5/7 - 6/13 - ACRE Employment Services Certificate with an Emphasis on Customized Employment


ACRE Employment Services Certificate with an Emphasis on Customized Employment

Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators


Facilitated by Penn-Mar Human Services Consulting

May & June 2024 

Tuesday, 5/7 - Wednesday, 5/8 - Thursday, 5/9 - Tuesday, 5/14

Wednesday, 5/15 - Tuesday, 6/4 - Wednesday, 6/5 - Thursday, 6/6

Wednesday, 6/12 - Thursday, 6/13

All sessions are virtual from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Registration Fee: $500 Per Registrant


*Take the CESP exam at the Kennedy Krieger Conference on June 4. 2024.* To learn more, visit: Neurodiversity in the Workplace | Kennedy Krieger Institute 

DDA strongly recommends that all DDA Provider DSPs complete the

ACRE training before taking the APSE CESP exam.  DSPs and other employment service providers that successfully complete the ACRE training will be reimbursed 100 percent of the registration fee by DDA (*Conditions apply. Please see below for further information*). 

All registrants will receive the ZOOM Meeting Webinar link and access to handouts one week prior to the first ACRE training session. 


To receive a certificate an “ACRE Certificate of Achievement”, participants must attend all ten sessions (40 hours of training) and successfully complete all activities and field-based assignments.  Several field assignments include leading an employment seeker at your organization through the employment process as taught in class.

 Session 1-2 (5/7, 5/8)

Application of Core Values and Principles of Practice
This 2-day session focuses on the history, core values, and principles of Supported Employment.  This includes the rights and responsibilities of people receiving services, ethical guidelines, and philosophy of community employment, as well as disability legislation, funding, regulations, and policies impacting people with disabilities.


Session 3-5 (5/9, 5/14, 5/15)

Assessment & Career Planning
This 3-day session focuses on individualized assessment and employment/career planning.  Discovery is introduced as the foundation of career planning and participants will learn how to design and implement a discovery process for employment seekers.  This includes learning how to gather information about the employment seeker (skills, interests, community connections, conditions for success) while encouraging the employment seeker’s active participation and decision-making throughout the career planning process.  Participants will have an opportunity to complete each step of the discovery process with an employment seeker, learn how to facilitate a customized employment planning meeting, and develop a vocational profile.  Trainees will learn the basics of self-employment/entrepreneurship, the impact of wages on disability benefits, the availability of work incentives, and how to make referrals to other agencies for assistance.     


Session 6-8: (6/4, 6/5, 6/6)

Community Research & Job Development
This 3-day session provides an overview of customized employment and uses the information obtained about the employment seeker during the discovery process to create a Job Development plan.  Participants will learn how to develop relationships with businesses, assist employment seekers with the job search process, develop employment proposals, understand LEAN process improvement, and negotiate a win-win job match based on the employment seeker’s ideal conditions of employment and the needs of a business.  Participants will have an opportunity to complete each step of the job development process with an employment seeker.    


Session 9-10: (6/12, 6/13)

Workplace & Related Supports
This 2-day session focuses on developing workplace supports with an overview of systematic instruction.  Participants will learn how to do an effective job analysis, and implement job training, fading plans, and strategies for developing comprehensive workplace supports.   Participants will learn creative strategies to ensure the employee enters the job in the most inclusive manner possible and help them to maximize their job performance and meet the expectations of the workplace.

 Facilitator: Kevin Walker has over 30 years of experience with Penn-Mar Human Services, and served in various direct support, managerial, and administrative ​roles before becoming the Director of Business Development.  Kevin spearheaded Penn-Mar’s Employment 1st initiative in 2009, and for the past 7 years has provided training and technical assistance to like-minded provider organizations.  In July of 2020, Kevin assisted with the development and launch of Penn-Mar’s consulting division. 

Kevin is a Certified Workforce Incentives Practitioner and a 2020 graduate of Leadership Baltimore County.  He is a certified ACRE trainer and led the development of a Penn-Mar centric ACRE endorsed curriculum.  Kevin has been involved in ACRE projects in California, District of Columbia, Maryland, Minnesota, and Oklahoma, and is also a curriculum reviewer for ACRE.  Kevin serves as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy on the National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network (NEON) project and has provided training and technical assistance to providers in Indiana, New York, and Maryland for NEON.

 Facilitator: Tricia Zeltwanger has been employed with Penn-Mar Human Services since 1991.  Tricia held the position of Contract Manager until 2012 when she took the position as a Job Developer.  Tricia’s vital role is to connect with our community through networking and developing employer partnerships.  Tricia is a 2014 graduate of Leadership York.  She created the York Business Networking Group and has served as its President since 2015.  Tricia is an Ambassador for the York County Economic Alliance and serves on the Board of Southern York County Business Association.  Tricia trains Penn-Mar new hires on Customized Employment and is passionate about the needs and goals of each employment seeker.  Tricia has demonstrated a high level of success in placing many employment seekers in community employment.

*DDA ACRE Reimbursement*

The DDA has been committed to assisting service providers during these transition years leading up to the full implementation of the LTSSMaryland-DDA Module system and new employment services rates by reimbursing providers for the DDA-approved employment training program or certification competency test. For any staff that a current and approved provider pays for and sends to a DDA approved employment training program or certification competency test until Employment Services become effective or a provider is fully billing the fee for services in LTSSMaryland-DDA Module, the DDA will reimburse the provider for the associated fees. 

Providers will need to invoice DDA with the following information and submit to your Regional Directors: 

• Name and title of the employee 

• Name of the provider organization 

• Date(s) and location of the training

• Name of the training and training provider 

• Supporting documentation that the employee has completed the course successfully 

• For reimbursement of fees for the Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) exam through the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), provide supporting documentation that the employee has passed the exam 

• Training fees 

Please remember that anyone delivering Discovery, Job Development and Self-Employment Development supports after Employment Services are effective must have proof of competency in the best practices of Customized Employment as evidenced by completing and passing the Certified Employment Support Professional exam through the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). The cost of both the ACRE training and the CESP exam is reimbursable by DDA until the new Employment Services rates become effective or the provider is fully billing in LTSSMaryland-DDA Module.



May 7th, 2024
May 8th, 2024
May 9th, 2024
May 14th, 2024
May 15th, 2024
June 4th, 2024
June 5th, 2024
June 6th, 2024
June 12th, 2024
June 13th, 2024
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:
Training Program



A cancellation notice is required two business days in advance for a refund. To request a cancellation, please send your request to registration@mdworks.com. This payment is not deductible as a charitable contribution but may be deducted as a business expense. Please provide notice of accommodations needed two weeks in advance.
Courses have individual attendance requirements to receive a certificate. Please inquire with the trainer before missing any classes.