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Able Coffee Roasters Ables the Disabled

HUNTINGTON BEACH - Able Coffee Roasters isn’t like any other coffee shop as their uniqueness is found within their employees and within every cup of coffee. Co-founders Adeel Asif and Anthony Palmeri are using their experience as special education instructors to provide jobs for individuals with disabilities.

Able Coffee Roasters logo. Photo: by Kimberly Linares

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate for individuals with special needs is more than 80% and employment opportunities are limited after the age of 22.

“As special educators and behavioral therapist we saw that there was a need for opportunity for employment for those with disabilities in our communities.” said Asif.

Their educational background and experiences have allowed them to create more opportunities for the community and translate that into a job creation environment.

“We aren’t typical owners we hire individuals with disabilities. Employees that don’t know how to read, some of them have reading challenges, a lot of them need extra help. Repetition — they need different modes of teaching. So, it can either be with something on pen and paper or a picture or it can be teaching using a video or a video model technique.” said Palmeri.

With the help of visuals and job coaching, every task like preparing drinks, interacting with guests and stamping brown paper bags, improves their job development.

Mike Chen, one of the employees, enjoys putting stickers on the cups.

“The word able its self doesn’t mean anything. The reason why we chose able is because we believe that each and every individual is able, and they are able to have a job somewhere in society and in our communities and we believe that there is a job for everyone.” said Asif.

Photo, Kimberly Linares

Since their soft opening in December 2020, they have seen an outpouring of support from the community and social media is helping push for a bigger customer base and a brighter future.

Their menu is inspired by familiar behavioral terms. At Able Coffee Roasters reinforcers are food. Their popular drink is the sensory latte. They will soon incorporate behavioral bowls into their menu.

Video, Kimberly Linares

By Kimberly Linares

Photo, Kimberly Linares

Video, Kimberly Linares


High Unemployment Rates for People with Disabilities

Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary

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