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Office of Disability Employment Policy
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ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy - Driving Change Creating Opportunity

ODEP's Response to the Need for Customized Employment

ODEP funded six different initiatives to document effective, Customized Employment strategies for individuals with disabilities: three grant initiatives targeted to different groups of job seekers and three technical assistance projects. As a result of this response, ODEP has created a library complete with research, policy briefs, web broadcasts, and other publications available from these initiatives.

ODEP-Funded Customized Employment Grants/Cooperative Agreements

Customized Employment Research/Demonstrations

The Customized Employment Initiative, begun by ODEP in 2001, provided funding support to selected local Workforce Investment Boards to demonstrate how the workforce development system can better serve persons with significant disabilities. The local board is the lead entity in a consortium/partnership of public and private entities, to build the capacity in local workforce development systems to provide Customized Employment services to persons with disabilities. These initiatives will also provide a vehicle for local boards to systematically review their policies and practices in terms of service to persons with disabilities and to incorporate new and innovative practices, as appropriate.

Olmstead: Working for Freedom, Opportunity and Real Choice through Community Employment (WorkFORCE Action Research Grants)

These six grants addressed the capability of individuals transitioning from segregated environments, such as nursing homes and institutions, to successfully participate in community employment through the utilization of customized strategies. These grants built capacity within the workforce system and provided effective community implementation for transitioning from institutions to employment.

Technical Assistance for Customized Employment Research/Demonstrations

The National Center on Workforce and Disability for Adults (NCDW/A) provided training, technical assistance, policy analysis, and information on Customized Employment and universal strategies to improve access for all in the workforce development system to the 20 ODEP-funded Customized Employment Research Demonstration projects throughout the United States.

Training and Technical Assistance for Providers (T-TAP)

This cooperative agreement is the implementation of a national technical assistance and training effort designed to increase the capacity of community rehabilitation providers (CRPs) and other community-based service providers that currently operate programs that result in segregated work outcomes and non-work options for people with disabilities in the "Special Minimum Wage" program established under 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to utilize Customized Employment strategies. The goal of this technical assistance and training effort is to work with providers using 14 (c) certificates.

Chronic Homelessness and Employment Technical Assistance (CHETA)

CHETA provides technical assistance and training to five ODEP/Housing and Urban Development grantees by serving people who are chronically homeless in finding employment. CHETA also provides policy analysis recommendations to the U.S. Department of Labor regarding serving people who are chronically homeless in employment programs.