Celebrating Purpose: How Family Businesses Are Empowering Individuals with Special Needs

Family Business Special Needs
Liz Maher

If you asked any parent of a child or adult with special needs, what they want for their son or daughter, you would get different answers but I’d guess that a few of the answers would be related to their child being happy and having a purpose.

As parents of a 28-year-old daughter, we are thrilled that Sarah has mastered the art of “weeding” for the Cricut, and from that skill, she now spends several hours a week creating mugs and greeting cards for our family business.  She’s super excited to be heading down to Philly for the ABAI 2024 conference to raffle off these wonderful pieces of merchandise, and we can see she is proud to share her creations.

As I thought about the things our family is doing to have Sarah be part of the business and have something she enjoys and is proud of, as well as something that fills her time, I was reminded of countless other family businesses that have popped up here and there as a way to employ their loved ones with special needs.  Here are just a few that come to mind.  I’m hoping you’ll consider following them on social media and supporting their efforts:

Stand out Socks: https://www.standoutsocks.co.uk/ Based in the UK, Stand Out Socks, is co-founded by Ross, an inspiring individual with Down Syndrome. Their website states that their socks are more than just fashionable accessories; they are the catalysts for meaningful conversations about disability inclusion and serve as a beacon of awareness for Down Syndrome. Read about their story and how they are creating many job opportunities for other young adults with special needs, and check out their videos on social media – feel good and super fun!


Drawings by Trent: https://drawingsbytrent.com/ I came across this amazing individual by chance on IG.  People ask Trent to draw different things and in the space of a few minutes, maybe even seconds, Trent creates a gorgeous masterpiece! Check out Trent’s story, you’ll love it!

Two examples of PA businesses that have been set up to provide neuro-diverse individuals with amazing opportunities to work, as well as wake up with a purpose every day and enjoy life.  Check out what these businesses are doing. (Bitty and Beau’s Coffee: https://www.bittyandbeauscoffee.com/ and Coffee Inclusive: https://coffeeinclusive.org/)

If you have any other examples or want to be added here, please reach out to us and we’ll add it to this list.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a long list of amazing businesses that we can follow and support?

#ABA Businesses

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