To expand community awareness of self-employment as an option for people with disabilities.
To collaborate with the Workforce Development System and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to increase the use of self-employment for Alaskans with disabilities.
To increase use of existing resources such as the UAA Small Business Development Center, YWCA, Women's Fund, SBA. etc. by Alaskans with disabilities.
To help entrepreneurs identify capital resources for business start up.
To address barriers to employment, such as the potential loss of Social Security Benefits, by linking with certified Benefits Analysts.
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UAA Center for Human Development
2702 Gambell St. Suite 103
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Ph: (907) 272-8270
1 (800) 243-2199
TTY: (907) 264-6206
Fax: (907) 274-4802
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Self-employment or micro-business ownership, has the potential to reduce poverty and to improve the standard of living for our nation's largest minority group – people with disabilities. While the unemployment rate for people with disabilities remains above 70%, self-employment is booming. Twenty million Americans work in home-based businesses and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics individuals with disabilities are self-employed at a higher rate than the general population (11% versus 7%, respectively).
Low expectations and stereotypes regarding the self-employment potential of people with disabilities has limited the use of this option. Additional barriers are the fear of losing benefits, lack of technical assistance, and limited access to capital. Demonstration projects in other states have shown that when resources and training were directed toward these barriers, micro-business success rates followed. When the business matches the owner's preferences, interests, and talents, the result has been sustained and personally rewarding employment.
If you have business ideas, plans, or suggestions that we can use to help motivated individuals move into self-employment and financial independence, we would love to hear from you.