The Evolution of Customised Employment and the Influence of the NDIS on Customised Employment Practice in Australia
Keywords:Customised Employment, NDIS, person-centred practice, discovery, fidelity
Introduction: The New Directions Report (1985) established open employment for persons with a disability as a goal of disability service systems in Australia. Customised Employment is an emerging employment strategy that supports people with complex disabilities to find and obtain employment, while supporting Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 27 principles.
Aims: This paper examined the origins and evidence for Customised Employment since the passing of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and the impact of the NDIS on open employment practice underpinned by Customised Employment.
Method: A literature search of peer-reviewed papers was undertaken using the EBSCO database. This was followed by a review of journals that focused on disability employment. A search of grey literature limited to studies and reports of Australian-based employment was conducted to ensure that all available data was captured. Sixty-seven peer-reviewed papers met the criteria, while only six papers met the criteria within the grey literature search.
Results: The literature supporting Customised Employment and Discovery highlights the work of academics and practitioners in developing the evidence base for practice. While the descriptive studies highlighted the effectiveness of Customised Employment, they failed to meet the threshold for empirical evidence, highlighting the need for a random control trial or correlation studies.
Conclusion: Customised employment is an emerging employment model with promising results that have yet to meet the threshold for evidence-based practice. While the NDIS supports Customised Employment through capacity building and school leaver transition funds, research funding is needed to ensure that it is applied with fidelity to the existing and emerging evidence
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2021. Australia's welfare 2021 data insights. Austral-ia's welfare series no. 15. Cat. No. AUS 236. Canberra: AIHW.
Bellamy, G.T., Rhodes, L.E., Mank, D.M., & Albin, J.M. (1988). Supported Employment: A Com-munity Implementation Guide. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. ISBN 0933716834
Brooke, V., Molinelli-Brooke, A., Schall, C., McDonough, J., Thompson, K., & Smith, J. (2018). Employees with Autism Spectrum Dis-order Achieving Long-Term Employment Suc-cess: A Retrospective Review of Employment Retention and Intervention. Research and Prac-tice for Persons with Severe Disabilities 2018 Vol. 43 Issue 3 Pages 181–193. DOI: 10.1177/1540796918783202 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1540796918783202
Brown, L., Shiraga, B., York, J., Kessler, K., Strohm, B., Rogan, P., Sweet, M., Zanella, K., VanDeventer, P., & Loomis, R. (1984). Integrat-ed work opportunities for adults with severe handicaps: The extended training op-tion. Journal of The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 9(4), 262-269. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/154079698400900403
Brown D, Mallett S (2021). Environmental Scan Part 1: Current research and evaluation to promote economic participation of people with disabil-ity. Melbourne: Brotherhood of St Laurence.
Callahan, M. (1986). Systematic training strategies for integrated workplaces. In Accommodating individual abilities in the workplace: Jobs for people with special needs (Draft). Omaha, NE: The Center on Applied Urban Research.
Callahan, M., Griffin, C., & Hammis, D. (2011). Twenty years of employment for persons with significant disabilities: A retrospective. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, pp. 35, 163–172. doi:10.3233/JVR-2011-0565 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-2011-0565
Disability Services Act 1986. (Cth). https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2018C00146
Grimes, D. (1985). New Directions: Report of the Handicapped Programs Review. Canberra: Aus-tralian Government Publishing Service, 1985. ISBN: 0644039523
Hagner, D., Nisbet, J., Callahan, M., & Moseley, C. (1987). Payment mechanisms for community employment: Realities and recommenda-tions. Journal of The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 12(1), 45-52. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/154079698701200107
Hall, S., Keeton, B., Cassidy, P., Iovannone, R., & Griffin, C. (2016). Discovery Fidelity Scale. At-lanta, GA: Center for Social Capital.
Heath, K.L., Ward, K.M., & Reed, D.L. (2013). Cus-tomised self-employment and the use of Dis-covery for entrepreneurs with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 2013 Vol. 39 Pages 23–27. DOI: 10.3233/JVR-130639 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-130639
Hill, M., Hill, J., Wehman, P., Revell, G., Dickerson, A., & Noble, J. (1985). Time-limited training and supported employment: A model for dis-tributing existing resources for persons with severe disabilities. In P. Wehman & J. Hill (Eds.), Competitive employment for persons with mental retardation. Richmond: Rehabili-tation Research & Training Center, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Jones, K.T., Currier-Kipping, K., Landon, T., McKnight-Lizotte, M. (2020). State Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors’ Knowledge of the Discovery Process in Customised Employment. Journal of Vocation Rehabilitation 2020 Vol. 86 Issue 2 Pages 13-21
Jones-Parkin, T., Thomas, F., Hess, K., & Snyder, A. (2021). Employment First and Transition: Utah school-to-work initiative. Journal of Vocation-al Rehabilitation 2021 Vol. 54 Issue 3 Pages 265–271. DOI: 10.3233/jvr-211135 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-211135
Jorgensen-Smith, T., Dillahunt-Aspillaga, C.J. & Kenney, R.M. (2017). Implementation of Cus-tomised Employment Provisions of the Work-force Innovation and Opportunity Act Within Vocational Rehabilitation Systems. Journal of Disability Policy Studies 2017 Vol. 27 Issue 4 Pages 195–202. DOI: 10.1177/1044207316644412 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1044207316644412
Inge, K.J., Graham, C.W., Brooks-Lane, N., Wehman, P., & Griffin, C. (2018). Defining customised employment as an evidence-based practice: The results of a focus group study. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 48 (2018) 155–166 DOI:10.3233/JVR-180928 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-180928
Inge, K.J., Sima, A.P., Riesen, T., Wehman, P., & Brooks-Lane, N. (2022). The Essential Ele-ments of Customised Employment: Results from a National Survey of Employment Pro-viders. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin 2022 Issue 0.00 Pages 1-16 DOI: 10.1177/00343552221099256
Kim, J., Inge, K., Keeton, B., Riesen, T., Castruita-Ross, Y. & Tansey, T. (2022). Use of Custom-ised Employment in State Vocational Rehabili-tation Programs: A Retrospective Study 2017-2020. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin 2022 Pages 1-9. DOI: 10.11177/00343552221140335 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/00343552221140335
Luecking, R.G., Fabian, E.S., & Tilson, G.P. (2004). Working Relationships: Creating Career Op-portunities for Job Seekers with Disabilities Through Employer Partnerships. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. ISBN:9781557667090
Lutfiyya, Z.M., Rogan, P., & Shoultz, B. (1988). Supported Employment: A Conceptual Over-view. Report Center on Human Policy, Syra-cuse University, Syracuse, New York.
Migliore, A., Nye-Lengerman, K., Lyons, O., Bose, J., & Butterworth, J. (2018). A Model of Employ-ment Supports for Job Seekers with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Vocation Rehabilitation 2018 Vol. 84 Issue 2 Pages 3-13
Murphy, S., Easterbrook, E., Bendetson, S., & Lieberman, S. (2014). TransCen Inc.'s Work-Link program: A new day for day services. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 2014 Vol. 40 Pages 125–130. DOI: 10.3233/JVR-130678 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-130678
National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. (Cth). https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2022C00206
O’Brien, J., & Callahan, M. (2010). Employment Support as Knowledge Creation. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities 2010 Vol. 35 Issue 1-2 Pages 31-38 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2511/rpsd.35.1-2.31
Ouimette, M., & Rammler, L.H. (2017). Entrepre-neurship as a Means to Employment First: How Can It Work? Journal of Vocational Rehabilita-tion 2017 Vol. 46 Pages 333-339 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-170870
Parker Harris, S., Renko, M., & Caldwell, K. (2013). Accessing social entrepreneurship: Perspec-tives of people with disabilities and key stake-holders. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 2013 Vol. 38 Pages 35–48. DOI: 10.3233/JVR-120619 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-120619
Remund, C., Jones-Parkin, T., Hase, H., & Riesen, T. (2022). Preparing community rehabilitation providers to deliver a provision of employment supports A tiered training approach. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 2022 Vol. 56 Issue 2 Pages 193-201 DOI: 10.3233/JVR-221182 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-221182
Riesen, T., Morgan, R. L., & Griffin, C. (2015). Cus-tomised employment: A review of the litera-ture. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 43, 183-193. doi:10.3233/JVR-150768 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-150768
Riesen, T., Hall, S., Keeton, B., & Jones, K. (2019). Customised employment discovery fidelity: Developing consensus among experts. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 2019 Vol. 50 Is-sue 1 Page 23-37. DOI: 10.3233/jvr-180985 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-180985
Riesen, T., Remund, C., & Snyder, A. (2022). Link-ing Process and Outcome Measures to Improve Employment Support Programs for Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities. Fron-tiers in Rehabilitation Sciences 2022 Vol. 3 Accession Number: 36189076 PMCID: PMC9397893 DOI: 10.3389/fresc.2022.873568 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fresc.2022.873568
Riesen, T., Snyder, A., Byers, R., Keeton, B., & Inge, K. (2023). An updated review of the custom-ised employment literature. Journal of Voca-tional Rehabilitation 2023 Vol. 58 Issue 1 Page 27-38. DOI: 10.3233/jvr-221222 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-221222
Rood, L. (1985). Beyond severe disability: Models and strategies for change. Omaha: University of Nebraska.
Salon, R., Boutot, N., Ozols, K., Keeton, B., & Steve-ley, J. (2019). New approaches to customised employment: Enhancing cross-system partner-ships. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 2019 Vol. 50 Issue 3 Pages 317-323. DOI: 10.3233/jvr-191013 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-191013
Smith, P., (2021). Report into the Customised Em-ployment – Outcomes of the Jobs Victoria Pilot Project 2019 – 2021. Melbourne Victoria.
Smith, P.J. & Alexander, J. (2022). Discovering Mi-cro-Enterprise - Exploring Possibilities. Evalu-ation of the Community Living Project ME ILC Grant. Centre for Disability Employment Research and Practice, Melbourne.
Smith, P., McVilly, K.R., McGillivray, J. & Chan, J. (2018a). Developing open employment out-comes for people with an intellectual disability utilising a Social Enterprise Framework. Jour-nal of Vocational Rehabilitation 2018 Vol. 48 Pages 59-77. DOI: 10.3233/JVR-170916 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-170916
Smith, P., McVilly, K., Rhodes, P., Pavlidis, L., (2018b). Customised employment: building workforce capacity for and establishing an evi-dence-based means of achieving the social and economic participation of people with disabil-ity. Final Report to the Innovative Workforce Fund. Sydney: Innovative Workforce Fund (IWF).
Smith, P., Rhodes, P., Pavlidis, L., Alexander, J., & McVilly, K.R. (2019). Transitioning Australian Disability Enterprises to open employment community hubs using the Australian legisla-tive framework. Journal of Vocational Rehabil-itation 2019 Vol. 50 Issue 3 Pages 263–271. DOI: 10.3233/jvr-191006 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-191006
Smith, P., & Parmenter, T.R. (2023). Measuring the impact of employment on persons with a disa-bility as a means of improving the quality of employment outcomes. Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences 2(1) 1–15. https://doi.org/10.33700/jhrs.2.1.61 DOI: https://doi.org/10.33700/jhrs.2.1.61
Smith, P., & Stephen, N. (2018). Career discovery high school project outcome report. Canberra: Prosser Foundation.
Taylor, R. (2022). Evaluating the barriers people with intellectual disability face in gaining and maintaining employment in Australia. The Fu-ture of Work Lab. Melbourne. The University of Melbourne.
Taylor, T., Avellone, L., Cimera, R., Brooke, V., Lambert, A., & Iwanaga, K. (2021). Cost-benefit analyses of employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmen-tal disabilities: A scoping review. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 2021 Vol. 54 Issue 2 Pages 193-206. DOI: 10.3233/jvr-201130 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-201130
Wehman, P., Brooke, V., Brooke, A., Ham, W., Schall, C., McDonough, J., & Avellone, L. (2016). Em-ployment for adults with autism spectrum dis-orders: A retrospective review of a customised employment approach. Research in Develop-mental Disabilities, 53(54), 61–72. doi 10.1016/j.ridd.2016.01.015 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2016.01.015
Wehman, P., Hill, M., Hill, J., Brooke, V., Pendleton, P., & Britt, C. (1985). Competitive employment for persons with mental retardation: A follow-up six years later. Rehabilitation and Research Training Center, Virginia Commonwealth Uni-versity.
Wehman, P., & Kregel, J. (1985). A supported work approach to competitive employment of indi-viduals with moderate and severe handi-caps. Journal of The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 10(3), 132-136. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/154079698501000302
Wehman, P., Taylor, J., Brooke, V., Avellone, L., Whittenburg, H., Ham, W., Molinelli-Brooke, A., & Carr, S. (2018). Towards Competitive Employment for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: What Progress Have We Made and Where Do We Need to Go. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities 2018 Vol. 43 Issue 3 Pages 131–144. DOI: 10.1177/1540796918777730 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1540796918777730
United Nations. 2006. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. [online] Available at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons. (ac-cessed 12 February 2023).
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Peter Smith
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.