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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

"People With Disabilities Embrace Entrepreneurship"
February 5, 2003

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY--''People with disabilities are self-employed at higher rates than people without disabilities,'' says Nancy Arnold, a researcher with the University of Montana's Rural Institute on Disabilities, who tracks trends among entrepreneurs that have disabilities.

Arnold quoted census data showing that twelve percent of working age people with disabilities were self-employed in 1990, compared with just 8 percent among the overall work force.

Self-employment has become more of an option for people with disabilities who want to work, in part because of the flexibility and independence it allows, Arnold told the Courier Journal.

Still, starting a new business is a challenge for anybody. And having a disability does not mean any guarantees.

"So it's not like if you're disabled, you can go out there and say, 'OK, I want a business loan,'" said Lisa Harris, the owner of a florist shop who used a home equity loan, a small business loan and a grant from the state Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to get her business started.

"People with disabilities embrace entrepreneurship" (Courier Journal)
Rural Institute on Disabilities (University of Montana)


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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.