05 Jun 5 Great Companies That Employ Adults With Special Needs
Adults with special needs are fully capable of living full lives with friends, hobbies, and careers. While there are still many people who do not understand this, more and more companies have found that employing adults with special needs can benefit their company while providing a rewarding career path for said adults. Below are some of the best companies that employ adults with special needs.
Bitty and Beaus Coffee
CNN’s Hero of the Year for 2017 is Amy Wright, founder and CEO of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee. More than a cup of coffee, this shop almost exclusively hires adults with special needs. Two of Wright’s children, Beau and Bitty, have Down syndrome. Upon learning that many adults with special needs have a hard time finding employment, she decided to do something about it. Now, the coffee shop hires people with a range of special needs.
In 2012, financial giant Freddie Mac partnered with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to create an internship specifically designed for adults on the spectrum. The company has since found that these individuals offer unique perspectives. Furthermore, many of the interns have come on the team in full-time positions and have found fulfilling careers with the company.
Microsoft has made a concerted effort to have more inclusive hiring practices. The tech super company has the disAbility Employee Resource Group of over 10 employee networks. These groups advocate for employees with special needs and believes that special needs make Microsoft stronger.
Walgreens works with the Transitional Group Program and the Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative to provide an inclusive work environment for all people, regardless of their abilities. The drugstore chain treats its employees with special needs the same as its typically-abled employees. Furthermore, the company ensures the same pay for adults with special needs.
Walgreens has seen real business benefits from this strategy. The retail giant found that adults with special needs do well in this career and truly help the business thrive. Not only do these adults perform as well or better than their peers, but they also have lower turnover rates and fewer at-work injuries.
Easter Seals is proud to work with adults with special needs, veterans, and elderly workers in a variety of ways. In fact, the company provides Workforce Development Services that helps 70,000 adults with special needs find fulfilling and rewarding careers. In this program, adults with special needs can meet with career advisors; get help with job placement, and more.
The Easter Seals program is also great for young adults who are facing the transition from school to life outside the public school system. The Transition Services help with the social, financial, employment, and academic aspects of moving from school to “the real world.”
More to Come
At Pathways of Pennsylvania, we believe that every individual has a right to lead a meaningful and positive life. Unfortunately, adults with special needs have often found it hard to establish a career due to misconceptions about adults with developmental disabilities. However, the tides are starting to change. With companies like these and many more, adults of all abilities can live better lives and have the dignity of work.
Pathways of Pennsylvania has been serving communities in Pennsylvania since 1981. Every individual has a right to lead a meaningful and positive life, and we are changing lives, one day at a time. Pathways of Pennsylvania is comprised of four companies: Children’s Behavioral Health, Inc., Pathways Community Services, LLC, Raystown Developmental Services, Inc., and The ReDCo Group, Inc.