Idaho State Policies & Resources
Idaho VR Policy Summary on Self-Employment:
The primary goal of the IDVR is to assist the customer in attaining a suitable competitive employment outcome that results in financial self-sufficiency. Self-Employment is one option that may be considered to assist the customer in selecting a vocational goal. The impediment created by the customer’s disability must be addressed in the overall comprehensive assessment leading up to Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE). The successful self-employment enterprise is operated by a participant who can demonstrate an array of skills and abilities, including; organization, business and financial management, marketing and other talents, as well as, knowledge and expertise in the goods or services being produced. These may be accomplished through natural supports or other resources and would need to be included in the self-employment plan. It is essential that the participant is well informed of potential risks and that efforts are made to minimize those risks. A vocational evaluation/career exploration may be used as a method of assisting the customer and VRC in deciding if self-employment is a possible viable option. Vocational evaluators have a variety of instruments, work samples, inventories and other strategies to use in providing feedback and information related to self-employment.
There may be a need for VR services prior to a commitment from IDVR on a self-employment plan. It could be appropriate for IDVR to assist a customer in services, such as training needed for certain skills or business knowledge before the decision is made by the customer and VRC to pursue the development of a business plan. IDVR values appropriate self-employment as a viable vocational outcome. Self-employment is presented by the VRC within the repertoire of vocational options and may be considered by customers and VRCs as they work toward the development of an appropriate vocational goal. IDVR supports active, not passive or speculative, self-employment goals.
Idaho State Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Policy Summary on Self-Employment:
The following activities will be required for all self-employment goals. Each of these activities should be documented in case record:
1) Assessment of the client’s appropriateness for self-employment;
2) Training and technical assistance;
3) Development of a business plan.
The assessment requirements are designed to measure the client's capacity for self-employment. The assessment also considers ways to accommodate the client's disability and determines whether the individual will need additional support services to perform the tasks required by the business. The feasibility requirements involve determining if there is a need for the business, as well as whether the business has been test-marketed. The business’s location, customer base, and potential competition are also examined, as recent industry trends. The required business plan does not have to follow a specific format but should include an executive summary, a business description, a management team, market analysis, a marketing plan, an operational plan, financial data, and supporting documents.
The Idaho State Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired may provide up to $3000 toward Self-Employment Plans that can include any materials, inventories, tools, and/or equipment required for the self-employment start up. This maximum does not include: Small business consultation fees, technical training and education and any computers, software, assistive technology, aides or appliances.
Idaho Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired VR Policy Manual (see pp 50)
Idaho State Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired may provide up to $5,000 toward start-up costs for a business venture that leads to self-sufficiency. They may provide up to $2,500 for business ventures intended to supplement other income without leading to self-sufficiency. The following table lists the client’s match requirements based on the amount of VR funding.
The following downloadable PDF contains statewide self-employment resources and links for people with disabilities.