SEED Program

A Pre-Employment Transition Services program
for transitional students age 16 to 21 in Washington State.

Have you always dreamed of being your own boss? Owning your own business? Doing freelance work? Wandke Consulting (WC) has developed a unique program to help you achieve your dreams. This program is free to qualified applicants and is funded by Washington State DVR. The first cohort of the five-month program will begin in late Spring 2022.

Wandke Consulting believes that youth with disabilities should be provided with the same opportunities as their peers. This includes the ability to follow their dreams and own their own business.

If you are a Gen Z, have a disability, and answered “yes” to any of the questions above, come explore self-employment with us and gain a better understanding of what it means to be your own boss!

Self-employment Exploration Development Program logo

Gen Z are drawn to freelancing, self- employment, and entrepreneurship due to the work-life balance associated with being your own boss.

The 2019 Census American Community Survey estimated approximately 700,000 disabled workers were self- employed.

More information:

  • The Self-Employment Exploration Development (SEED) Program by Wandke Consulting (WC) is a five-month cohort program for young adults (ages 16 through 21) interested in self-employment.
  • The cohort consists of up to twenty young adults. Weekly virtual workshops on topics relative to self-employment and on topics relative to self-advocacy. These workshops will be conducted virtually. Each workshop will include break-out groups so that attendees may work on projects and provide peer support.
  • Additionally, participants will be provided one-on-one guidance from Wandke Consulting staff throughout the program.
  • Informational interviews will assist the participant in narrowing their scope of work, matching the participant with a mentor, discussing progress with the transition specialist, and more.
  • Each participant will perform up to two site visits as they narrow the focus of their plan. These visits will allow the participant to see daily activities of a business they are interested in and to grow their support network.
  • Each participant will take part in up to two job shadows to provide experience and learn first-hand what management of their own business requires. It will also provide additional resources for their support network.
  • Each participant will be provided with up to 120 hours of work-based experience with an organization during the cohort to prepare for the participant’s solo entrepreneurship journey. Accomplishment of these hours will be dependent on the time and geographical constraints of each student and organization.
  • Developing the program around a cohort-based model provides four important benefits: community, accountability, interaction, and impact. Mentoring provides the same benefits as the cohort model to create a supportive environment. Our model is participant-driven as being an entrepreneur is a leadership role and having the participant actively engage in all aspects of the program is vital.
  • WC will conduct a survey of the participant and transition specialist (if requested) at the beginning and end of each cohort to determine the effectiveness of the program. If a participant is a vulnerable adult, WC will submit background checks through DVR for assigned mentors. Legal guardians’ permission will be obtained as needed.
  • Through this program, each participant will gain the needed self-employment knowledge to make an informed decision about their career goal, develop a community of like- minded young adults, and establish a beneficial relationship with a mentor who is an entreprenuer.
Department of Social & Health Services Transforming lives Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

These services were developed in partnership with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.