Because accommodating individual disabilities is not always something that can be accomplished in the traditional workplace, self-employment offers a real alternative for entrepreneurs with disabilities. The flexibility of being able to set one’s own hours and adjust the physical workspace opens up new possibilities to those with marketable skills and talents and the determination to succeed.
Easter Seals Wisconsin’s Self-Employment Services and its partners help such clients develop and evaluate their business ideas according to both business feasibility and issues presented by their disability. Self-employment specialists work one-on-one with each entrepreneur, discussing the appropriateness of self-employment and evaluating the suitability of the business idea. Together, step by step, the specialist and the entrepreneur create a business plan. The specialist also connects the client with community resources and helps adapt them to address the client’s needs.
The number of business planning services provided by Easter Seals almost doubled in the past year. And with the addition of a planned new component to the Self-Employment Services program – Business Plan Resources and Support – more expansion is expected.
The complexity of case work has also increased. Because of our reputation for success, staff have seen a shift to more requests for business planning service and a decrease in referrals for assessments and feasibility studies. This results in staff providing a higher level and more complex type of service; one which takes more time to complete.