seal  Purdue News

July 16, 2003

Workshop focuses on self-employment for people with disabilities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Breaking New Ground Outreach Program of Purdue University will sponsor two workshops to show how people with disabilities can obtain and maintain self-employment.

The free training sessions, called Self-Employment Training for People with Disabilities, will take place on July 29 and Sept. 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arthritis Foundation, 8660 Guion Road, Indianapolis.

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.

"For those that already have a business, this program can give them a different way of looking at their business," said Steve Swain, Breaking New Ground's rural rehabilitation specialist. "For those that would like to start a business and don't know where to begin, they will have the opportunity to gather ideas and develop a business plan."

David Hammis, of Griffin-Hammis Associates, will share some of his know-how. 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.

"Being a trainer, Hammis knows the Social Security Administration and the Vocational Rehabilitation systems inside and out," Swain said. "His knowledge of the specifics will help participants reduce the start-up time for a new business."

Hammis is available for one-on-one consultation during and after the workshops to help participants develop their business plans.

Topics to be discussed include rural supports that contribute to business and/or employment success, resource ownership, available resources, person-centered business planning, refining the business idea and an introduction to business planning steps.

To register for the July 29 session, call the Breaking New Ground Outreach Program by July 25 at (800) 825-4264 or (765) 494-5088. Registration for the Sept. 16 session ends Sept. 12.

Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402,

Source: Steve Swain, (765) 494-5088,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

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