"My ongoing support for TACT is based on a number of factors including my belief that hands-on, project-based work is invaluable to all children, but inherently needed for those on the autism spectrum to succeed in the work force. It is estimated that 90% of adults with ASD are under or unemployed. What many people don’t realize is that unemployment rates for those with ASD are higher than the unemployment rate for ALL disabled Americans in general, which sits at only 10.5% compared to 90% for those with ASD. Early access to high-quality vocational training can be life changing for those with ASD."
Read more of Dr. Grandin's letter below:
By: Danielle Krolewicz
After operating out of a coffee truck for the past six years, Dirt Coffee will finally open a brick and mortar spot on Saturday, May 5. Taking over a decades-old bungalow at 5767 South Rapp Street in Littleton, the coffee shop will train and employ people with autism spectrum disorder.
Dirt Coffee started out in 2013 as the brainchild of Lauren Thome, who developed the business plan for the coffee truck after receiving a scholarship to the Denver Greater Good Academy.
Mary Zuchegno was excited to see that today was the day. The coming soon sign had been up for months, but now a banner strung across Main Street declared Dirt Coffee Bar would be serving coffee. Free coffee, in fact, for one morning to celebrate World Autism Day.
Zuchegno called a coworker. “Let’s go.”
Daniel Boone said he feels like Santa Claus at work.
“We go around and bring happiness to people,” Boone said, wearing his trademark conductor's hat as he served up java from the window of the Dirt Coffee van. “It's more than serving coffee. I serve smiles.”
Dirt, the famous Littleton-based coffee operation that trains and employs people with autism, is moving into its first brick and mortar store this spring, set to open in early May in an old home at 5767 S. Rapp St., just north of Arapahoe Community College.
By: Lydia Ruger
Colorado Parent Magazine
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