Less than half of working-age Canadians with disabilities have jobs, according to Statistics Canada. But one Toronto organization is working to reverse that statistic by appealing to the city’s love of coffee culture.
Common Ground Cooperative is a local non-profit that provides social enterprise and empowered employment opportunities to people with developmental disabilities. One of the participants is The Coffee Shed – a coffee shop run by adults with developmental disabilities headquartered in Surrey Place Centre near Queen’s Park.
Last month, The Coffee Shed launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund a barista training program inside their premises. Called Made by Mavericks, the training program was created by Gerald Patrick Fantone, a job coach at Common Ground, who came up with the idea after reading about the Galician Down Barista Championships – Spain’s competition for baristas with Down syndrome – in Barista Magazine.