We are all different in many ways, but we often forget to embrace this fact and end up judging, discriminating, and rejecting others.
Life with a disability gets is rarely easy. Disabled persons face numerous challenges on a daily basis, and some of the issues that arise include employment, housing, public transport, and attitudes.
Yet, it is completely possible to overcome the challenges and pursue your dreams even if you are living with a disability, and Michael Coyne is a great example of this.
This Special Olympics athlete lives with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder.
Yet, as soon as he turned 21, he kept applying for different jobs and he was always turned down.
He explained that he applied to many places, and no one wanted to hire him, even though he completed a program in the hospitality field and gained the skills required by the foodservice industry.
This was tough for his mother too. Sheila said:
“It’s not easy for parents to watch your kid sit around the kitchen table while everyone else is enjoying life and coworkers, and talking about their day.”
Yet, Michael was determined to succeed and to not let negativity discourage him, so instead of finding a business willing to hire him, he decided to create his own one.
He took business classes, and soon opened his coffeehouse, “Red, White & Brew Coffeehouse”, in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
The ‘About’ section of the Facebook page reads:
“We are a family-owned coffee shop serving up more than a cup of coffee. We employ people with developmental disabilities, encourage community engagement, and change the way the world sees those with disabilities.
We are a specialty coffeehouse, selling locally roasted coffee beans. We also sell muffins, pastries, and calzones. We share our home with The Budding Violet, a unique gift shop filled with items from local artists.”
The place also offers local artists with disabilities an opportunity to show their talent and turn a profit on their wares. It also brought back hope to families in a similar situation.
Michael admitted enjoying it a lot, even though he initially feared that he would hate the job.
He explained that his restaurant is “a beacon of hope for people with disabilities. “
And his mother added:
“We’ve had parents come in with tears in their eyes with the hope that their young children will eventually be accepted into the community.”