Customized Employment Specialist


JOB TITLE: Customized Employment 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 independence.


  1. Coordinates and/or performs 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. Assists consumers in the development of an Independent Living Plan (ILP).
  3. Documents 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, which may entail some after-hours/weekend work.
  6. Works collaboratively with the CE Independent Living Specialist to assist consumers, their family members, direct support professionals, VR staff, extended service providers, employers, and the business community.
  7. Maintains consistent contact with consumers and employer and plans regularly scheduled meetings in the customized employment and onboarding employment phases.
  8. Prepares employment records, and coaches’ employers from the beginning up to the completion of the onboarding phase.
  9. 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.
  10. Collaborate with people with disabilities, family members, direct support professionals, VR staff, extended service providers, employers, and the business community.
  11. Meet with consumers in their homes and in the community to conduct Discovery, Job Development, and develop the foundation for ongoing support services setup and extended services to ensure long-term employment.
  12. Conducts and documents activities for CE and stops after the onboarding employment phase.
  13. Follow the prescribed policies and procedures when implementing CE services.
  14. Participate in CE Systems Analysis, ongoing program evaluation, continuous quality improvement data collection and the provision of information.
  15. Participate in CE Mentoring sessions virtually by email, phone, Teams, Zoom, etc. And with their assigned technical assistant for each phase and stage of the CE process.
  16. Register and complete assignments and tasks in the CE mentoring web-based platform.
  17. Record the time it takes to complete identified CE task related to training.
  18. Participate in Customized Employment Community of Practice.
  19. Deliver CE Services that meet best practices.
  20. Obtain and maintain the CE Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators Certificate (ACRE).
  21. Accurately document 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.
  22. Attend Agency’s in-service training and staff meetings as well as any other Agency-related activities as instructed.
  23. Participate in maintaining a neat, clean, and safe work environment.
  24. Perform other job-related duties as assigned by the supervisor.


Associate degree or higher in human services, psychology, sociology, rehabilitation education, business or closely related field requires (5) years of full-time, paid, direct service experience with persons with developmental or other significant disabilities, with at least three (3) years providing paid vocational or prevocational experience to people with developmental or significant disabilities.

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


  • 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.
  • Ability to keep an open mind in learning, practicing and fully adopting the more intensive Customized Employment service process, including the length of time and performance based mentoring components involved.
  • Flexibility in scheduling to accommodate the CE process; especially discovery which may entail some after-hours/weekend work.
  • Commitment to secure employment 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.
  • Achieve the staff qualification of an Advanced CE Specialist.
  • Professional experience in educational or vocational settings overseeing youth and or adult programs.
  • Experience with the developmentally disabled and or other significant disabilities is required.
  • Provide equitable services to program participants and reasonable accommodations as required by law.


  • 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 homes 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, non-exempt, professional.
Range: $55,000 - $58,450

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: June 24, 2024

Cover letter and resume required to:

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