Document Type

Research Progress Report


University of Montana Rural Institute

Publication Date



Economics | Labor Economics | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Self-employment provides a variety of advantages including flexible hours, ability to work from home, an outlet for creativity, and a job that capitalizes on one’s interests and talents (Clark & Kays, 1999). According to the 1990 United States Census, people with disabilities choose self-employment at a higher rate than people without disabilities (12.2% vs. 7.8%). The 1998 Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act contains language that strengthens self-employment as a viable and expected Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) outcome. Likewise, Small Business Administration (SBA) initiatives which impact Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) contain similar goals of enhancing self-employment service delivery for people with disabilities (SBA, 2000). While SBDC and VR agencies are both charged with providing self-employment services to people with disabilities, the two agencies have different areas of expertise. SBDCs are versed in the intricacies of starting a business, including marketing, operations, and financial planning. VR counselors are experienced in serving individuals with disabilities and have discretionary resources that can be used for vocational training or business start-up costs.


employment and vocational rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, small business development, rural, disability


© RTC: Rural 2002.

Granting Agency

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research


This research is supported by grant #H133B70017-01 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education.

Project Number