Google defines an ‘intellectual disability’ as limitations in thinking and understanding. It also states that over 3 million people in the USA suffer from intellectual ailments. This is a significant part of our workforce, providing them opportunities to be self-reliant is a much-needed conversation.
Special education and behavioral therapy can help a person live to his or her fullest.
The lack of acceptance into the working community has forced a lot of these people into entrepreneurship and their successful ventures should provide us inspiration to begin a conversation. In the United States, four out of five people with disabilities are unemployed—and not for lack of trying.
Dyslexia is a learning disability, Richard Branson’s Made by Dyslexia group is a global charity dedicated to and run by dyslexics. Down’s syndrome is also classified as common with 200,000 US cases a year, it is a developmental and intellectual disorder due to the addition of an extra chromosome, medically identified as trisomy 21. Megan Bomgaars is a well-known self-advocate with Down Syndrome, an artist and a rising entrepreneur. Her venture titled ‘Megology’ has a powerful message which went viral. It states ‘Don’t limit me!’ which is an ideology for every young person.
Closer to home, we are aiding twenty-year-old Gabi Angelini, from Raleigh, who is trying to raise $200,000 for a new business. Every Saturday, Gabi works as a bagger at our local grocery store. She kept getting turned down for more hours in the summer and couldn’t get hired for a second job. Her solution was to start Gabi’s grounds, a coffee shop– a local coffee shop that will employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“It’s important to invite my disability friends to come work with me,” Gabi says on her GoFundMe page. “We’re gonna have a fun time together and sing and dance a lot.”
This blog series will follow Gabi as she launches into entrepreneurship, providing insight into living with Down’s syndrome and a daily dose of much-needed inspiration in troubled times.