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Customized Employment uses an approach called Discovery to identify the strengths of an individual in community settings. The role of the service provider in Customized Employment is to facilitate customizing a job for the individual matching those strengths to a business's needs. Customized Employment is an option when typical supported employment strategies have not been successful, or when customized employment strategies may more successfully meet a consumer's individualized support needs. More information about Customized Employment can be found in the Service Details page.
A current list of service providers and staff approved to provide Customized Employment in Wisconsin may be found on the DVR Service Provider Personnel for Customized Employment directory.
To be approved to provide Customized Employment services, service providers must undergo specialized training. Service providers interested in adding Customized Employment to their service agreement should contact the DVR Contract Specialist or refer to the list of approved Customized Employment trainings available on the DVR Service Provider Training webpage.
|Discovery and Discovery Profile||Using a qualitative approach, identify existing skills and abilities needed for a job.||90 days
Note: Extensions must be approved by DVR
|Customized Employment Job Preparation and Development Plan||To create a plan for the consumer to successfully find and keep a job matching their interests, skills, abilities and needs.||45 days to complete the service||
|Customized Employment Job Development and Hire||Using the CE Job Development Plan strategically contact businesses that offer job opportunities that utilize the skills and abilities of the consumer to meet the needs of a business.||Job Development Plan, progress, and quality will be reviewed every 90 days until hire.
Monthly Reports (calendar)
35+ hours per week and health insurance benefits or 35+hours per week and $12 per hour
20+ hours per week and health insurance benefits or 20+ hours per week and $9 per hour
$1,800 all other
|Job and Task Analysis and Monthly Systematic Instruction (SI)||To provide regular planned check ins and instruct a consumer and develop strategies to learn a job through data driven and customized teaching toward independence.||Job and Task Analysis-within 10 calendar days of job start Monthly SI-30 days from authorization and ongoing||
||$1,600 per month|
|Job Retention Services (when Monthly SI is not being provided)||To provide regular planned progress checks and verification of job sustainability with a consumer and/or employer.||Using identified contact standard||
|Customized Employment Transition to Long Term Supports (3-6 months)||To transition the consumer to Long Term supports funding and services.||Minimum 90 days to maximum of six months of employment||
|Customized Employment Transition to Long Term Supports (7+ months)||To provide regular oversight and ensure increased independence for those needing supports for more than six months and transition the consumer to LTS support funding and services||Payable when transition to LTS occurs after month six of employment||
DVR expects that upon an authorization for services the provider will make Initial contact with consumer within 48 hours of authorization. A DVR Authorization for Services is required before any services can begin
Note: Supported Employment Plan Documentation Requirements
DVR and Long-Term Care providers create service plans for consumers/participants/members, coordination between representatives from those entities is important. Specifically, funders and providers should identify the type of supports needed and when those services should be identified and implemented and in their corresponding consumer service plans. The communication should be documented and include an agreement for planned services, employment, payment, timing, and outcomes for the consumer. .A review of the coordinated plans should take place at the following three points in the process:
DVR is responsible for gathering of documentation of agreement from members of the supported employment team but can ask the DVR service provider to assist during the course of delivery of the service.
Customized Employment is competitive integrated employment for a consumer with a significant disability with duties assigned based on the consumer's unique strengths, needs, and interests. Customized Employment is designed to match the consumer's abilities to the employer's business needs.
Consumers may benefit from customized employment services if they cannot perform the necessary tasks of an existing job. The Customized Employment service provider will identify the strengths of the consumer and work with an employer to create a job to meet the business's needs. Long-term supports are provided to the consumer via Systematic Instruction. It is not required to attempt typical supported employment before providing Customized Employment services. It is possible to provide Customized Employment services to a consumer who does not have long-term supports. In those cases, the technical specifications can be used, and the service and payment will not be provided for transition to Long-Term Support because this transition is not necessary.
The information developed through Discovery allows for activities of typical life to be translated into possibilities for employment. Discovery seeks to answer a fundamental question, “Who is this person?” in a descriptive, non-evaluative manner. The focus of the observations and interactions in Discovery seeks to understand and identify individual skills and interests and translate the information learned to a job position created for the consumer. The consumer's Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) with DVR may be amended or changed following Discovery.
The Discovery profile report consists of three sections that offer the consumer and their family, DVR, and the employer the information needed to develop a customized plan.
Part I of the profile, the Intake Interview Summary, is developed during a meeting held before Discovery is initiated. This form summarizes the individual’s life with facts necessary to accomplish the Discovery interactions. This meeting should include as many members of the consumer's employment team as possible, including DVR, the Long Term Support representative, the consumer (and their guardian, when applicable), and the DVR service provider.
Part II, the Profile of Discovery, offers the full profile description. The description covers a broad range of life domains, starting with the family and home, then education, employment, life activities, and skill performance. This description is compiled through in-person meetings with the consumer, both in home and at a minimum of four (4) community locations. These locations are identified through discussion with the consumer and other stakeholders. The activities selected should allow the consumer to demonstrate their skills, interests, and abilities, and should be activities that the consumer is familiar with and has prior experience and interest in performing.
Part III, the Plan Preparation Summary, allows the facilitator to begin summarizing and translating the information from Parts I and II into a document that prepares for a quality customized plan. This document uses a narrative format, with the ability to enhance the information by adding digital photos. Information from this section will be operationalized in the Customized Employment Job Development Plan.
Supported employment (including Customized Employment) services are provided as a working team with the DVR consumer at the center. The makeup of the team is individualized based on the needs and expressed wishes of the consumer. The team typically includes the consumer, the DVR Counselor, a supported employment service provider, a guardian (if applicable), family members, representatives of the entities providing funding and service coordination following DVR case closure, and any other individuals identified who support the consumer's employment goals. Members of the supported employment team should be identified and involved in the completion of the Career Profile. A meeting to review the Career Profile is required either in person or remotely virtually or phone. Using the potential dates provided by DVR in the referral, the provider will meet with the supported employment team to review the contents and recommendations of the report.
Visual Resume Service Specifications (Optional)
The use of a visual resume format instead of a traditional resume is an innovation used regularly in Customized Employment. Once the customized plan is completed, a visual resume may be developed (using Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi, or similar) to present information for potential employers to consider about the consumer's skills and abilities.
To complete this service, the visual resume must include:
The written job development plan consists of steps to provide customized employment job development services, including responsibilities for each party involved in the process. This service involves completing the job development plan and job preparation activities, including a written plan to provide supported employment job development services. All elements of this plan will be discussed with the consumer and DVR and will include the responsibilities of each party and a 90-day review after the completion of the initial plan. The plan must identify a contact standard between the consumer and service provider and between potential employers and the service provider.
The Job Development Plan report contains a job supports plan section related to discussion and planning for potential job supports that may be needed by the consumer. The purpose of the job supports plan section is to help the consumer and the provider to begin thinking about how to address any concerns or barriers to working, given the employment goal. The job supports will be revisited and revised once the consumer has been offered a job. As part of Job Development, the service provider will provide employment preparation services (interview preparation, resume development, visual resumes, etc.) as identified in the planning process when Job Center services do not adequately address the consumer's needs. An acceptable Job Preparation and Development Plan will have the following items attached (if DVR deems this necessary and appropriate); Sample job application, Resume, List of references, and Cover letter.
Customized job development relies on relationship building and time spent in the community. The systematic approach to job development allows for a good job match and reduces the need for workplace support while maximizing consumer independence.
Based on the Discovery profile and job development plan, the service provider will visit employers to learn about their business needs and hiring practices. In customized employment, it is necessary to leverage the information gathered from the potential employer to identify, modify, or create an opportunity that matches the consumer's strengths with the needs of the business. This may involve negotiating a customized job to meet the needs of the business and consumer. Relevant employer contacts should be detailed in the Customized Employment Job Development Plan. Service providers should work cooperatively with DVR Business Services Consultants to maximize potential job leads and relationships with local businesses.
DVR will provide information and support to maximize the number of hours the consumer can work. Based on the consumer's stated preferences and abilities, the employment team should establish a goal for the number of hours the consumer will work. If there is a difference between the goal and the hours secured, the employment team must agree on these changes.
If the team thinks the consumer would benefit from other services, assessments, or experiences while seeking permanent employment, other service options will be explored while customized employment efforts continue. Use of these options should be purposeful and time-limited and may also include Work Incentive Benefits Analysis services to identify available work incentives
Upon an offer of employment, DVR should be notified as soon as possible (within 5 days) to review the job to ensure that the potential position meets the job goal and to authorize Job Retention services, Job/Task Analysis and Monthly Systematic Instruction or supports via Partners with Business. All consumers receiving any job development service (which includes supported employment services) shall be provided with job supports appropriate for the consumer need for at least the first 90 days on the job. The three options for Job Support Services are provided to ensure retention of the job and are not authorized together at the same time, only one type of job support service can be provided during the same timeframe. It is possible to switch between the services depending on the needs and circumstances of the consumer and the job. DVR must be consulted if changes in the type of support is identified and agree to authorize alternate support services. It is expected that most consumers of supported employment services will require Monthly Systematic Instruction services. Use of Job Retention Services or Partners with Business does require justification in the DVR case file and DVR authorization.
Job Retention Services (When Monthly Systematic Instruction is not needed)
If a consumer does not need on site systematic instruction to learn job tasks, or to be redirected back to attend to job tasks, authorization of Job Retention services can be used to foster positive workplace relationships with coworkers and supervision, potentially leading to the development of independent and natural supports in the workplace as available and appropriate. The provider should work with the consumer to help with situational problem solving and communication. The provider should ensure the consumer knows how to seek and get information at the worksite. The provider should have regular check-ins with the consumer and the employer as detailed in the Hire Report and Job Retention Report, respectively, so that job retention, stability and progress can be monitored in the first months of a job.
The provider must:
Monthly Systematic Instruction (Includes Job Retention)
All DVR consumers should be provided with require regular check-ins to maintain the job in the first months of employment. In addition to the responsibilities identified in Job Support Services, Monthly Systematic Instruction includes planning and implementing individualized instruction for a job. The steps include using the Job and Task Analysis to identify the work routine and identifying instructional strategies and how the consumer will be supported and taught to complete their job tasks independently. Progress is monitored and strategies are modified using a step-by-step, or systematic, approach including positive and constructive communication with the consumer.
Job and Task Analysis and Systematic Instruction Technical Specifications
Job Task Analysis and Systematic Instruction Report (DVR-1812-E)
Partners with Business
Partners with Business (PwB) is a strategy for providing on the job support using a consumer's co-workers instead of a provider employee. The employer is reimbursed for the time a co-worker spends assisting a consumer. This service is especially effective for consumers transitioning to long term supports
In certain pre-approved circumstances, offsite supports may need to be provided. These types of support requirements must be detailed in the job support plan, including parameters for contact, and must be based on the consumer's disability needs or unique work environment. For example, a consumer's employer may not allow an instructor onsite, or the consumer does not wish to have job supports in the workplace. In these types of cases, direct contact with the consumer must be included in the job supports plan and the employer (if approved by the consumer) phone calls, check-in meetings in the community or emails, etc. may be used as 'offsite' support. Offsite support requests will be considered and approved by DVR on a case-by-case basis and agreement must be documented in the DVR case file.
If a consumer needs other types of support that fall outside of the soft or hard job skills described, the Supported Employment team and DVR should be consulted, and a plan to provide those supports should be developed with the team. Services such as personal attendant services are not part of Systematic Instruction or Job Support Services. If a consumer requires another person to be present at the request of someone other than the consumer or for the purposes of an established behavioral support plan, civil commitment or for safety, the Supported Employment team and DVR should be notified to discuss the appropriateness of the request, job placement, next steps or to develop plans for supports.
Discussion of the terms of transition to Long Term Support should begin at the time of hire. These conversations need to involve DVR, the consumer and their representatives, as well as the consumer's Long Term Care provider.
A discussion with the service provider, consumer, DVR, and long-term support provider (and any others invited by the consumer) is required to secure an appropriate plan and time to facilitate the transition to long term support services. A meeting is not required; however, DVR must document that all parties have agreed on a plan to provide support to the consumer and a definition of what stabilization will look like based on the consumer's individual circumstances. It is critical to identify agreement on the timing of the transition with the provider of long term supports ahead of the transition to allow them to follow their own internal procedure for consumer/member plan revision and payments to be put in place. If a change in provider of direct supports in needed, all parties including the new provider should work to identify hand off procedures.
Stability can occur at any time. While additional independence and progress may still occur, stabilization happens when the consumer has learned the job and is performing at a level where they are able to accurately complete the required job tasks with a reasonable level of support given the timeframe on the job and in the timeframe agreed upon with the employer. Once stability is achieved the case should be transitioned to Long-Term Support, though transition cannot occur before the consumer reaches 90 days on the job.
Timing of the transition to long term supports should coincide with the first business day of the month if possible. This it to ease confusion for payment by long term supports to the service provider. No provider shall be paid by long term supports for the same service on any date covered by DVR authorizations for services.
If the transition occurs after at least six months of supports and retention services, and the service provider has provided substantial services (documented in reports submitted monthly to DVR) and has aided significantly in the transition to LTS, they may receive payment for Customized Employment Retention and Transition to Long Term Support after 6 months at the discretion of the local DVR office at the time of the transition to long term supports.
Service Providers are not required to provide monthly reports to DVR after the transition to LTS. If the DVR case file is not closed, DVR can continue to contact the consumer, employer, or long-term support provider to obtain information for case closure purposes.
Federal requirements identify that DVR is required to follow the consumer for an additional 90 days after successful transition to LTS before closing the consumer's case.
Providers should obtain wage documentation between the time of hire and transition to LTS. The types of acceptable documentation are detailed in the DVR Wage Documentation for Successful Closure guidance.
The Rehabilitation Services Administration requires DVR to collect wage verification and start date documentation from consumers and/or employers. DVR asks as a part of the delivery of services, service providers assist in getting that documentation.
Before receiving a payment for retention or transition to long term support DVR Service Providers are required to provide the start date of employment and the hourly wage rate documentation to DVR as part of service delivery in the following services:
If a service provider is collecting documentation, they are expected to have the consumer's permission. The provider may use their own form if it contains all required information. DVR also created a Sample Wage Verification Form that can be used to record wage documentation.
Wage Documentation Sample Form: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/service-providers/pdf/sample-wage-doc.pdf
DVR service providers may get the wage documentation from consumers or employers. Documentation of the hourly wage and start date does not have to be on a single document (e.g., a pay stub showing hourly wage and a letter from the employer with start date is acceptable).
The following are acceptable forms of wage and start date verification: wage stubs, offer letter, or employer documentation containing:
If the information is emailed, the message must contain information indicating the email is directly from the employer (e.g., signature line that includes employer name and title).
Questions about wage documentation should be directed to the DVR case facilitator.
|$1000||Discovery and Discovery Profile Report:
Payable upon completion of acceptable service, meeting, plan, documentation of coordination with long term care, and report to DVR within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the last contact with the consumer. Completion of service not to exceed 60 days from issue of service authorization.
(Code 073) Custom Emp (SE): Assessment
|$350||Customized Employment Job Development Plan:
Payable upon completion of acceptable service, meeting, plan, and report to DVR within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the last contact with the consumer. Completion of service not to exceed 45 days from issue of service authorization.
(Code 048) Custom Emp (SE): Job Develop
|$400||Visual Resume (Optional):
Payable upon completion of acceptable service within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the last contact with the consumer. Completion of service not to exceed 30 days from issue of service authorization.
(Code 048) Custom Emp (SE): Job Develop
|Up to $2,200||Customized Employment Job Development and Reports:
Payable upon completion of acceptable service, timely monthly progress reports, 90-day plan review and update meetings, and hire report to DVR within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the final month of service and within five (5) days of hire.
Preferred Placement/Hire Outcome Payment:
(Code 048) Custom Emp (SE): Job Develop
|$275||Job and Task Analysis
Payable upon delivery of acceptable service and timely report to DVR within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the analysis. Completion of service and report not to exceed 1 calendar week of the job start.
(Code 074) Custom Emp (SE): Transition to LTS/Monthly SI/JTA
|$1,600||Monthly Systematic Instruction (Includes Job Retention)
Monthly rate payable if the consumer is employed during the month, upon completion of acceptable service, documentation of coordination with long term care (at 60 days of employment) and timely monthly progress reports to DVR within 5 business days of the conclusion of the previous month of service.
Note: The maximum ongoing support DVR can pay for is 24 months for anyone age 25 or above and 48 months for individuals under age 25, although this is rarely needed. Additional months may be authorized based on individual consumer need to establish job stability and reduction of paid supports. If a consumer does not have an identified source of long term supports, monthly supports and continued reporting will be required until the consumer is transitioned to natural supports or as directed by DVR.
(Code 074) Custom Emp (SE): Transition to LTS/Monthly SI/JTA
|$500 per month||Job Retention Services (When Monthly SI is not being provided)
Payable upon completion of acceptable service, timely monthly progress reports, documentation of coordination with long term care (at 60 days of employment) and final retention report to DVR within 5 business days of the conclusion of the previous month of service for progress reporting and within 5 days after a minimum of 90-calendar days job retention or as DVR determines by individual circumstance.
|$1,300 (6 months after hire)||Customized Employment Transition to Long Term Support (3-6) months):
Paid only if transition occurs within initial six (6) months of support with documentation of coordination with long term care. This service cannot occur until after the consumer has been employed for a minimum of 90 days. Payable at the time of successful transition. Per DVR supported employment policy, DVR will keep the consumer's case open an additional 90 days for purposes of follow-along support. Payment of this service can be processed upon receipt of an acceptable retention report.
(Code 074) Custom Emp (SE): Transition to LTS/Monthly SI/JTA
|$500 (more than 6 months after hire)||Customized Employment Retention and Transition to Long Term Support (7+ months):
Paid if transition occurs following initial six (6) months of support with documentation of coordination with long term care. Payable at the time of successful transition. Per DVR supported employment policy, DVR will keep the consumer's case open an additional 90 days for purposes of follow-along support. Payment of this service can be processed upon receipt of an acceptable retention report.
(Code 074) Custom Emp (SE): Transition to LTS/Monthly SI/JTA
If a consumer has been authorized job retention services and needs monthly systematic instruction, the provider should contact DVR as soon as possible and identify the reason(s) for the requested change in service. After quick consultation with the consumer, if agreed, monthly systematic instruction should be authorized without delay, the service delivered, reported, and the provider paid at the monthly systematic instruction rate.
If a consumer has been authorized for monthly systematic instruction and no longer needs the services, the provider should contact DVR as soon as possible and identify the reason for the change in service. If agreed, after consultation with the consumer, job retention should be authorized to begin on the first day of the following month.
For consumers needing on-the-job site supports for any non-SE activity (training program or I/TW), Job Task Analysis and Systematic Instruction will be provided at the typical fee and hourly rate. Permanent positions and On-the-Job Training (OJTs) for SE consumers will receive the monthly Systematic Instruction rate.
If a consumer returns to DVR and Discovery Profile was previously completed, it should be reviewed to see if another Discovery profile is necessary.
Service Providers may not seek or accept payments from another source for the same consumer and service funded in the same timeframe as DVR.
|Report Name and Link||Purpose of the Report||Use and Submission Details|
|CE Discovery Profile Report (DVR-18010-E)||Use this report to describe the activities completed during the Discovery Process.||Submit once following completion of activities.|
|Job Development Plan and Monthly Report (DVR-18028-E)||Use this report to describe the activities with a consumer to help prepare and plan for future job development and to identify employment and/or internship opportunities for a consumer.||
Submit initially following completion of activities and plan section.
Submit monthly to reflect job development activity.
Plan section reviewed every 90 days and section submitted for the month.
|Job Hire Report (DVR-17037-E)||Use this report to notify DVR of specific information for position(s) offered to consumers, and anticipated support needs or strategies.||Submit once following completion of activities and within 5 days of job hire offer.|
|Job Retention Report (DVR-17038-E)||Use this report when no Systematic Instruction is authorized to describe efforts to ensure a consumer maintains employment.||Submit Monthly when Retention is authorized.|
|Job and Task Analysis and Systematic Instruction Report (DVR-18212-E)||
Use the Job and Task Analysis portions of report to explain the anticipated support needs of a consumer and strategies to meet that need at the beginning of Employment or Internship/Temporary Work.
Once the consumer has begun working, use Service Summary section of the report to detail efforts to support the consumer.
Complete the Job and Task Analysis portion within 1 calendar week of consumer's start date and submit it as soon as possible.
Submit the report at the end of each month in which the service was provided.
|Transition to LTS Report (DVR-18037-E)||
Use this report to describe ongoing consumer support needs to continue as they transition to Long Term Care.
Submit this report following agreement between all parties on the plan for transitioning services Long Term Support.
Submit once following completion of activities.
Providers who are delivering Customized Employment services must agree to have qualified personnel complete the services.
To be approved to provide Customized Employment services, service providers must undergo Customized Employment training. Service providers interested in adding Customized Employment to their service agreement should contact the DVR Contract Specialist, or refer to the list of approved Customized Employment trainings available on the DVR Service Provider Training webpage.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has identified service specific criteria for all statewide services. The list below contains objective information that DVR will begin to collect and use to establish baseline quality information, and eventually establish goals for quality improvement with our provider partners. The effort to collect the information, verify accuracy, establish data baselines and targets will take time and collaboration. DVR's goal in identifying these criteria in the technical specifications is to assist providers in understanding what elements DVR considers important in the delivery of statewide services.
Statewide Service Specific Criteria
|Wages per hour*|
|Wages vs County Index|
|Hours per week* attained|
|Hours per week (IPE)|
|Job Titles (by Sector)*|
|% Job Title Match IPE|
|Second Hire date|
|Time referral to conclusion: Discovery|
|Time referral to conclusion: JPD|
|Time referral to conclusion: Hire|
|Time referral to conclusion: Trans LTS or (Number of months of SI)|
|Time referral to conclusion: Trans LTS +6 months|
|Source of LTS|
|Level of support needed at LTS (SE) hrs./wk.|
|Working at 6 months post LTS transition|
|Working at Q 2 wages hours|
|Working at Q 4 wages hours|