Customized Employment Guide

OCALI CE Project

CE Project Map

What is the OCALI Customized Employment Project?

With funding from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), OCALI launched a customized employment project in March 2009 for two school based transition teams, Claymont High School with Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Huber Heights High School with Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The goal of the project was to increase community employment outcomes for transition aged youth using customized employment strategies and processes. Team members received training and consultation in the CE process, Social Security Work Incentives and working with employers. Teams included school, developmental disability, and vocational rehabilitation staff, plus a parent mentor. In November of 2009 the project received additional funding from DODD to add another team from Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities and to provide up to 40 paid internships for youth with disabilities using customized employment strategies and processes in the Lucas County and Montgomery County sites. The Tuscarawas County site obtained funding from DODD, “We Go To Work Grants” to fund resource ownership as an employment strategy. The additional internship funds ended March 31, 2011 and the resource ownership funds have ended as well. The OCALI customized employment transition project ends December 30, 2011.

See the documents section for more information about the original model for the project, which came out of a DODD Futures planning initiative. Other documents in this section include a summary of challenges in implementing this project and the results.


  1. Give team members a thorough introductory training on CE. There are misconceptions about what CE is and does, e.g some people think CE is job carving or just another version of supported employment. A thorough introductory training can help address misconceptions.
  2. This is a systems change project, make sure your staff or teams are on board with the philosophy and goals of CE.
  3. Celebrate your successes.


DODD Descriptor for OCALI CE project (PDF)

Challenges and Successes in Implementing Customized Employment Strategies

Results from OCALI CE Teams

36 Community Work Experiences

Huber Heights / Montgomery DD

  • 11 internships
  • 7 ongoing employment
  • 1 resource ownership

Claymont / Tuscarawas DD

  • 5 work experience
  • 1 ongoing employment

Lucas DD

  • 19 internships
  • 2 ongoing employment

Funded by CMS Medicaid Infrastructure Grant 1QACMS030330 CFDA 93.768