Project Name
Making Change II

Type of practice
Promising practice (practice is proven to achieve outcomes)

Area of Emphasis

Project/activity year(s)

Population(s) of focus
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Families of people with ID/DD
Caregivers of people with ID/DD
Service Providers

Strategies used 

Technical Assistance
Interagency Collaboration and Coordination
Coordination with Related Councils, Committees, and Programs
Other activities

Project Description
This project provided customized employment for job seekers. The Council worked with Griffin Hammis Associates for mentoring and technical assistance adopting their principle that “all people, given the right support, can build meaningful and financially rewarding careers. The question is not if work is possible (it is!) but rather what work is the best fit for that person”.  As a result, training webinars were created that outlined the customized employment process. Training and education opportunities were provided to project participants, job coaches, families, and shared with collaborative agencies. Individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities across the state of South Carolina were also provided access to the training opportunities.

Impact (or impact-to-date) of the project/activity for people with ID/DD and their families?
Participants in this grant project were successful in creating their own businesses and selling products they create or design. Collaborations with state and community partners have brought more attention to customized employment through webinars and videos. Videos of the customized employment process and participants who have started their own microenterprises have been posted on their website and on social media, garnering more than 1000 views per quarter, broadening the reach of the customized employment process as a promising practice.


Story perspective
Person with ID/DD

What were things like BEFORE you/your family/partner/community participated in the project/activity?
Two participants in this program were seen as “unemployable.”

What are things like AFTER you/family/partner/community participated in the project/activity?
Both of these participants who were considered unemployable have since started their own businesses. One young man went through the customized employment process, designed his own t-shirt and started a business, Sal-T-Bone. He also has a blog where he provides history and interesting facts. He has a booth at a local store and sells his products online. He has also created a cookbook to sell, along with t-shirts and koozies.

Another young man went through this process and is selling dinosaur art that he makes, both in a physical booth at a local store, and online. His products include shirts, mugs, paintings, and onesies.

What was most beneficial to you/family/partner/community from participating in this project or practice?
The customized employment process helped participants to discover employment that fits their wants, needs, and desires. These opportunities to have employment tailored to their interests has improved their lives.

The role of the DD Council in achieving positive outcomes through this project.
Employment for people with I/DD is a key part of the DD Council’s state plan. The SC DD Council was actively engaged throughout this grant, and the grantee presented at a council meeting to illustrate progress and get feedback. The grantee collaborated with another grantee to develop webinars geared toward educating other state agencies and providers about the customized employment process and the successes that came from this grant program.

Contact Information
Name: Lori Rodgers
Phone: (803) 734-0392
Council location:  South Carolina