Research Article

Article Details

Citation:  Inge, K.J., Graham, W.C.,Brooks-Lane, N., Wehman, P., Griffin, C. (2018). Defining customized employment as an evidence-based practice: The results of a focus group study. Journal of Rehabilitation, 48 (2), 155-166.
Title:  Defining customized employment as an evidence-based practice: The results of a focus group study
Authors:  Inge, K.J., Graham, W.C.,Brooks-Lane, N., Wehman, P., Griffin, C.
Year:  2018
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Research summary:
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Qualitative research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Customized employment has helped people and created support on many levels of recognition to create jobs for people with disabilities. The next step is to create practices that can be applied to larger numbers of disability cases for consistent employment improvement.
Purpose:  The goal of the study is to begin developing a description that customized employment professionals can use to support individuals with significant disabilities.
Setting:  Professionals in customized employment in the United States were invited into five phone-based focus groups.
Study sample:  Of the professionals called, only 19 from each group responded to the email, and only 14 from each ended up participating, for a total of 28.
Data collection and analysis:  Two sets of questions were designed, one for the implementers, and one for the experts. The questions were then posed to the groups, and their responses transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were analyzed using qualitative methods to determine he meaning of the data.
Findings:  Twelve main practices were found to be effective in the data. They were, in no particular order of execution: Meeting at a location of the individual's choice, getting to know the individual, listening to the individual, identify the person's skills and interests, conduct interviews with the individual's friends and family about the person's skills and interests, observe the individual's daily activities, arrange for the job seeker to observe at locations that match their interests, conduct interviews with employers at the locations that match the individual's skills and interests, observe the person performing job-related tasks, assist the individual in identifying relevant experience, collaborate with the person in confirming interests, skills, and abilities, and negotiate a customized job description.
Conclusions:  The study provided insight into customized employment practices that helped others in the past and could be repeatably implemented in the future. Additional research is needed to study the development of the practices.

Disabilities served:  Autism / ASD
Cognitive / intellectual impairment
Developmental disabilities
Severe physical disability
Multiple disabilities
Interventions:  Customized employment
Evidence-based practice / comprehensive treatment model
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
Full-time employment