Exceptional Service: Serving Coffee

Exceptional Service: Serving Coffee
November 19, 2022

What’s the story?

November 18, 2022
Inclusion is brewing: Staff with special needs run new coffee shop
by WJXT-TV Jacksonville, Florida. Graham Holdings.

Were special education students included in the story?

Probably. A greeter, not described as disabled or nondisabled, is quoted, as is the founder.

What’s in the news?

A coffee franchise called Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, which is known for inclusion of disabled people, opens in San Marco Square in the Jacksonville, Florida, area, according to Graham Media Group’s WJXT-TV.

The store has 25 disabled employees, and WJXT-TV points out is is the first job for many of them. They are paid. The coffee shop was featured on “The Today Show”, CNN, “Good Morning America”, People Magazine, and Southern Living Magazine.

Does it say “inclusion”?
“Bitty & Beau’s Coffee” is named for the founder’s disabled children, who are autistic or have Down Syndrome, according to the website. It was founded in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 2016.. (https://www.bittyandbeauscoffee.com/.)

Is it for the disabled? Or is it for the nondisabled?
According to the shop’s website, linked above, over 80% of developmentally disabled and intellectually disabled people are unemployed nationwide in the United States.

Is This the Least-Restrictive Environment?
The owner is not disabled. All positions open to all qualified people, disabled or not, would make this the Least Restrictive Environment in the business setting.
If disabled employees are paid the same as nondisabled employees, then this is LRE in the business setting. If they are paid less than a nondisabled person in the same position with the same experience, then it is a sheltered workshop.
This is the first step in the right direction.

What needs to change?
This is a step in the right direction for the companies that do hired the disabled and pay at least the minimum wage, not the subminimum wage, which I discuss in season 2 of the podcast.

Is it for a high school diploma?
This is a private business.