Disability Owned Business Enterprise Certification
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In 2013, Mayor Ballard and the City-County Council of Indianapolis and Marion County partnered to pass the Disability Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE) Certification ordinance, which establishes a 1 percent utilization goal of businesses owned by persons with disabilities in all city and county contracts. People with disabilities experience a 45 percent gap, regardless of education level, in employment rates when compared to individuals without disabilities and have traditionally not been steered toward entrepreneurship. The purpose of the DOBE Certification Program is to provide economic opportunities for business owners with disabilities as well as to incentivize people with disabilities to start their own businesses.

The DOBE Certification program affords individuals with disabilities the opportunity to become economically self-sufficient. Modeled after existing minority, women and veteran owned supplier diversity programs, DOBE certification is administered through the Office of Disability Affairs (IODA) and the City of Indianapolis Department of Minority​and Women Business Development (DMWBD) to create and promote an inclusive culture for business opportunities, economic growth and sustainability for diverse business enterprises.


The first step of the DOBE certification process requires completion of a Disability Affidavit form provided by IODA. Once that process is successfully completed, applicants who have not done so previously must submit a Certification Application form to DMWBD and receive certification approval. If your business is interested in becoming a DOBE certified business and you would like to receive a Disability Affidavit form please contact Greg Fehribach, City of Indianapolis ADA legal counsel, by phone at 317-638-2400 or by email at gfehribach@thefehribachgroup.com. 


  1. Employees with disabilities can ease concerns about the labor supply.
  2. People with disabilities have equal or higher performance ratings, higher retention rates and lower absenteeism.
  3. Employees with disabilities can relate better to customers with disabilities, who represent $1 trillion in annual aggregate consumer spending.
  4. Diverse work groups can create better solutions to business challenges.
  5. People with disabilities are better educated then ever, and are proven to have met and/or exceeded challenges.
  6. A person with a disability motivates work groups and increases productivity.
  7. Companies that hire people with disabilities in their workplaces can receive tax breaks.
  8. Employing people with disabilities is good for the individual, the business, and society. This is a “win-win-win” strategy.
  9. People with disabilities are motivated by the desire to give something back, and opportunities for personal growth, job flexibility, and social inclusion.
  10. Its ability, not disability, that counts.​