· By Jason Katz
Organizations that Support Autism Employment
Popcorn for the People is a social enterprise under the nonprofit Let’s Work for Good whose mission is designed to tackle the 80% unemployment rate seen within the autism community. Our mission is to provide long lasting, meaningful employment to those on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities. We strive to create a welcoming, safe working environment for adults with autism, and we love when we see other companies and organizations who do the same! Here are a few organizations that support employment for those with autism or other developmental disabilities!
John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks was created in 2016 by a father-son duo with one mission: to spread happiness. Co-founder John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, loved socks and wanted to share his joy with the world. “We want to show what is possible when you give someone a chance. Every day, we demonstrate what people with intellectual disabilities can do.”
John’s Crazy Socks is a sock business with a social mission. They are devoted to selling unique socks and believe in giving back. The company donates 5% of their earnings to the Special Olympics, “as they’ve played a vital role in John’s development.”
Puzzles Bakery & Cafe
Puzzles Bakery & Cafe opened in April 2015 with a commitment to “improving the livelihood of individuals, families, and communities affected by autism spectrum disorders.” The bakery provides autistic adults with an equal work environment integrated with non-disabled workers. They strive to help adults with disabilities develop personally, build a source of income, and give a sense of purpose.
“Autism is a lifelong disability, and the disorder becomes especially challenging as individuals on the autism spectrum transition into adulthood: group homes and daytime programs are filled to capacity, college is rarely an option, and employment opportunities are extremely uncommon,” the Puzzles Bakery & Cafe About Us page states. “Considering the agonizingly low employment rate for people with developmental disabilities, creative employment solutions are necessary to meet the needs of the aging autistic population.”
Much like Popcorn for the People, Puzzles Bakery & Cafe is a social enterprise which “harness the power of business to achieve social good.”
Handi-Crafters was created over 50 years ago by a group of parents with differently-abled children seeking a direction in life after high school. Their mission is to “make a positive difference in the lives of our clients by helping them overcome their obstacles to entering the workplace, so they can find their highest level of productive employment and financial independence.”
Handi-Crafters is a support service program located in southeast Pennsylvania. Their primary goal is to help individuals access opportunities and promote independence at all progressing stages of their clients’ lives. They do so through a continuum of services which support the needs of differently-abled individuals.
Want to support autism employment? Donate now to Popcorn for the People's nonprofit Let's Work for Good. Click here to donate!