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AL-APSE, The Network on Employment

Best Practices

Best Practice in Supported Employment Library

Checking Out Material from the Best Practice in Supported Employment Library. Guidelines

The contents of this product were developed under a grant from the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities (ACDD). However, these contents do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Council.


New Material

Career Self-Determination/Person Centered Planning

Family Support

Job Coaching

Marketing & Job Development

Motivational Material

Natural Support

Pocket Guides

Rehabilitation Management

Staff Training & Community Inclusion

Supported Employment

Work Incentives

New Material

Thinking in Pictures

Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports from My Life With Autism

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism because she is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us. Grandin writes from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person. She tells us how she managed to breach the boundaries of autism to function in the outside world.

Developing Talents

Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

This career planning guide is written specifically for high-functioning adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum, their families, teachers, and counselors. The authors blend of information and advice based on personal experiences. The result is an extremely useful and practical book that introduces step-by-step processes for the job search with a major section on the impact ASD has in the workplace, including managing sensory problems, how to nurture and turn talents and special interests into paid work, jobs that are particularly suited to individuals on the spectrum, and much more.


In Your Own Way: A Celebration of the Gifts and Challenges that Life Presents Video


Look Who's Laughing

Look Who's Laughing Video

This funny and compelling documentary is about the lives, experiences and humor of six working comedians who have various types of disabilities. Shot at comedy clubs across the country, "Look Who's Laughing" spotlights some of the most talented and truly funny comics working today.

The Secret of Success

Secret of Success Video

Prevents burn out by teaching the skills that every employment specialist should know. This dramatic video is one that any employment staff can easily relate to. It is about an employment consultant struggling with rejection and the fear of rejection when talking to potential employers about hiring people with disabilities. The video focuses on five specific skills that will assist employees on achieving their goals. The end result is a more satisfied employee with higher and more successful placement results.

Fred's Story

Fred's Story Video

Fred Calabrese tells of the unpleasant realities of decades of institutional life, then a move to his own apartment. And Fred is a disturbingly honest but overwhelmingly charming speaker on his own behalf. His reflections on life inside are intercut with footage expressing the ideals of the institution. Rather than a traditional, third-person documentary about the State institution or Fred's life, each speaks for itself. Fred talks about his life and shares his indomitable, lyrical spirit.

Accommodating Employees and Job Applicants with Psychiatric Disabilities

Accommodating Employees and Job Applicants with Psychiatric Disabities in the Workplace: Part I & II Video

This video provides basic information for agencies, employers and human resource professionals. The large cast of twenty-seven demonstrate many of the key points while using scenarios to cover the six most common disorders. Depression, Anxiety, Chemical Dependency, Manic Depressive/Bipolar, Obsessive-Compulsive and Psychiatric Expressive Communication Disorder are discussed. Legal experts also cover such important topics as harassment in the workplace and medical definitions of each disorder.

Teamwork Works

Teamwork Works: A Person Centered Planning Tool

Adaptable to all people, regardless of the severity of their disability. Includes a seven-step formula that promotes cross-agency collaboration and teamwork. Features a man with a developmental disability who worked with his VR counselor, sister, employer SSA and HUD, to become more independent.Demonstrates how the system should work and what can be accomplished by working together.

Career Self-Determination/Person Centered Planning

Working on the Dream

Working on the Dream: A Guide to Career Planning and Job Success

Dan Lavin & Andrea Everett, Rise, Inc. This manual is about person-centered career development for people with serious mental illness. 136 pages.

Take Charge of Your Job Search

Take Charge of Your Job Search: A Handbook to Empower Unemployed People to Find Their Own Jobs

Frances Curiel. This book helps job seekers develop lifelong skills to find and get the right job by discovering talents and interests, targeting jobs and employers, applying for jobs, and brushing up on resumes and interviews. 101 pages.

Advocacy and Supported Employment for People with Disabilities

Advocacy and Supported Employment for People with Disabilities

This guide and workbook is a tool to be used to assist people with disabilities play an active role in their job search. (Workbook, video and Guide!)

Personal Assistance in the Workplace

Personal Assistance in the Workplace: A Customer-Directed Guide

This Guide is a consumer-oriented resource on Personal Assistance Services (PAS) in the workplace.

Career Advancement Strategies and Tools Book

Career Advancement Strategies and Tools Book

A workbook of planned, sequenced career development activities, with worksheets and practices, this manual helps people with disabilities advance beyond entry-level jobs to build a career path. Created by Dr. David Hagner; includes resources, support networks and job searches.

Family Support

Whatever It Takes!

Whatever It Takes! Excellence in Family Support: When Families Experience a Disability

Susan Covert. A book filled with creative ideas to make the most of family support dollars and help families who experience disability flourish in their communities. 89 pages.

Straight Talk about Autism

Straight Talk about Autism: Childhood Issues/Adolescent Issues – Video

Covers the difficulty of getting an accurate diagnosis, parental acceptance of the disability, dealing with communication deficits and beginning school. Features hypersensitivities, splinter skills, teasing, Circle of Friends programs, social skills, school-to-work transition and independent living. 40 minutes each.

Job Coaching

Coaching Winners – Video

Finding and keeping employment is difficult for people with developmental disabilities. Many will require considerable help to succeed in the competitive workplace. Viewers learn how job coaches assess skills, develop community-based job sites, match potential employees to jobs, and supervise workers in training. 20 minutes.


Off to Work Book

Off to Work curriculum, authored by Drs. Paul Wehman and Pamela Sherron, helps you prepare people with disabilities to succeed at competitive or supported employment. Covers finding a job, job placement, keeping a job, job training, and advocacy. Dozens of reproducible forms are included. 258 pages.

Ten Golden Rules for the Workplace

A fun training video for people with little or no work experience. Teaches fundamental skills needed to succeed in any job. Excellent for employees and employers who want to enhance on-the-job efficiency. Viewers learn good work habits by seeing workers performing office, retail, manufacturing, food service and other jobs. Teaches essential workplace behavior while increasing acceptance of disability.

Marketing & Job Development

Demystifying Job Development

Demystifying Job Development: Field-Based Approaches to Job Development for People with Disabilities

David Hoff, Cecilia Gandolfo, Marty Gold, & Melanie Jordan. Job development remains one of the most challenging tasks to face employment professionals. 105 pages.

The Job Development Handbook

The Job Development Handbook: Facilitating Employer Decisions to Hire People with Disabilities

John Nietupski, Dale Verstegen, and Debra Martin Petty. This “how to” book is a ready resource for job developers for approaching employers using sales and business principles. 64 pages.


Job Development Guide to the ADA

Job Development Guide to the ADA

Susanne Bruyere & Thomas Golden, Eds. Cornell University. This book offers a detailed overview of the ADA employment provisions and the reasonable accommodation process. Then, specific chapters hone in on how to take full advantage of the ADA in your organization's public relations, marketing, and training efforts.

Motivational Material

What's Your Excuse? Making the Most of What You Have

Author, John P. Foppe. 202 pages. Born without arms, John Foppe has faced unique obstacles to living a normal life. But what he's always had is an indomitable faith - a faith that not only give him the will to survive, but also the will to thrive. John advises us how to confidently confront adversity and discover our own dynamic potential for accomplishment and fulfillment. As John says, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, "All things are within reach."

"Armed With Hope". The Inspirational Story of John Foppe. Video - 30 minutes

Discover how an armless man handles tasks that most of us take for granted like driving a car or cracking an egg.


A Little History Worth Knowing

A Little History Worth Knowing

From ancient times to telethons to today's burgeoning disability movement, A Little History Worth Knowing traces the often-over-looked history of people with disabilities. Although the video doesn't shy away from the abuses of the past, it ends with a hopeful look at the future as changing attitudes and advancing technology help people with disabilities to enter the global economy.

A Winning Attitude

A Winning Attitude

This dramatic training video poignantly demonstrates how a human service manager prevents an overwhelmed case manager from delivering bad customer service. It shows how an employee with problems – like an over sized caseload, bad organizational skills, and a poor attitude- becomes a valuable team player.

Natural Support

Coffee Breaks and Birthday Cakes

Coffee Breaks and Birthday Cakes: Evaluating Workplace Cultures to Develop Natural Supports for Employees with Disabilities

David Hagner. How we get to work…What we wear…Where we go to catch up on company gossip…It’s all part of the rich and varied workplace culture that determines how we act at work, how we fit in, and how well we do our jobs. 123 pages.

Facilitating Workplace Supports

Facilitating Workplace Supports: Natural Supports for Employees with Disabilities – Video.

Institute for Community Inclusion/UAP Children’s Hospital. This newly released 14-minute video provides clear illustrations of how to develop natural supports for workers with disabilities.

Natural Supports in Action

Natural Supports in Action: Strategies for Facilitate Employer Supports of Workers with Disabilities.

Dale DiLeo, Richard Luecking, and Saundra Hathaway. This book is designed to help employment professionals learn firsthand about using workplace supports natural to the job setting and social culture. 81 pages.

Pocket Guides

Attainment Training

Attainment Training: The Five-Step Strategy to Help People with Disabilities Learn New Skills

Covers task analysis, prompting, natural supports, shaping, chaining, fading, and generalization


It's My Meeting

It’s My Meeting!

The Pocket Guide for Participating in Person-Centered Planning.


Family Pocket Guide to Supported Employment

Family Pocket Guide to Supported Employment: Help Your Family Member with a Disability Develop a Meaningful Career

Covers A-B-Cs of community employment and responds to typical family concerns.


Hoist Your Own Sails

Hoist Your Own Sails: Self-Directed Employment for People with Disabilities

Dennis Rizzo & Elizabeth Van Houtte. This pocket guide provides a clear overview of self-directed employment, including direct ownership, partnerships or cooperatives, and participatory ownership such as social enterprises. 26 pages.

Rehabilitation Management

Working Better, Working Smarter

Working Better, Working Smarter: Building Responsive Rehabilitation Programs

Cary Griffin. Upper and mid-managers can find the tools they need in this highly accessible manual to make organizational excellence a reality. 149 pages.

Beyond Traditional Job Development

Beyond Traditional Job Development: The Art of Creating Opportunity

Denise Bissonnette, Milt Wright & Assoc. Highly readable and entertaining, this book offers invaluable ideas to catapult job developers from scarcity to abundance. 256 pages.

Staff Training & Community Inclusion

Enhancing the Lives

Enhancing the Lives of People with Disabilities: An Orientation Manual

Dale DiLeo. Field-tested throughout the US, this manual has been endorsed by many agencies and states as their introductory training for new staff. 104 pages.

The Ten Commandments of Communicating with People with Disabilities

The Ten Commandments of Communicating with People with Disabilities - Video

Literally tens of thousands of people have learned and laughed with The Ten Commandments of Communicating with People with Disabilities. It’s training that uses humorous vignettes to deliver its disability awareness message. Human service agencies get “double duty” from this program when they utilize it to train their own staff and the community about disability etiquette. 26 minutes.

Supported Employment

Supported Employment in Business: Expanding the Capacity of Workers with Disabilities.

Edited by Paul Wehman. This definitive reference book covers all the cutting edge issues of supported employment in 322 pages.

Career Recovery

Career Recovery: Best Practices in the Vocational Rehabilitation of Persons with Serious Mental Illness.

Michael S. Shafer, Anne Middaugh, Marshall Rubin, & Rosemary Jones. A state-of-the-art resource on helping people with psychiatric disabilities obtain employment, this book comes at a time when people with mental illness are experiencing the highest unemployment rates of ANY group in the US. 109 pages.

Facing the Future

Facing the Future: Best Practices in Supported Employment.

A cutting edge compilation of 32 articles written by leaders and participants in supported employment from throughout the US. 131 pages.

Conversion Video

Conversion: Making Community a Reality – Video.

The video can education families, boards, staff, and people with disabilities about the movement toward supported employment and away from sheltered work. 18 minutes.

It's All Part of the Job

It’s All Part of the Job: Social Skills Training for the Workplace – Video.

Four real-life workers with developmental disabilities and their employers discuss and demonstrate the social skills needed for job success. 21 minutes.


Overcoming the Odds

Overcoming the Odds:  Supported Employment Success Stories.

Profiled are eight individuals who have succeeded in supported employment despite significant disabilities. A valuable resource for transition coordinators, job coaches, and parents. 80 pages.
Sample Chapter One: PDF | Text
Sample Chapter Two: PDF | Text

Work Incentives

Planning for Success

Planning for Success: Supplemental Security Income and Age 18 Disability Redetermination

This is a guide for students, families, teachers, and service providers.

AL-APSE, The Network on Employment

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Montgomery, AL 36117
Phone: (334) 613-3527

This site is made possible by a grant from the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities