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Supporting Self-Employment in Vocational Rehabilitation: VR Counselors – Factsheet

Ask a Question / Leave a Comment Community Agencies, Factsheet, Persons with Disabilities or Family members, State VR Administrators, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, VRTAC-QE

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Key Facts:

Fact 1:

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended cites self-employment, telecommuting, and establishing a small business as appropriate employment outcomes.

Fact 2:

Services can be provided in many areas:

  • Technical Assistance
  • Consultation services to conduct market analysis, develop business plans, and provide resources
  • Funding entrepreneurial/self-employment training
  • Connecting with advisors and mentors, marketing, management, and specialized topics

Fact 3:

Despite the legislative efforts to promote it, self-employment outcomes in vocational rehabilitation comprise a small percentage of case closures (compared to national self-employment rates of persons with disabilities at 10%).
Self-employment Case Closure Rates in State VR
1997
Not considered competitive closure
2005
1.7%
2019
0.17%

Fact 4:

Self-employment for individuals with disabilities may be a logical alternative for many reasons including:

  • More flexibility in scheduling and work hours (can address health issues)
  • Allowing accommodations without the need for disclosure
  • Direct control over the work environment, coworkers, and collaborators
  • Greater opportunity for career development, success, asset building, and self-sufficiency
  • Allowing for greater fluctuations in income for those receiving benefits through the Social Security Administration
  • Allowing individuals to remain close to their established support network
  • Reducing environmental barriers to employment such as transportation and accessibility issues
  • Earning significantly higher hourly wages
  • Positive social-psychological benefits

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