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Customized Employment Pilot Program that serves a minimum of 25
individuals by the second year of the Pilot Program. The Pilot
Program shall include the following components:
(1) An intensive discovery phase during which the
unique needs, abilities, and interests of the individual
will be explored by the individual at his or her direction
with assistance from family, friends, colleagues,
advocates, community-based service agencies, and others as
determined by the individual.
(2) A customized person-centered planning process
based upon information gathered during the discovery phase
that involves capturing, organizing, and presenting the
information in a blueprint for the job search.
(3) An employer negotiation process in which job duties
and employee expectations are negotiated to align the
skills and interests of the individual with the needs of an
employer. The negotiation process may result in agreement
on options such as (i) carving out a job for the
individual, (ii) creating a new job description, (iii)
creating a new job, (iv) job-sharing, and (v) agreeing on
job supports, transportation needs, assistive technology,
work hours, location, or supervision needs.
(4) A flexible timeline for a comprehensive discovery,
planning, and job placement process to accommodate the
unique needs of the individual.
The Customized Employment Pilot Program shall be
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implemented through an individualized plan for employment
developed by the individual with a disability and the
vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by the Division
of Rehabilitation Services. The individual with a disability
may choose to have a personal representative participate in the
development of the individualized plan for employment.
Selection of participants.
be identified and referred to the Department to participate in
the Pilot Program by community-based agencies serving persons
with intellectual or developmental disabilities. A team of
individuals identified during the discovery phase shall be
created to work with the individual during the process. The
team shall include at least one qualified staff person as
described in Section 25. Selection preference shall be given to
individuals who are currently working in a sheltered workshop
setting for a subminimum wage and individuals for whom it is
likely that their current employment options will be limited to
working in a sheltered workshop for a subminimum wage.
Participants in the Pilot Program
shall reflect the geographical, racial, ethnic, gender, and
income-level diversity of the State.
Community-based agencies and staff
The Pilot Program shall utilize a minimum of 4
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Illinois non-profit community-based agencies that must:
(1) assign at least one staff member who has received a
certificate of completion for training in community
employment, with a specialization in customized
employment, from a recognized and qualified training
entity such as the Association of Community Rehabilitation
(2) have access to technical assistance on customized
employment from a recognized and qualified training entity
to work with each participant in the Pilot Program.
Data collection and reporting.
shall collect data regarding the successes and challenges of
the Pilot Program and shall submit an annual report to the
Governor and the General Assembly on March 1st of each year
beginning in 2021 until the Pilot Program terminates. The
reports shall: (i) make a recommendation as to whether the
Pilot Program should continue or become a statewide program;
(ii) provide cost estimates, including the average per person
costs; and (iii) recommend ways in which the Pilot Program can
be improved to better serve the needs of individuals with
disabilities and employers.
Advice and recommendations.
In the creation,
operation, and administration of the Pilot Program, the
Department shall seek the advice and recommendations of the
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State Rehabilitation Council, Illinois Council on
Developmental Disabilities, the Illinois Task Force on
Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with
Disabilities, statewide disability advocacy groups, and
organizations representing large, medium, and small
The Department may adopt administrative rules
governing the Pilot Program; however, the Pilot Program shall
not be delayed pending the adoption of rules.".