Virginia Commonwealth University's Disability Rehabilitation Research Project on Customized Employment (VCU-DRRP) is researching the impact of customized employment on the employment outcomes of individuals with autism (ASD) and/or intellectual disabilities (ID). The random control trial study is in partnership with TransCen, Inc., and transition-age youth are being assisted in finding customized jobs of choice. The study is being conducted by two teams: one at VCU in Richmond, Virginia and one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Creative Employment Opportunities (CEO). Youth between the ages of 18 and 24 are being recruited to participate and are being randomly assigned to either the customized employment intervention or a control group. The control group are continuing their services as usual. At the close of the study, the employment outcomes achieved by the two groups of participants will be compared. We will complete the following activities:
- Operationalize the term customized employment as an evidence-based practice for individuals with ASD/ID.
- Evaluate and compare the employment outcomes of individuals with ASD/ID who receive the CE intervention to those who receive "services as usual."
- Conduct knowledge translation activities (e.g., training, technical assistance, utilization, and dissemination) to facilitate vocational rehabilitation professionals' and other stakeholders' implementation of customized employment as an evidence-based practice. This includes:
- Providing training activities such as webcasts, an online course on customized employment, participation in national, state, and local conferences; and face-to-face training as requested;
- Disseminating research findings through a project website and other means including use of social media, scholarly articles and articles in popular media, research briefs, fact sheets, and a project replication manual;
- Providing technical assistance through an online rapid response database and through other traditional means (e.g. telephone, TDD, e-mail, etc.) as requested.
If you are interested in learning more about the study, please contact Dr. Katherine Inge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-828-5956.