010.00 Employment Outcome Policy
(Revised August 2018)
See corresponding procedure: 010.00P Employment Outcome Procedure
Table of Contents
- Intention to Achieve an Employment Outcome
- Determining Competitive Integrated Employment
- Employment Outcome – Informed Choice
- Services in Extended Employment Settings
- Criteria for Closure – Employment Outcome Achieved
- Requirements for an Employment Outcome in Supported Employment
ACCES-VR works with individuals with disabilities to obtain an employment outcome in the most competitive and integrated employment settings consistent with the individual’s unique employment factors: strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests and informed choice.
During the application process, individuals must be informed that ACCES-VR services are only provided if they intend to achieve an employment outcome. Individuals with disabilities are active partners with the vocational rehabilitation counselor and together work to establish employment goals and the steps to reach those goals.
An employment outcome means an individual entering, advancing in, or retaining:
- Full time, or if appropriate part-time, competitive integrated employment;
- Supported employment that meets the definition of competitive integrated employment;
- Other types of employment in competitive integrated settings consistent with the individual’s employment factors, including customized employment, self-employment/business ownership and telecommuting.
Intention to Achieve an Employment Outcome
Any eligible individual who receives ACCES-VR services must intend to achieve an employment outcome consistent with the individual’s employment factors. Completion of the application process (See 200.00 Referral and Applying for Services) for ACCES-VR services is sufficient evidence of the individual’s intent to achieve an employment outcome.
- Competitive Integrated Employment
Competitive Integrated Employment refers to work that is performed on a full or part time basis (including self-employment) and establishes three essential criteria for employment including competitive earnings, integrated location, and opportunities for advancement.
- Customized Employment
Customized employment means competitive integrated employment, for an individual with a significant disability, that is based on the unique strengths, needs, and interests of the individual with a significant barrier; designed to meet the specific abilities of the individual with a significant disability and the business needs of the employer and is carried out through flexible strategies such as:
- Job exploration by the individual.
- Working with an employer to facilitate placement including customizing a job description based on current needs or on previously identified and unmet employer needs.
- Developing a set of job duties, a work schedule and job arrangement, and specifics of supervision (including performance evaluation and review) and determining a job location.
- Using a professional representative (i.e. employment specialist or job developer) chosen by the individual, or self-representation, to work with an employer to facilitate placement.
- Providing services and supports at the job location that assist in meeting the business needs of the employer.
Customized employment is a strategy that enables individuals with disabilities and employers the opportunity to negotiate job tasks and/or reassign basic job duties to improve overall production in the workplace. For employers, customized employment allows an employer to examine its specific workforce needs and fulfill those needs with a well-matched employee.
- Extended Employment (Also Known as Sheltered Employment)
Extended Employment is work in a non-integrated setting for a public or private nonprofit agency or organization that provides compensation according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Extended employment is not recognized as an employment outcome that can be supported by ACCES-VR services.
- Extended Services
Extended services mean ongoing support services and other appropriate services that are needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability, including a youth with a most significant disability, in supported employment.
- Informed Choice
Informed Choice is the process of choosing from options based on accurate information and knowledge. These options are developed by a partnership consisting of the participant and the counselor that will empower the participant to make decisions resulting in a successful vocational rehabilitation outcome.
Self-employment is usually considered as an individual owning, managing and/or operating a business to generate income. Self-employment is an employment outcome that can be supported when consistent with the individual’s employment factors. In developing the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), the eligible individual and the counselor should assess the individual’s employment factors as related to being an employee of another person, business or organization and consider the risks and responsibilities of self-employment.
- Supported Employment
Supported employment means competitive integrated employment, including customized employment, that is individualized, and customized consistent with the unique strengths, abilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual, including with ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disabilities –
- For whom competitive integrated employment has not historically occurred, or for whom competitive integrated employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability; and,
- Who, because of the nature and severity of their disabilities, need intensive supported employment services and extended services after the transition from intensive support, in order to perform the work.
- Work Unit
Work Unit as used in the definition of competitive integrated employment is dependent on the employer’s organizational structure and may refer to a group of employees in a job category or who perform a particular task.
Determining Competitive Integrated Employment
In order to satisfy the criteria for competitive integrated employment, all of the following conditions must be met:
- Competitive earnings
- Is not less than the rate required under the Federal, State, or local minimum wage law for the place of employment;
- Is not less than the customary rate paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by other employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who have similar training, experience, and skills; and
- In the case of an individual who is self-employed, yields an income that is comparable to the income received by other individuals who are not individuals with disabilities and who are self-employed in similar occupations or on similar tasks and who have similar training, experience, and skills; and
- Is eligible for the level of benefits provided to other employees; and
- Is at a location
- Typically found in the community; and
- Where the employee with a disability interacts for the purpose of performing the duties of the position with other employees within the particular work unit and the entire work site, and, as appropriate to the work performed, other persons (e.g., customers and vendors), who are not individuals with disabilities (not including supervisory personnel or individuals who are providing services to such employee) to the same extent that employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who are in comparable positions interact with these persons;
- Opportunities for advancement.
A. Presents, as appropriate, opportunities for advancement that are like those for other employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who have similar positions.
Employment settings that are “typically found in the community,” are those in the competitive labor market. Settings established by community rehabilitation programs specifically to employ individuals with disabilities (e.g., sheltered workshops) do not constitute integrated settings because these settings are not typically found in the competitive labor market. Factors that would generally result in a business being considered “not typically found in the community,” include positions through the Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) Act contracts or State purchase programs; allowances under the Fair Labor Standards Act for compensatory subminimum wages; and compliance with a mandated direct labor-hour ratio of persons with disabilities.
However, there may be instances where positions, though supported through service contracts, are typically found in the community and where others without disabilities are performing similar work, thus the employment can be held as occurring in integrated locations. Counselor judgement must be applied. Certain factors should be considered:
- The business has the same job titles, duties, descriptions and promotional opportunities for employees with and without disabilities; and the business has the recruitment, hiring, and training policies designed to maintain a diversified workforce comprised of individuals with and without disabilities;
- The work of the employee is performed independently and/or with a typical level of supervision based upon the industry;
- Employees with disabilities interact with individuals who do not have disabilities (co-workers, customers and the general public);
- Co-workers include employees who do not have disabilities. Staff providing support are not co-workers;
- Employees with disabilities are not isolated or restricted to one room or area within the business;
- The work performance and/or proficiencies of the employee(s) are held to industry standards and based on the same expectations as non-disabled employee(s), including opportunities for growth within that company; and
- The work is driven by the need of the employer and would be necessary regardless of a service contract.
Not all factors are applicable to every work situation. Therefore, it is not required that every condition be met, but rather that there is sufficient specification met to support a judgement that a setting is integrated.
Work settings in which individuals work alone, such as telecommuting, temporary employment, and work in mobile or scattered locations are permitted, so long as the employee with the disability interacts with employees of the employer in similar positions and interacts with other persons without disabilities to the same extent that employees without disabilities interacts with others.
Employment Outcome - Informed Choice
Individuals with disabilities who are participating in VR services may exercise informed choice with respect to those employment outcomes allowed under the VR program. If an individual with a disability wants to pursue uncompensated, non-competitive, and/or non-integrated employment, after exercising informed choice, he or she may still do so, but not with support from the VR program.
ACCES-VR counselors must refer individuals who choose to pursue uncompensated (i.e. homemaker/unpaid family worker), non-competitive, or non-integrated employment to other Federal, State, and local programs and providers that can best meet their needs to achieve such outcomes. The individual must be referred to appropriate programs and/or service providers best suited to address the specific rehabilitation, independent living, and employment needs of the individual.
Services in Extended Employment Settings
Service providers who offer extended employment (formerly known as sheltered workshops or work centers), often offer other vocational services such as vocational evaluation, work adjustment and related employment services. Participants in these services may perform contractual work in a non-integrated setting within the rehabilitation agency. These services can be used as preparation for achieving an employment outcome when they in are the most integrated option for the service available to the individual.
If, as a result of these types of vocational services, it is determined that the individual’s employment goal is extended employment, ACCES-VR cannot further serve the individual. The case should be determined ineligible or closed.
Criteria for Closure – Employment Outcome Achieved
An employment outcome is considered achieved when all the following criteria are met:
- The individual has achieved an employment outcome, as defined above that is consistent with the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) and the individual’s employment factors (unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests and informed choice).
- The services provided under the individual’s IPE, whether provided directly by ACCES-VR or through service providers, contributed to the achievement of the employment outcome.
- No minimum number of hours worked is required.
- If the individual obtains competitive integrated employment, verification is needed to substantiate that the individual is paid at or above minimum wage and is eligible for same level of benefits provided to other employees.
- The individual is employed for a length of time adequate to ensure the stability of the employment outcome (a minimum of 90 days).
- The individual and the ACCES-VR counselor agree that the employment outcome is satisfactory and the individual is meeting employer performance standards.
- The individual is informed of post-employment services, including a consideration of the need for rehabilitation technology services, as appropriate.
- If the employment outcome is different from the work goal in the IPE, the individual must be involved with the ACCES-VR counselor in developing, agreeing to and signing a change to the IPE reflecting the new goal.
Requirements for an Employment Outcome in Supported Employment
- The individual must have completed supported employment services, which may be received for up to 24 months, or longer if the ACCES-VR counselor and the individual have determined that such services are needed to support and maintain the individual in supported employment. The individual has transitioned to extended services provided by ACCES-VR for youth with the most significant disability, or another provider;
- The individual has maintained employment and achieved stability in the work setting for a minimum of 90 days after transitioning to extended employment services; and
- The employment must be individualized and customized consistent with the strengths, abilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual.
Closure of the service record may occur at the time of the supported employment outcome or later, depending on whether individuals with the most significant disabilities are receiving youth extended services and/or any other service from ACCES-VR.
- Section 7(21) (A) of the Act, Sec.102(b)
- §361.5; §361.37; §361.47; §361.56.
- 200.00 Referral and Applying for Services
- 202.00 Eligibility for Services
- 204.00 Assessment
- 206.00 Individualized Plan for Employment
- 421.00 Student and Youth Transition Services
- 435.00 Post-Employment
- 1310.00 Supported Employment
- 1345.00 Homemaker Services Policy