In the Know: Self-Employment for People with Disabilities
In the Know is a bi-monthly feature on the LEAD Center blog that will highlight important resources and information about the employment, policy and economic advancement of people with disabilities. To find even more useful resources, visit the LEAD Center Resource Center.
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Like countless Americans, many in the disability community dream of the day they open their own business and start working as their own boss. Unfortunately, however, entrepreneurs with disabilities face obstacles and hurdles other small business owners do not.
In that spirit the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy established the Self-Employment Technical Assistance, Resources and Training (START-UP) self-employment program to help identify policies and practices in place that make it difficult for people with disabilities to open their own business and support them in becoming self-employed.
This 2013 report highlights START-UP programs in three states and makes recommendations to ensure entrepreneurs with disabilities can achieve their dream of owning their own business.
It concludes that, "Even though they faced multiple barriers within their states, all three states exceeded their expectations regarding the number of entrepreneurs who would start businesses. Overall, the states had varied levels of success in developing a self-employment infrastructure and increasing capacity for serving potential entrepreneurs with disabilities."