_Making Self-Employment Work for People with Disabilities_ is a timely resource and guidebook for planning and starting successful small businesses based on the individual interests and capabilities of people with significant or long-term disabilities.
Our sons and daughters with special needs will be as interested as their mainstream peers in earning money and finding employment as they grow into adulthood. Those who have benefitted from universal design in learning environments and recreational activities or person centered planning in creating IEPs, extracurricular activities, family life and social networks may expect no less in making plans for their lives in the working world.
For many teens and young adults, transition programs in high school or finding a job coach or job vendor beyond graduation may introduce them to their first opportunities to express preferences, present their own interests, skills and talents, and to be consulted about their goals and dreams. They and their families may be amazed, dismayed or confused about the opportunities that vocational counselors and job coaches suggest are available for them in their communities.
Supported employment, variations on what used to be known as sheltered workshops, volunteer opportunities, temporary, seasonal or informal work situations may each be available through publicly-funded non-profits or private businesses that assist teens and young adults with disabilities to find jobs.
Self-employment through the start of a small business is now more than ever a viable alternative for individuals with developmental disabilities, chronic health conditions, physical challenges or other significant special needs. Making Self-Employment Work is a book that has practical information and advice on every aspect of planning, establishing and supporting people with a variety of disabilities in their own small business while protecting access to government programs and healthcare that could be affected by income and assets generated through self-employment.
Adults with significant disabilities who have found satisfaction through self-employment in their own small businesses serve as role models and mentors through the stories offered in this book. The authors are sensitive and respectful toward the individuals whose successes illuminate our son's and daughter's future possibilities.
Where self-employment is more complicated for individuals with disabilities, Making Self-Employment Work provides examples on how to work out the details. Much of the advice offered is the same sound business planning that results in successful ventures for others in the community. Forms and checklists are available in an appendix that may be scanned or photocopied as worksheets. I would recommend that families keep a copy of this book at home and that it be added to the library of every school counselor, job coach, transition specialist and vocational rehabilitation professional.
Browse at your local bookstore, public library, or online retailer for Making Self Employment Work for People with Disabilities or Job Coaching Strategies: A Handbook for Supported Employment
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Portrait of a Young Man with Down Syndrome
A father reflects on his son's search for employment