Griffin-Hammis Associates

        Creating Communities of
           Economic Cooperation

Relias Learning

Creating Community Careers:A 5-Session Customized Employment On-Line Course

This course is important for anyone involved in the development of community employment for individuals with disabilities. Customized Employment used proven strategies to circumvent the traditional means of finding wage jobs. Under comparative and competitive systems, people with disabilities are screened out. This course teaches essential skills in how to develop a solid vocational profile using the Discovery process, how to determine the proper conditions of employment that will lead to individual success, and how to develop meaningful work, provide worksite supports, and leverage funding. This course is now required in various states in order to certify staff and employment service providers.

 1. Introduction and Overview of Customized Employment

This first class is an introduction to Customized Employment (CE). It demonstrates how the new methodologies of CE address the challenges of high unemployment rates, especially for people with disabilities, mental health challenges or complex support needs. This session lays the foundation for avoiding comparative employment development practices and refines truly individualized approaches for success, one person at a time.

2. Discovering Personal Genius: Functional Vocational Assessment

This class helps the learner understand the Discovering Personal Genius (DPG) process. DPG is a personalized way of identifying an individual's interests, skills and key vocational themes that help to shape a vocational profile and customized job/career development plan. Ultimately, DPG produces three overarching Vocational Themes and a clear picture of the work conditions necessary for individual career success, thereby refining job development and worksite support facilitation.

3. Creating Community Careers Part 3: Customized Job Development

This class teaches an understanding of customized job development. You will see how customized job development builds on what you learned in the discovery phase to assist the job seeker to create employment opportunities. This class illustrates the difference between traditional job development and utilizing the CE economic development approach. It also describes the core elements of customized job development, as well as the skills and methods involved in being an effective job developer.

4. Creating Community Careers Part 4: Interest-Based Negotiation for Customized Employment

This session focuses on the crux of CE: the interest-based negotiation tactics necessary to create customized employment opportunities. Ultimately the skills taught serve to develop win/win situations for employer and employee alike through the recognition of common ground, mutual profitability, and the alignment of proper workplace support strategies based on the Ideal Work Conditions identified through Discovering Personal Genius. The course also covers conflict resolution, problem-solving, and active listening techniques mandated for effective job negotiation.

5. Creating Community Careers Part 5: Systematic Instruction

This essential class provides techniques for teaching people the skills and routines they need for achieving competence in their new job. Topics include how to effectively use natural on-the-job training while matching teaching techniques to workplace culture. The session also provides guidance on the use of more powerful instructional methods needed when the natural employer-provided training is not enough.

A 5-Session Self-Employment On-Line Course


Unemployment is at record levels for the general population. For people with disabilities or other challenges, unemployment rates are far higher. Self-employment is one option that can work to help people earn income. These courses are designed for those involved in employment development for people with disabilities, including individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities, physical or sensory impairments, and people recovering from mental illness. Through the process explored here, one gathers information to match up interests and skills with a marketable product or service for a small business. The course content is now required in various states in order to certify staff and employment service providers.

 1. Introduction and Overview of Customized Self-Employment

Starting a business is one answer to the growing problem of unemployment in the U.S. Because people with disabilities and other complex support needs demonstrate much greater unemployment rates than the general public, self-employment must be an available option. The course reviews the benefits of how small business ownership addresses the challenges of high unemployment rates for people with complex support needs, and dispels the many myths surrounding self-employment.

2. Discovering Personal Genius for Self-Employment                                                                                      

The role of Discovering Personal Genius (DPG), a personalized way of identifying an individual's interests, skills, and key themes to help shape her/his vocational profile, is taught in order to develop a customized self-employment plan to match up her/his interests and skills with a marketable product or service for a small business.

 3. Business Feasibility, Marketing, and Sales

This session provides detailed processes for how to best evaluate the feasibility of business ideas. Step-by-step marketing and sales techniques also are discussed to help increase the potential profitability of the service or product being sold.

4. Business Plan Development

This class details the crucial elements of the business plan in a commonsense, staged approach that produces a strong, draft document suitable for funding and for guiding a Start-Up venture. Step-by-step instructions are used to guide the process of learning about functional business plans.  

5. Business Financial Planning and Benefits Planning

This final session provides instruction on supporting individuals in managing their own finances and benefits while operating their own small businesses. Highlights include self-directed funding strategies using Social Security Work Incentives and crafting pro-forma financial statements, even for people with no business background.

Limited Time Offer - Buy 1 Get 1 Free Sale!
Act now to take advantage of this great deal on SSI and SSDI; simply add both courses to your cart, and during checkout enter the code GHA13 if your TASH or APSE organizational code hasn't already been applied*. You'll see the $27-off discount credited to you. Feel free to add other courses to your purchase while you get SSDI for free. 

About the Courses
For over 15 years, Molly Sullivan has been assisting people with disabilities financially plan around public benefits and working. She has provided this service directly to people with disabilities, as well as managed benefit planning programs. The target audience for these courses includes Direct Care Workers and Direct Support Professionals. It is certified by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals.