Document Type

Fact Sheet


University of Montana Rural Institute

Publication Date



Business ownership is an important employment option for people with disabilities, particularly those living in rural areas with few employment opportunities (Arnold, Ravesloot, & Seekins, 1995; Arnold & Seekins, 1994). Researchers at RTC:Rural began conducting research on the use of self-employment by VR agencies in 1990. Since then RTC:Rural researchers have: developed model self-employment policies and procedures for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies (Arnold & Ipsen, 2005); developed self-employment training for VR counselors in both in-person and web-based formats (Arnold, Seekins, et. al., 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004); and explored cross-agency collaborations to support self-employment ventures (Ipsen, Arnold & Colling, 2003, 2005). This remains some of the only research on self-employment for people with disabilities. To learn about research conducted outside the disability field, we conducted a rapid review of self-employment literature to identify promising practices with application to Vocational Rehabilitation service delivery. This report highlights those findings.


© 2014 RTC:Rural

Granting Agency

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research


Our research is supported by grant #H133B080023 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Dept. of Education.

Project Number