Making Self-Employment Work for People with Disabilities, Second Edition
Special Education
Your step-by-step guide to helping adults with disabilities get a small business off to a strong start—now updated with a new and improved assessment approach, the latest on policy and online opportunities, and more.
Contains Companion Materials
74036 978-1-59857-403-6
2014 288
Available Stock

As self-employment becomes a viable option for more and more adults with significant disabilities, give them realistic, practical guidance and support with the NEW edition of this popular guidebook. Updated with a new and improved assessment approach, more self-employment success stories, and the latest on policy changes and online opportunities, this book is your step-by-step guide to helping adults with disabilities get a small business off to a strong start. You’ll discover the nuts and bolts of person-centered business planning, and you'll get concrete, step-by-step strategies for every aspect, from business plans to marketing to finances. A must-have resource for employment specialists, transition professionals, and individuals with disabilities and their families, this book is the go-to guide for turning a small business into a big success.

  • discover their "personal genius" with a new assessment approach
  • build a thorough and professional business plan based on their goals and interests
  • successfully finance their small business using multiple revenue sources
  • market their business, from defining customers to advertising in a variety of media
  • maintain their benefits while navigating financial and social security systems
  • make the most of valuable support from rehabilitation personnel, vocational counselors, school transition staff, and community programs

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Photocopiable planning worksheets, case studies that clearly illustrate the "how" of successful self-employment, and an annotated list of websites with vital information for small business owners.

  • New, field-tested "Discovering Personal Genius" assessment approach
  • Up-to-date ideas on using social media and technology to develop and market a business
  • Completely revised information on person-centered business planning
  • Updated information about online business opportunities
  • Current policy information, including critical updates on Social Security
  • New success stories from across the country
  • More references to websites and web-based resources and information
About the Reproducible Forms
About the Authors
Foreword Paul Wehman
  1. Self-Employment as a Mainstream Approach to Adult Life
  2. Person-Centered Business Planning: Discovering Personal Genius
  3. Business Feasibility
  4. Building the Business Plan
  5. Marketing and Sales Tactics
  6. Small Business and Social Security Income Benefits Analysis
  7. Small Business Finance and Small Business Owners with Disabilities
Appendix A Reproducible Forms
Appendix B Business Feasibility Resources


Be the first to submit a review on this product!
Review and Rate this Item


Debbie Gilmer, Executive Director, Syntiro, Orono, Maine - January 29, 2014
“The brilliant Griffin-Hammis team has once again provided us with the ‘field guide’ to customizing employment for all folks with disabilities! It should be a staple for everyone interested in Employment First!”
Cynthia Owens, Parent and Employment/Transition Specialist with the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities - January 29, 2014
“Thank heavens for this publication! A book that can really help you navigate the system of social security and create your own business. Well written and understandable information.”
Kathie Snow, Disability Is Natural, San Antonio, Texas - January 29, 2014
“Banishes the myth of sub-minimum wage, lifelong ‘entry level’ jobs, and other pseudo employment ‘opportunities’ for individuals with disabilities as the norm. Self-employment and running a business can be the joyful and prosperous reality!”
James Schmeling, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Institute for Veterans and Military Families - January 28, 2014
“An excellent reference and how-to on self-employment that considers the unique strengths, capacities, and abilities of people with disabilities . . . Our programs have used these principles to the great success of our alumni.”
Joe Longcor, Employment Consultant, Michigan Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration - January 28, 2014
“Provided the cornerstone of developing self-employment initiatives and successful small businesses across Michigan by people with developmental disabilities as well as individuals with serious mental illness.”
Laurie Ford, Director TACE Northwest, Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation, University of Washington - January 27, 2014
“Job developers and vocational rehabilitation counselors have many strengths – but knowing how to help people with disabilities become successful entrepreneurs calls for a whole different skill set. Thankfully, we have “Making Self Employment Work” to guide the planning process and offer a range of implementation strategies as well as tips on marketing, financing, and record keeping. The book is a wonderful resource for encouraging consideration of this underutilized and approach to independence for people with all kinds of employment barriers.”
Jeffrey Strully, Executive Director, Jay Nolan Community Services, Los Angeles, California - January 27, 2014
“In order to achieve inclusion in community life, people with disabilities need to make money. There is a difference between being a real consumer—where you can purchase things, go places, do what you want—and just using the word ‘consumer,’ which has no real meaning. This book is part of that solution. No simple tricks or magic, but some good solutions to difficult problems.”
Laura Owens, Executive Director, APSE; Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - January 13, 2014
“Filled with examples, worksheets, checklists, and resources . . . an invaluable resource for anyone working with individuals interested in self-employment.”
Richard Luecking, TransCen, Inc. - January 6, 2014
“An indispensable resource for those who wish to pursue self-employment as well as for those who are in a position to support this pursuit.”
Elaine Katz, Senior Vice President, Program Center, Kessler Foundation - January 6, 2014
“Stands alone among self-employment guides by providing concrete business planning advice, definitions and worksheets tailored specifically for people with disabilities, their families and field professionals.”
Edward Spauster, CEO Richmond Community Services - January 6, 2014
“A smart, well-written book . . . convinces the reader that self-employment is not only possible but completely doable.”
J. Erin Riehle, Director of Disability Services and Project SEARCH, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center - January 2, 2014
“People with disabilities deserve the full continuum of employment options. This book provides the insights and guidance needed to make self-employment a successful reality for those who choose this path.”
Peter Gerhardt, Partner, JPG Autism Consulting; Founding Chair, Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) - January 2, 2014
“User-friendly, research-based, and cognizant of the myriad challenges associated with any start-up business . . . essential reading for anyone interested in supporting adults with disabilities to be included, involved, and contributing members of their community.”
Rick Rader, Director, Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center, Orange Grove Center, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Board, American Association on Health and Disability, editor in chief, Exceptional Parent Magazine - December 6, 2013
“The dignity of risk" is one of the hallmarks of the disability movement. Self-employment of people with disabilities is among the highest risk domains but potentially the most rewarding and self fulfilling. Meaningful, authentic employment has health benefits equal to diet, exercise and other positive lifestyles; for that reason alone self employment for those interested in demonstrating their "personal genius" should be encouraged, explored and promoted. This is the definitive volume that will help guide, develop and navigate the incubation of a small enterprise by a person with a disability. It's invaluable and should be part of the disability toolbox.”
This product has additional material available on the Brookes Download Hub.
  • more than a dozen blank reproducible planning worksheets
  • more than a dozen sample completed planning worksheetss

Visit the Download Hub for a preview of what's available.
This product has additional material available on the Brookes Download Hub.
  • more than a dozen blank reproducible planning worksheets
  • more than a dozen sample completed planning worksheets

Visit the Download Hub for a preview of what's available.