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Customized Employment Certification

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Customized Employment Certification


The Arc of Pennsylvania’s Customized Employment certification course is designed to train providers in Customized Employment. Successfully completing this course will certify you to provide Customized Employment/Advanced Supported Employment in Pennsylvania. By the end of the course, attendees will have conducted their first Discovery assessment, learned and practiced the skills needed to negotiate a fully customized job, and know how to implement on site supports that are tailored to their client’s needs.


Attendees will meet for 10 days of Zoom classes over the span of 5 months. Attendees will also complete field assignments between meeting dates in order to reinforce skills and concepts learned during class. This course structure meets the qualification requirements for Customized Employment/Advanced Supported Employment in Pennsylvania.

Our instructors will teach the essential elements of Customized Employment – Discovery assessments, customized job development/negotiation, systematic instruction/onsite supports. Attendees will need to secure a learning partner prior to the course launch. A learning partner is someone with a disability that wishes to participate in the Customized Employment process. Attendees will do assignments where they will implement the knowledge and skills learned in class with their learning partner in a real world setting, all while under the virtual guidance of an experienced mentor.

Click one of the two groups to register. Attendees must be available for all dates within the group.


Register for Group 1 Classes will meet 9am – 4pm Eastern with a 1-hour lunch break at 12pm.

October 26-27, 2023

December 7-8, 2023

January 18-19, 2024

February 22, 2024

Register for Group 2 Classes will meet 9am – 4pm Eastern with a 1-hour lunch break at 12pm.

February 12-13, 2024

March 25-26, 2024

May 6-7, 2024

June 14, 2024





Our curriculum is designed for providers of Customized Employment and Advanced Supported Employment, school staff, counselors, and families.


  • 4 Certificates for – Discovery, Customized Job Development, Systematic Instruction, and ACRE with an Emphasis on Customized Employment.
  • Discovery profile, visual resume, customized plan for employment for your learning partner.
  • Fulfills certification requirements for Advanced Supported Employment/Customized Employment services in Pennsylvania.
  • One on one and group mentoring support for your first learning partner in facilitating Discovery, creating customized job opportunities, teaching work skills.


  • Attendees seeking certification must secure a learning partner. Auditors do not need a learning partner. A learning partner is an individual with a disability that is willing to go through Discovery, Customized Job Development, and Systematic Instruction.
    • Recommended characteristics for a learning partner:
      • Okay with being recorded and photographed for the visual resume.
      • Willing to have you visit their home.
      • Be active in at least a few hobbies or activities, either at home or in the community.
      • Be open to you visiting on a weekly basis so that you can complete all assignments on time.
  • Attendees must have a computer with web camera and internet connection for participation in Zoom. Phone call-ins will not be allowed.
  • Attendees must commit to attending all classes and complete all assignments by required due dates to keep up with course progression.
    • Assignments will include work with their learning partner. Attendees should expect to set aside approximately 2-4 hours a week between session dates in order to complete all assignments.




  • $200 per person to audit (sit in on) the course
  • $650 per person for Certification

To register for a training, click on the dates listed in the Session Dates section above.

**Note: School staff and families of children with disabilities enrolled in K-12 can qualify for a scholarship to audit our training.


The Arc of Pennsylvania can fulfill requests for reasonable accommodations if they are made 30 days prior to the training. Requests made after 30 days cannot be guaranteed. To make a request please contact Anthony Chan at achan@includemepa.org.


For more information, please email Program Manager Jen Hipps at jhipps@includemepa.org.


Who should get certified?

Providers of employment support services who want to be qualified to deliver customized employment services through OVR and/or Advanced Supported Employment Services through ODP. It is important for providers to understand that it is the specific staff who will actually be delivering the services that OVR and ODP require be certified, not the supervisors.


NEW Module Just Arrived - Trauma-Informed Care. Visit our E-Learning Module Series. This series provides information and strategies for teachers, families, and paras to support the education of all students.

The Arc of Pennsylvania’s Making Employment Work course is an ACRE Basic Certification Training. In order to receive certification, participants must attend a 3 day, in-person training and then complete a self-paced, online curriculum. Completing this certification course will qualify individuals to provide Supported Employment services with Pennsylvania’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Office of Developmental Programs. Our training combines lessons learned from traditional Supported Employment and Customized Employment techniques.

Arc Discovery Employment Transitions (ADEPT) is The Arc of Pennsylvania’s customized employment program. The Arc of Pennsylvania supports individuals with significant impact of disability to seek and maintain customized employment in their community. As a result, The Arc of Pennsylvania’s consultants are trained and nationally certified by Marc Gold & Associates, a national leader in customized employment, to provide Discovery, Customized Employment Job Development, and Systematic Instruction to individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania who are seeking employment. In addition to providing customized employment services, The Arc of Pennsylvania hosts several certification courses with Marc Gold & Associates for individuals and organizations interested in national certification in Discovery, Job Development, and Systematic Instruction.

Include Me is a new model for inclusive education and gaining meaningful employment for Pennsylvania’s students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc of Pennsylvania and Include Me believe all individuals with significant impact of developmental and intellectual disability deserve equal educational and competitive employment rights. Our mission, build and strengthen the inclusive education capacity for all public-school students, and discover meaningful employment opportunities meeting Pennsylvania employee and employer needs. Include Me strives to ensure all impacted students have equal access to all aspects of life and the community throughout their lifespan.

Include Me is an initiative that was part of the agreement on final terms between the plaintiffs and the Pennsylvania Department of Education in the Gaskin Settlement Agreement. We were initially assigned to work with school districts with the lowest inclusion rates. After the initial success, we have grown in reputation among school districts. Currently districts voluntarily chose our services, which are provided free of charge to the district. In addition to our School Age services, we offer transition-age services to help teams plan a path to customized employment for students transitioning from high school.

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