According to the U.S. BLS, in 2020 17.9% of persons with disabilities were employed versus 61.8% of persons without disabilities. Having more than 80% of the disabled community unemployed is a fact that cannot be ignored. Our nonprofit, Every 1 Can Work, through Cameron’s Coffee and Chocolates, strives to make a difference in this need by giving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) employment opportunities. This opportunity ultimately gives them the platform to be an important part of our society and establish work ethic, responsibility and growth towards better independence. It is crucial that we provide this opportunity for employment because our employees are of no lesser significance in our society. In our lives we strive to be independent, accomplished, recognized, and have ownership and this is no different within the IDD community. Community is at the core of what our employees with IDD focus on; sharing responsibility with all tasks, responsible for the same duties, and adapting to each individual's ability. We also engage in the larger community by taking on catering jobs, participating in events such as local events and festivals, fruit picking to make jams, weekly planned grocery trips, and donation of baked goods to the homeless shelter.
Since opening our doors in the fall of 2013, our 501c3 nonprofit has employed over 40 participants throughout the years. We provide open-ended employment and program participation. Open-ended employment gives them the chance for constant growth. Our program is tailored to the individual. Each employee has their own ISP (Individual Service Plan), wherein goals are established monthly, quarterly, and yearly. It is our main focus to help them become the best that they can be by focusing our program on teaching life skills in areas of math, budgeting, reading comprehension, writing, speech, conversations, public transportation and safety.
“When you ask a parent of a child with a disability what they want for their future, they will tell you the same things they want for all their children. To be happy, feel valued, be part of their community and have a meaningful job that fulfills them and continues with opportunities to be lifelong learners. This is what my daughter, Maddie, has found working at Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates for the past 8 years. With this experience, she has grown into a young woman who is proud of her many accomplishments and wakes up every morning with purpose. She has developed quite a skill set working alongside her coworkers.” Tana