The Disabled Community is Creating Their own Path Through Self Employment

Written by Andrej Kovačević

It’s estimated that about 20 percent of Australians are living with some type of disability. While Australia has taken some steps to address the needs of the disabled, there is still more work to be done, especially in the world of business. Perhaps this is the reason many folks with disabilities are starting to see a great option in self-employment.

Is self-employment the only way?

Australia has been trying their best to address the concerns of the disability community. Laws have passed and programs initiated to try to help this community.

There are some wonderful disability services offered to qualifying individuals, but unfortunately this community faces many hurdles. 

Numerous studies show that people with disabilities continue to deal with discrimination in the workplace and education system. This is a double-edged sword that prevents many disabled individuals from making a living. This is the reason some disabled Australians are forging their own path forward through entrepreneurship.

What’s Attractive About Self Employment?

There are many reasons why people with disabilities turn to self employment. After being shut out from opportunities, some may feel this is the only option, but that’s not the only reason. The reality is self employment offers several perks that people with disabilities gravitate to.

For example,self employment grants people with disabilities flexibility. Many disabled people deal with specific issues that can make life a little unpredictable. Regular jobs thrive on predictability, which is something some disabled individuals may not be able to give with certainty.

This creates a problem that only self employment can fix. Sure, there may be a few companies out there who offer degrees of flexibility, but finding these companies can take some time. A person with a disability knows what they need to function. Many businesses are unable or unwilling to meet these needs, unfortunately.

If the small business is led by someone with a disability, then that person knows what he or she needs to thrive. They’ll invest in the equipment and technology that’ll help them run their business smoother. Businesses may have their hearts in the right place but might still have blind spots that only a person with a disability can see.

Disabled people can make great employers for other disabled people, and are capable of running inclusive companies. They may know what others need to succeed or to lead a better life, and they can work hard to create businesses that offer some of those products or services. This is a community that is severely undervalued and underserviced.


It’s clear that disabled people have a lot to fight against even in Australia. They are forging their own entrepreneurial paths because no adequate options have been offered by the mainstream.

As more businesses open up that have leaders with disabilities, new paths might be solidified. Maybe these leaders will inspire change and help policymakers make more informed decisions to create a national business landscape that’s a lot more welcoming.

Hopefully, this information makes it easier to see why people with disabilities are doing their own thing. Maybe things will change in the future as awareness continues to rise and as voters continue to demand more equality, because everyone deserves equal footing in business.

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About the author


Andrej Kovačević

Andrej Kovačević is the head of production at Melbourne based, independent digital agency, Amebae Online. Andrej's favourite topics to read and write about include marketing and the ever-changing landscape of Fintech.