Oklahoma State Policies & Resources
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
Policy Summary on Self-Employment:
Oklahoma DRS has two self-employment programs: Contract labor where the individual has a contract or on-going business to provide a specific product or service for a fee, or self-employment where the individual owns, manages and operates a business for the purpose of making a profit. Self-employment ranges from sole proprietorships and independent contractors to multi-employee companies and independent franchises. The Business Enterprise Program (BEP) falls under this category and operates under the Randolph-Sheppard Act.
When an individual expresses interest in a self-employment outcome, the Counselor determines that the self-employment venture will be the primary source of income for the individual; the venture is consistent with the individual’s unique characteristics and is an informed choice; and the individual is willing to complete a comprehensive assessment to document that he/she has the academic, communication and managerial skills and resources to operate their own business. This assessment is conducted by the Career Center. The individual must complete a self-evaluation via a workbook before he/she will be considered for self-employment. The Counselor may also use other small business development agencies to assist with this assessment.
Once considered a candidate for self-employment, the individual must submit a comprehensive business plan. The Counselor will refer the individual to the local Small Business Development Center for assistance in writing the plan. The plan must contain a thorough description of the proposed business, the business objectives, a market analysis, a marketing plan, a financial management plan complete with personal financial sheets and projected expenses and income for two years, a listing of the specific type and amount of assistance being requested, and information regarding insurance coverage. All business plans are reviewed by the Program Manager.
The Agency may fund up to $10,000.00 for an approved business venture. This assumes that the Counselor has determined that the individual has personal resources to contribute including any required financial participation. With Supervisor/Field Coordinator approval, funding may exceed the $10,000.00 but for only 50% of the total plan cost above $10,000.00.
While supported self-employment is not specifically mentioned, it is noted that some individuals might need on-going supports or services and the counselor should assist the individual finding these needed supports.
The following downloadable PDF contains statewide self-employment resources and links for people with disabilities.