GET café, in Narberth, Pennsylvania, is leading the way towards an inclusive future. The recently opened café is dedicated to accepting everyone, including people with special needs. Opened by Brooke Goodspeed, the café employs around 16 people with disabilities, as well as sending profits to camps, classes and other support systems for those with special needs. In the States, if a disabled person is employed, employers can pay them less than minimum wage, meaning that there are cases of employed disabled people being paid as little as US$1 an hour. Goodspeed pays her employees US$10 an hour.
GET is short for ‘Great Expectations Together,’ and is a part of Goodspeed’s existing campaign that raises charity for the disabled community.
Through the café work, employees learn various life skills that help them further employability as well as develop relationships with a range of people. Moving towards the future, Goodspeed is planning on setting up a sensory room, a place where anyone’s sense can be stimulated or calmed—something that in particular helps with autism. On top of that, Goodspeed hopes that one day there will be cafés like this in towns all across the world so that people with disabilities are empowered, and some of the anxiety that comes with being the parent of a child with special needs is alleviated.