Career Planning & Discovery

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Adam SewingBest practice in the field of disability services suggests that people with disabilities can and should work. Employment is the cornerstone of a valued, full life; helping to build esteem, create opportunities for relationships, and combat poverty.

However, statistics demonstrate that not enough is being done to achieve employment outcomes for people with complex challenges and barriers to employment. To that end, the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) at Maine’s Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) added a new service to the MaineCare waivers – Career Planning & Discovery.

KFI has a team of certified Career Planning & Discovery staff throughout its service provider area. See list of certified Maine “DPG” staff at:

What is Career Planning & Discovery?

CP&D is based on “Discovering Personal GeniusTM” – a very successful approach to customized employment developed by Griffin-Hammis Associates.

CP&D involves observation and exploration through active participation in community, home, and work settings to discover the individual’s gifts, talents, support needs, and ideal conditions of employment.

Career planning staff spend 30 to 60 hours getting to know the individual and their community. This is an intensive one-to-one service funded by DHHS.

How does Career Planning& Discovery lead to Customized Employment?

CP&D staff assist the person to apply to Vocational Rehabilitation, if they have not done so already.

CP&D staff assist the person to identify three over-arching vocational themes in his or her life; for each theme, they then identify a list of twenty places of employment in the community where people with similar skills and interests work.

CP&D staff gather observations and record them into a “Discovery Staging Record” which is shared with the person’s team, including family members, case manager, VR Counselor, and OADS staff.

When CP&D funded by DHHS ends, VR funding for job development begins. Building on the rich information in the CP&D staging record, the outcome is a negotiated customized wage job or self-employment opportunity which incorporates the individual’s gifts, talents, passions and skills in a way that enriches both the individual and the business.

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