Finding employment is not always easy, and for adults with special needs - finding a job can be especially challenging. This was certainly the case for Rhode Island resident, Michael Coyne, who lives with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar. Coyne decided that rather than giving up on finding a job, he would create one for himself by opening a small business within his community.
CBS News reports about Coyne’s coffee shop and his unique business model that aims to hire employees with special needs. Coyne has never been one to back away from a challenge and has even participated as an athlete in the Special Olympics. After taking business classes at the Rhode Island Developmental Disability Center and studying in the field of hospitality, Coyne felt it was time to take the next step by opening his coffee shop he has named Red, White and Brew.
Coyne says that he hopes to hire more employees with special needs like himself. He explains, “We just want to integrate.” Coyne mother, Sheila, is proud of her son’s accomplishments and hopes the way he runs his small business will be an inspiration to others. Sheila says, “What I liked about the coffee shop idea is the community. We learn on both sides. We teach people, 'Yeah, he has a disability, but look what he's doing.' And he's out in the community getting his social skills.” She adds, “He's done amazing things. And he's just a really good human being. You feel that when you come in.”
What do you think about this business model?
Do you think more businesses should hire employees with special needs?