Self Employment Options for People with Disabilities: Good Practice Review

(01 Mar 2013)

This research reviews 20 supported self employment and microenterprise programmes worldwide for people with disabilities and illness and highlights good practice principles.

The research explored whether self employment is a real option for individuals with disabilities; what types of small business people have set up and what is needed to support entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Findings demonstrate that self employment is a viable work option for people with disabilities. Although the concept of supported self employment is relatively new in Ireland, successful programmes have been running in the US and Canada for over 10 years.

The research found that the benefits of self employment, include:

• Increased range of work choices.

• Income generation.

• Community engagement, inclusion and integration.

• Enhanced self-esteem.

• Improved quality of life.

• Growing social networks.

Person-centred planning, based on individuals’ interests and skills are key to business development. Effective circles of support involving family, support staff, enterprise support, mentors and community support encourage business success.



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