After difficulty in attracting employment from others, followed by three business attempts in the early 1970’s, Urban Miyares sought assistance from vocational rehabilitation with his entrepreneurial dream. ”Get your head out of the sand; being a business owner is not realistic, especially with only having a high school diploma and your medical diagnosis,” commented the vocational rehabilitation counselor.
Then, there was no information or assistance available for a disabled Vietnam veteran, especially a chronically ill veteran, on how-to return to work through self-employment and business ownership. Frustrated, Urban vowed to, one day, assist others with disabilities explore business ownership as a way to enter the workforce, but knew he first had to prove it was possible.
“If anyone was going to hire me, it was going to be ME.” – Urban Miyares
After launching a number of ventures and achieving success, in 1985 Urban Miyares fulfilled his promise by assisting three disabled veterans –– a quadriplegic, paraplegic and low vision veteran. This the beginning of a national, pilot program to assist disabled veterans interested in starting or already in business.
The initial plan to serve up to 25 disabled veterans, with an out-of-pocket expense under $25,000 yearly. Before the third year, disabled veterans served exceeded all prior goals, as word spread nationwide. With the growing demand for services, including requests by non-veterans and state vocational rehabilitation agencies, in October 1991, the Disabled Businesspersons Association (DBA) formed as an educational 501(c)3 non-formal membership, public charity.
DBA Fiscal Year: September 1 to August 31.
IRS Tax-Exempt Number: 33-0484461
DBA’s volunteer-driven staff includes entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals with disabilities sharing their expertise through educational programs and services, collaborating with vocational rehabilitation specialists, educators, and business advisors guiding the enterprising disabled.
The DBA’s focus is individuals with severe and significant physical, mobility, communication, and/or psychological disabilities, working (in tandem) with their advisors, counselors, and/or partners to achieve successful employment outcomes.
Mailing (Administrative) Address:
Disabled Businesspersons Association (DBA)
@ San Diego State University – Interwork Institute
6367 Alvarado Court, Suite 350
San Diego, California 92120
Board of Directors:
- The DBA currently has seven (7) board of directors, from a wide variety of backgrounds and professional careers.
- No residency or medical requirements to be a member of the DBA board of directors.
Sample of the many Recognitions & Honors of/in the DBA:
- Presidential Point of Light” Award (President George H. W. Bush);*
- SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) “National Veteran Small Business advocate of the Year”;
- President Bill Clinton appointee to The White House Conference on Small Business;
- S. Congressional Black Caucus “Veteran BrainTrust Award”;
- Magazine, Ernst & Young, Merrill Lynch “Entrepreneur Of The Year” Award;
- Acton Institute’s “Samaritan Award”;
- Listed in “The Guide to Effective Compassion” as one of the Nation’s 100 Top – most effective and compassionate — charities;
- “California Veteran Small Business” Award by California Governor Pete Wilson;
Vision, Goals & Mission
- VISION: Establish an international distance-learning educational center and Clearinghouse on/for challenged entrepreneurship.
- Identify the next generation of leaders to guide the DBA.
- Attract the financial resources to reach our Vision.
- To conduct, host or collaborate with others, nationwide on Entrepreneur Conferences , Business Fairs & Educational Programs.
- Offer credentials as a “Vocational Rehabilitation Self-Employment Specialist.”
- Offer credentials as a “Disability Entrepreneurial Advisor/Coach.”
- Develop a business curriculum in schools, grades 7 to 12 for students with Special Needs.
- Achieve an active, non-formal DBA membership of 1,000 by 2025.
Prior to the formation of the Disabled Businesspersons Association (DBA) in 1985, there were no known sources for self-employment or business ownership information and assistance – as an employment option — for disabled veterans or others with disabilities, especially those having severe and catastrophic medical challenges.
Mission/Purpose: The DBA is dedicated to advancing vocational rehabilitation and enhancing the competitive performance of the enterprising disabled in the workplace.