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Self-employment an option for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Support for self-employment or business ownership is an available service option for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). While it may not be an ideal choice for everyone, self-employment is one way to achieve economic goals as a preferred path over competitive employment.
 
As in other integrated employment opportunities, the path to self-employment must utilize a person-centered, strength-based process that identifies skills, interests, preferences and talents that lead to vocational options.
 
Unlike competitive employment, self-employment requires considerations of business and feasibility planning, accounting, marketing, sales, support operations planning, and financial strategies.
 
Success stories about people who have started their own businesses are on the Internet; for example, view the video about Jeff, the owner of Doc Destruction.
 
The following websites may be helpful to those who want to start researching this employment option:
 
In addition, a group of service practitioners in Oregon have started the Oregon Supported Self-Employment Network (OSSEN). OSSEN’s email is: OSSENetwork@gmail.com.