Down Syndrome In The Workplace – Companies That Employ Individuals With Down Syndrome

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As I wrap up this campaign, I was so impressed by all the amazing entrepreneurs or individuals with Down Syndrome that own a business or are working at a meaningful job that I shared with you.

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I am also very impressed by all the companies/nonprofits that are helping adults with Down syndrome find jobs, employing them or teaching them, that I wanted to share a few that I came across:

Aspire Coffee – At Aspire CoffeeWorks, adults with and without disabilities work side by side to bring you freshly roasted coffee. It’s a productive and successful environment and a great example of how people of all abilities can work and succeed together.

When people promote and demonstrate a way of living that embraces and celebrates the inclusion of those with disabilities, everyone is better and stronger for it. At Aspire, and at its social enterprise Aspire CoffeeWorks, this is not a goal or a dream but a belief lived out every day.

Aspire is one of the most innovative human service non-profits in the Midwest with an incredibly talented and dedicated team of more than 250. Plus, Aspire is backed by 200 community partners, thousands of donors, volunteers and family, and friends who work together to redefine what’s possible for people with disabilities. Annually, Aspire serves over 900 participants, who have autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other disabilities.

Creekside Cookies and More, Inc. – Creekside Cookies and More is a not for profit organization begun by parents of young adults with Down Syndrome. It was uniquely created out of a need to provide opportunities for adults with disabilities in the community. Through our “old fashioned“ mixes, we wish to share with others the creativity and abilities of these young people while providing a vocational resource that helps to build skills and create hope for those with developmental disabilities.

Inspires2Aspire – Inspires 2 Aspire became a reality in 2009 with the assistance of the Summit DD Community Employment Services Micro-Enterprise Grant Program and my family support group. We share a portion of our profits with organizations who support individuals with developmental disabilities.

Simply Adorable Blankets – is a non-profit 5013C organization. Their organization was created to provide more opportunities for young adults with disabilities in Southeastern Virginia. They promote awareness, provide resources and offer training to people with developmental disabilities.
All of this helps them to become independent, productive members of the community.

Waggies by Maggie & Friends – Waggies by Maggie & Friends is a non-profit dog treat company whose mission is to employ persons with intellectual disabilities. Their all-natural, vet-approved treats are made with the finest ingredients and contain no preservatives. A purchase of Waggies rewards your dog while supporting employment for members of the community who want to be part of the workforce. It’s a winning combination!

Beau’s Coffee – is a 5013C nonprofit, a special coffee shop run by very special people in Wilmington, NC

This campaign came to me as I met a lovely young woman who was at a local conference. She had a table there as she was representing her business Pampered Chef, and it came to me.

As parents and individuals with Down syndrome are reaching the end of their high school years and are considering what to do next, whether it be secondary education, going into the job field, volunteering or running a business. There are plenty of at work from home online sales businesses that they can get into, for example:

Pampered Chef

Scentsy Candles

Mary Kay

Young Living Essential Oils

Stella & Dot

to name a few. You just need to work with your child to determine what it is that they want to do and build a team to get them there.  Transition planning usually starts around 14 years old. Their IEP team will start talking to you about transition planning, and that is the time you will sit down with your child to find out their career aspirations. What do they like to do, do they want to go on to college?


Transition planning

Unemployment rate for individuals with Down syndrome is high, but it doesn’t mean they can’t work. It doesn’t mean they can’t run a business. You just need to give them the right tools to be successful!


21 amazing down syndrome entrepreneurs


1st Entrepreneur – Andrew Banar from Group Hug Apparel


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