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Disabled Entrepreneurs

Self-employment pushed as option for the disabled

The nonemployment rate of adults with severe disabilities is around 70 percent, according to the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities. Now there is a growing movement to prepare these Americans for self-employment. Several new resources available include:

Alice Weiss Doyel's book, No More Job Interviews! Self-Employment Strategies for People With Disabilities (Training Resource Network Inc.), gives potential entrepreneurs a one-stop resource. In addition to case studies of business owners with disabilities, the book provides resources, debunks the myths about the business capabilities of the disabled, and offers information on available consulting services.

In Irvine, California, the Self-Employment of the Enterprising Disabled Institute (S.E.E.D.) has created an online home-study program at www.seedinstitute.org designed to help people with disabilities start businesses at their own pace. S.E.E.D. is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals start businesses and find funding. In addition to online instruction, the institute offers individualized assistance from business counselors. While charges range from $10 to $35 per hour, S.E.E.D. offers scholarships to help defray the cost.

The agency primarily serves Southern California, but officials do provide referrals to other organizations nationwide that offer similar services. Call (949) 752-8834.

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Disabled Entrepreneurs.

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