By Jo Hughes, Advisory Committee Member
Once upon a time, there was a child who didn’t quite develop like all the other children. She had some delays in walking, talking, and playing with blocks. Then one day the pediatrician told her parents, “there is something not quite right,” and the epic onslaught of specialists and tests began the journey of abundant uncertainty for this scared family.
This story is not unique to me or anyone else who has a child with developmental disabilities. We all start out with the greatest expectation of hope and joy for our children when they are growing inside of us or brought to us to love. Not one parent hopes and prays their child will be different or challenged in such a way to limit their life choices.
Now, its not a bad thing, really...just a DIFFERENT thing. It is like getting on a plane for Paris and landing in Holland (there is a piece written about this subject with this analogy) - Holland is fine and all...just not Paris. We make adjustments to plans all the time, and there are the joys of joys never to be seen if we had not landed in Holland...so you love, or learn to love Holland, and all that it has to offer and behold.
Fast forward 20 years and your child is about to enter the adult world...when the reality of “developmentally disabled” lends itself into a bleak future outlook for a majority of individuals.
A Special Blend was created with these people in mind.
This concept of employing developmentally disabled adults is not a heroically new concept. We have some retail establishments in our community already providing a sense of productivity that only having a job can give.
Noticed I said some....not many.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics approximately 70-85% of people with developmental disabilities are unemployed.
THIS IS AN UNACCEPTABLE STATISTIC!!!
Our goal is to provide an exceptional cup of coffee served by an exceptional group of people...we think we can make this happen.
I welcome you to follow our progress on Facebook and through our web page. We also would encourage you to support our endeavors in any way you can; spreading the word about our concept, a financial donation, or being a regular to A Special Blend when it opens.
We have nothing to lose and everything to gain....