Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Harvey, J., Szoc, R. Rosa, M.D., Pohl, M. & Jenkins, J. (2013). Understanding the competencies needed to customize jobs: A competency model for customized employment. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 38 (2), 77-89.
Title:  Understanding the competencies needed to customize jobs: A competency model for customized employment
Authors:  Harvey, J., Szoc, R. Rosa, M.D., Pohl, M. & Jenkins, J.
Year:  2013
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Mixed methods

Structured abstract:

Background:  The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) came up with the concept of “customized employment” in 2002. Since that time, customized employment (CE) has evolved into a process that has assisted individuals with disabilities with employment. “Customized Employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job seeker and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both”. One process includes: Discovery, Job Search Planning, Job Development and Negotiation, and Post-employment Support. Due to the promise of this approach in improving employment outcomes it is important to understand competencies professionals need to implement the process. This way effective training can take place.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to identify the skills, knowledge, abilities, and other characteristics needed to implement CE. This information was used to develop a competency model.
Setting:  A series of subject matter expert panel reviews took place. The experts were from a wide variety of geographical locations across the United States.
Study sample:  There was no study sample.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Control or comparison condition:  There was no control or comparison group.
Data collection and analysis:  Job analysis interviews took place to develop a list of KSAOs needed to implement the CE process. Next, experts were provided with a draft of the KSAOs lists and asked to provide written feedback, followed by a group discussion. This led to revisions of the KSAOs. Items were sorted into categories using Q-sort methodology. Resulting competency lists were used to draft a CE competency model. The model was verified by surveying subject matter experts. Descriptive statistics were calculated as well as frequency distributions.
Findings:  Analysis of mean task ratings revealed none of the 31 tasks had a mean rating below the cutoff of 3.0 which indicated moderately important. All tasks remained in the model. Eighty three KSAOs were identified and linked to a CE component. The most important competency was "Having a positive and open approach to life:. Planning and organizing was the least important. The KSAOs were more important to both experienced and naive raters. However,they did not agree on the degree of importance.
Conclusions:  The development of the model provides a tool for establishing and implementing standards for CE services. It also implies the need for new skills among those currently providing employment services. More research is needed.

Disabilities served:  Autism / ASD
Cerebral palsy
Chronic mental illness
Cognitive / intellectual impairment
Developmental disabilities
Down syndrome
Dual sensory impairment
Multiple sclerosis
Muscular dystrophy
Orthopedic impairments
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Visual impairment
Severe physical disability