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Self-Employment for Individuals with Disabilities: General – Factsheet

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Key Facts:

Fact 1:

State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) programs help individuals with disabilities, by providing VR services “to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment consistent with the applicant’s unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice” (see Assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services 34 CFR 361.42), to maximize career goals and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Fact 2:

Self-employment is more common for people with disabilities. Specifically, the rate of self-employment is almost 2 times higher among people with a disability than among those who do not have a disability.
People with disabilities are self-starters. 11% are self-employed, compared to 6 percent of those with no disability. - Source: The U.S. Department of Labor

Fact 3:

The average wage for those self-employed is about 10% higher than those working for someone else.

Fact 4:

Self-employment may be more beneficial for individuals with disabilities than competitive employment, due to flexibility of scheduling; control over work environment, coworkers, and collaborators; opportunity for career development, success, asset building, and self-sufficiency; allowing fluctuations in income for those receiving SSA benefits, reducing transportation and accessibility issues, earning higher hourly wages, and experiencing positive social and psychological benefits associated with self-employment.

Fact 5:

Research suggests that several geographical, organizational, and personal factors are associated with self-employment for individuals with disabilities.
Proactive personality and entrepreneurial self-efficacy were significant predictors of entrepreneurial intentions. (Castillo & Fischer, 2019, P. 35)

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