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Autism-Supporting Restaurants

Sam's Canterbury Cafe Employs Staff on the Autism Spectrum

— April 26, 2017 — Social Good
Sam's Canterbury Cafe, a restaurant in Baltimore, supports a worthy cause not merely with donations, but with actual work. The restaurant and cafe makes a concerted effort to employ adults on the autism spectrum, and more than a third of its staff are currently on the spectrum.

The restaurant's husband and wife owners came up with the concept while struggling to help their 24 year old son (Sam, whom the restaurant is named after) to find work. Adults with autism carry a stigma that can discourage many business owners from choosing to hire them — even if their condition has no impact on job performance. Sam's Canterbury Cafe holds no such prejudice, and indeed it was opened specifically to offer gainful employment to Sam as well as other autistic adults.
Trend Themes
1. Autism-inclusive Businesses - Opportunity for businesses to support autism inclusion by employing and serving individuals on the autism spectrum.
2. Neurodiversity in the Workplace - An increasing trend towards hiring individuals with different neurological abilities to foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
3. Socially Responsible Restaurants - Growing trend towards restaurants supporting social causes and promoting social change through their business practices.
Industry Implications
1. Hospitality and Food Services - Opportunity for restaurants, cafes and other food services to employ and serve individuals on the autism spectrum to promote inclusion and diversity.
2. Non-profit Organizations - Opportunity for non-profit organizations to promote autism inclusion and support by partnering with restaurants and other businesses who employ individuals on the autism spectrum.
3. Disability and Inclusion Services - Opportunity for organizations to provide training and support for businesses seeking to employ individuals on the autism spectrum and promote greater inclusion in the workplace.
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