Discovery: An Alternative to Traditional Assessment

Discovery is an alternative to traditional assessments that offers the jobseeker and counselors a clear understanding of the jobseeker’s ideal characteristics of work. While the jobseeker is asked questions to gain information, the questioning is followed by observations and conversation on how the jobseeker goes about daily life. Discovery is the first step in the Customized Employment process which is designed to increase employment options for job seekers with complex needs.

The Discovery strategy uses personal exploration as a substitute for comparison-based testing procedures. It utilizes already-existing information rather than information developed through formal assessment methods. This process takes into account the applicant's entire life experiences rather than single instances of performance. It seeks to empower the job seeker with critical information on “where the job seeker is at his/her best”.

The process begins with a meeting with the applicant, and family as appropriate, at the home of the applicant. These visits, along with other discovery activities, give the individual and their family information about their powerful roles in the process and allow the providers to compile the basic information that is necessary to plan for customized employment. Discovery focuses on “ecological validity” rather than predictions based on a sampling of tasks. It is the foundation of planning for Customized Employment.

To learn more on Discovery strategies, information, and tools, refer to TACE’s archived webinar on Discovery as an Alternative to Assessment.