to large businesses participated in the focus groups. Five major themes emerged related to employer perceptions of customized employment including: business need, networking, communication, training, and financial.
Conclusions:  To improve the customized employment process, employment specialists must be trained to effectively engage with employers during discovery and negotiation. Employment specialists need targeted training on making the business case for customizing a job for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Disabilities served:  Cognitive / intellectual impairment
Developmental disabilities
Multiple disabilities
Interventions:  Customized employment
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
Full-time employment