Customized Employment Independent Living Specialist


JOB TITLE: Customized Employment Independent Living Specialist

DEPARTMENT: Independent Living Services


DIRECT SUPERVISOR: Director of Independent Living Services (ILS)


This position is part of the Subminimum Wage to Competitive Integrated Employment
(SWTCIE) Program. The individual in this position will increase opportunities for individuals
with developmental and or other significant disabilities who are contemplating employment,
are employed, or were employed at subminimum wage to assist them with the discovery
and delivery of educational, vocational, and employment support programs and resources
to obtain competitive integrated employment to help them achieve their desired level of


  1. Coordinate and/or perform independent living skills, counseling, and training. Assist participants in developing Independent Living skills (i.e., mobility & orientation, cooking, cleaning, daily household chores, shopping etc.)
  2. Assist consumers in the development of an Independent Living Plan (ILP).
  3. Document the development and achievement of IL (Independent Living) goals selected by individuals.
  4. Ability to keep an open mind in learning, practicing and fully adopting the more intensive Customized Employment (CE) service process, including the length of time and performance based mentoring components involved.
  5. Flexibility in scheduling to accommodate the customized employment process; especially employment support which may entail some after-hours/weekend work.
  6. Maintains consistent contact with consumer and employer and plans regularly scheduled meetings.
  7. Prepares and maintains employment records, coaching employers, renegotiating salary, employment evaluations, promotions, providing benefit advisement, and all aspects of employment support.
  8. Commitment to develop and maintain vocational/employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, including individuals with the most significant impact of disability and/or limited to no work history, into matching the customer’s unique strengths, abilities, needs, interests, and abilities.
  9. Collaborates with people with disabilities, the CE Specialist, family members, direct support professionals, VR (Vocational Rehabilitation) staff, extended service providers, and employers.
  10. Meet with consumers in their homes and in the community to provide ongoing support services, set up and training of extended services to ensure long-term employment.
  11. Conducts and documents activities for initial phases and employment phases after onboarding customized employment.
  12. Follows the prescribed policies and procedures when implementing (CE) services.
  13. Participates in (CE) systems analysis, ongoing program evaluation, continuous quality improvement data collection and the provision of information.
  14. Participate in (CE) mentoring sessions by email, phone, Teams, Zoom, etc. And with their assigned technical assistant for each phase and stage of the (CE) process.
  15. Registers and completes assignments and tasks in the (CE) Mentoring Web Based Platform.
  16. Record the time it takes to complete identified (CE) task related to training.
  17. Participates in Customed Employment Community of Practice 
  18. Delivers (CE) Services that meet best practices.
  19. Obtains and maintains the (CE) Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators Certificate (ACRE).
  20. Accurately documents consumer services and required paperwork in Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL’ s) Electronic Consumer Record (ECR) within two (2) working days of the service.
  21. Attends agency’s in-service training and staff meetings as well as any other agency-related activities as instructed.
  22. Participates in maintaining a neat, clean, and safe work environment.
  23. Performs other job-related duties as assigned by the supervisor.


High school diploma or equivalent
Associate degree or higher in Human Services, Psychology, Sociology, Rehabilitation Education, Business, or closely related field.


  • Professional and life-experience may be considered in lieu of, in full or part of academic credentials.


High school diploma or equivalent requires seven (7) years of full-time paid experience with persons with developmental or other significant disabilities with at least five (5) years providing paid vocational or prevocational experience to people with developmental and significant disabilities.

Associate degree or higher requires three (4) full time paid experience with persons with developmental or other significant disabilities providing paid vocational or prevocational experiences.

  • Work history demonstrates aptitudes for skills necessary to collaborate with people with disabilities, family members, direct support professionals, VR staff, service providers, employers, and the business community.
  • Successful experience and/or being open to adopting new and innovative service delivery methods.
  • Professional experience in educational or vocational settings working with youth and or adults.
  • Experience working with people who are developmentally disabled and/or other significant disabilities is required.
  • Reliable transportation to travel independently throughout Erie County is required for this position.


  • Must have intermediate level of knowledge of computers, databases, and Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google Suite.
  • Job duties are representative of the essential functions of the position. The physical requirements for this position are those typically present in normal office environment conditions. Operational flexibility is required to meet sudden and unpredictable needs of the program.
  • Perform in a professional, conscientious, and efficient manner for the purpose of ensuring a better quality of life for persons with disabilities.


WORK ENVIRONMENT: In person, office, consumers home, and the community.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THE JOB: Sitting, standing, and walking for extended periods of time.
Occasional lifting of not more than fifteen pounds.

HOURS / SHIFTS: 37.5 – 40 hours per week.
Overtime is rarely required.

CLASSIFICATION: Full-time, salary, nonexempt, professional.
Range: $48,000 - $50,000

BENEFITS: Agency provided group health insurance.
Vision, dental, life, supplemental insurances available.
PTO and paid holiday package.
403(b) retirement with Agency match.
Employee Assistance Program.

OTHER: Western New York Independent Living, Inc. values our employee safety and follows all recommended NYS required Infectious Disease Prevention Protocols.
Western New York Independent Living, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Reasonable accommodation will be made for people with disabilities.
Western New York Independent Living, Inc. is a scent-free Agency.


Closing date: May 10, 2024

Cover letter and resume required to:

Tina Brown, CHRCO
WNY Independent Living, Inc.
3108 Main St.
Buffalo, N.Y. 14214