Document Type

Fact Sheet


University of Montana Rural Institute

Publication Date



Economics | Labor Economics | Social and Behavioral Sciences


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.


rural, disability, employment and vocational rehabilitation, self employment


© 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