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May 20, 2003

Workshop focuses on self-employment for people with disabilities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Breaking New Ground Outreach Program of Purdue University will sponsor a workshop to teach individuals with disabilities skills to obtain and maintain self-employment.

This free training will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 29 at the Arthritis Foundation, 8660 Guion Road, Indianapolis.

"The social service systems for those with disabilities are complex, especially in self-employment, and can become overwhelming," said Paul Jones, Breaking New Ground Outreach Program coordinator. "This issue has come up repeatedly over the years, and people often don't have the confidence or knowledge to navigate the system. The system's safeguards many times turn into roadblocks."

David Hammis, of Griffin-Hammis Associates, will provide some of his know-how at this workshop. Hammis has more than 25 years of small business experience and is a trainer and consultant for the National Association of Small Business Development Centers. He is one of only 12 national trainers authorized by the Social Security Administration to provide certified training to contracted benefits and outreach staff.

"To have an expert like Hammis explain the system is very beneficial not only to people with disabilities seeking employment, but to those that work with the disabled," Jones said.

Training will include examples of successful small businesses and ideas, supports that contribute to business success, possible resources, business planning, social security work incentives and applications, and refining the business idea.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services counselors, Extension educators, Small Business Development Center staff, Work One office staff, job coaches/developers, social services case managers/consultants and people with disabilities are encouraged to attend.

To register, call the Breaking New Ground Outreach Program by May 27 at (800) 825-8264 or (765) 494-5088.

Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402, agnews-stories@purdue.edu

Source: Paul Jones, (765) 494-1221, jonesp@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/


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