Create or build a supported employment program

More than just earning a paycheck, paid work during high school is a key predictor of postsecondary success, but many students with disabilities need support to access competitive integrated employment.

Featuring strategies, resources, and success stories from specialists in the field, this course will show you how to match your students’ strengths with appropriate work experiences, find employment opportunities for your students, and facilitate the support students need for success.

Featuring videos, engaging discussion, and high-quality resources, this course is free, accessible, and provides 35 recertification points if approved by your building administrator.

Lesson 1: Values and Philosophy of Supported Employment

Before diving into the best practices and strategies for supported employment, it's important to understand the foundational elements of this practice. In this lesson, you will be introduced to the practice of supported employment by reviewing the historical and legal events that shaped it as well as the key ingredients for designing a successful supported employment program for students with disabilities.

Lesson 2: Employment Profile and Discovery

In order to develop the right opportunities for supported employment in the community, assessments are used as a tool to get to know the job seeker. In this lesson, you will learn about the role of assessments, the Discovery process of getting to know a job seeker, and the essential components of a student profile.

Lesson 3: Marketing and Job Development

Once you've collected information through the Discovery process, it's time to begin developing those job opportunities. In this lesson, you will learn about the elements of marketing, job matching, and supporting students as they find an employment opportunity that's right for them.

Lesson 4: Customized Employment

For many job seekers with disabilities, there may not be an existing job that completely fits their profile. In this lesson, you will learn about how customized employment fills that gap and creates tailored job opportunities that fit the needs of both the employer and employee.

Lesson 5: Job Site Support

After a student has secured a job, it's time to begin job site support. In this lesson, we walk you through the process of identifying support needs, developing effective training and instruction techniques, and promoting greater independence in students on the job.

Lesson 6: Follow-Along Services and Social Security

The final step in the supported employment process is the use of follow-along services to promote job satisfaction and retention for employees with disabilities. In this final lesson of the course, you will learn about the purpose of follow-along services, understand roles and responsibilities, and discover some of the key programs and organizations that offer support and resources in this process.


Registration is open to the first 100 Virginia secondary educators and service providers.

Technical requirements

Participants need a computer with internet access and the ability to view PDFs and watch videos. CTI video lectures are captioned and have transcripts.

  • Cost: Free
  • Next Offering: To be determined Registration Opens: To be determined
  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Lessons: 6
  • CRC Credits: 35 Credits Recertification Points: 35 Points
  • Pace: Facilitated
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