Skip to main content

What We Do

Arc Discovery EmPloyment Transitions

What is Discovery?

The Arc of Pennsylvania has partnered with Mark Gold & Associates to offer Discovery and Customized Employment to Pennsylvania. Discovery is an alternative vocational assessment developed by Mark Gold & Associates. This partnership has resulted in consultants being nationally certified in Discovery, Customized Employment Job Development and Systematic Instruction. Discovery seeks to answer the question, "Who is this person?".  Our consultants work with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities to develop a comprehensive profile. This profile is a non-traditional, no-fail form, which provides the information on the person's strengths and conditions for success to help find the right job. While Discovery is not employment, it is the first step in developing truly customized employment and ideal work for all people.

Scheduled Training Sessions

No new classes scheduled at this time

The Partnership with Marc Gold & Associates

The Arc of Pennsylvania has developed a training schedule with Marc Gold & Associates to offer training to our consultants. This partnership has resulted in consultants being nationally certified in Discovery, Customized Employment Job Development and Systematic Instruction.

How does it Work?

Discovery is a process that seeks to understand the strengths, conditions for success and potential contributions of an individual to better help them find customized employment that is competitive and fulfilling. Our goal is to have our participants be empowered to make real choices in employment and in contributing to the community.

Our consultants will seek to understand the individual by conducting extensive research through interviews of both the participant and the people who best know the individual and their strengths . This includes teachers, family members, mentors, neighbors, and any others who play a large role in the individual’s life. Consultants will also spend time with the participant in her/his home and accompany them to activities – in school, the community, wherever the individual spends time engaged in activity within the community – to both observe and participate in those activities to gain a better understanding of the individual and the skills they possess.

Over the time spent completing Discovery, our consultants will develop a solid foundation from which he or she will develop a specially crafted profile using the language and skills taught by Marc Gold & Associates. The profile can be updated by those connected to the participant, or Expanded Discovery may be completed to create a strong story of the individual which will serve as a substitute or supplement to traditional vocational assessments and provide a foundation for the customized plan for employment.

After completing the Discovery profile, our consultants facilitate a Customized Plan for Employment meeting. This meeting is focused on honing in on the conditions for success and potential contributions of the job seeker/participant. Potential employers/employment locations are identified to guide customized job development activities for the participant. Information from the Discovery profile and Customized Plan for Employment is used to develop a visual resume to present to prospective employers.

Customized Employment/Job Development is a unique process that considers both the job seekers needs, conditions for success, and potential contributions to an employer and the needs of a prospective employer. By working with the job seeker and the employer to negotiate a customized job description, both reap the benefits of the process. Employers have an opportunity to address unmet needs and the job seeker has the opportunity to fill a position that considers her/his conditions for success. Our consultants meet initially with potential employers on behalf of the job seeker/participant to discuss the customized employment process and how it is different from ‘traditional’ job development services. Potential employers are informed about and offered a benefit/needs analysis to identify unmet needs that can be met by the ADEPT participant. A customized job description is developed for the participant.

Systematic Instruction is a unique process to teach the ADEPT participant the aspects of the job secured through the customized employment process. Systematic instruction employs the methods of Marc Gold’s Try Another Way approach to teaching job skills.

If you would like additional information regarding ADEPT, please contact Jen Hipps via email at


The Arc of Pennsylvania appreciates the financial support of The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation and the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs (ODP).