EDC for adults is an individualized, integrated, paid, community employment program based on a negotiated relationship between job seekers and employers. It meets the needs of both job seeker and employer based on an individualized determination of job seekers’ conditions for success, interests toward an aspect of the job market and their specific contributions. This is determined by a discovery process and is designed to meet specific needs of the employer.

There are individuals for whom competitive employment, including competitive supported employment, has not occurred; the same has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of significant disability and other life complexities. These individuals have either performed poorly or would be expected to perform poorly on Supported Employment. They would benefit from pre-employment processes that result in a negotiated employment relationship. Because of the nature and severity of their disability, they are not likely to be able to meet the competitive demands set by employers in existing job descriptions even with the provision of supported employment services. Customized employment thus promotes individualized, entrepreneurial outcomes such as customized self- employment or contract relationships that are individually negotiated to fit the needs of individuals with a disability and meeting a market or employer need.

Customized Employment, therefore, offers an approach consistent with the most innovative and cutting edge human resource practices. Its signature strategy, Discovery, offers an approach for job seekers with barriers to employment that is consistent with some of the most widely accepted strategies for successful career development. Customized Employment and Discovery are not necessarily appropriate or desirable for all job seekers with disabilities or other complex barriers to employment, but the strategies provide “non-traditional” options and choices – both for job seekers and for ACIDD Maryland staff.