Historically, individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities have not been offered the same opportunities as neurotypical indivduals. For example, they have been unemployed or underemployed despite their desire, willingness, and above all, their ability to work. Maggie's & MORE aims to
rectify this through a variety of meaningful opportunities.
At Maggie's & MORE, instead of the redundancy and the sheltered nature of jobs traditionally given to differently-abled people, our Donut Team members find themselves at the front and center of the business, completing a wide variety of complex but manageable tasks. These tasks include manning the cash register, packing donuts, making coffee, preparing smoothies, creating breakfast sandwiches and paninis, and most of all interacting with customers. Simple modifications have been made to how the Donut Shop is run, and people with intellectual/developmental disabilities work directly with job coaches to ensure their successes with each part of the job.
As a Special Education Teacher/Intervention Specialist, Abra Schweickert noticed that her differently-abled students were more often than not being asked to learn in ways that did not speak to their individual skills and abilities. Her students were being put into classroom situations that either emphasized their weaknesses or limited their successes.
As Abra's students were exiting the school umbrella, they were not only losing their social connects, but they finding jobs that were not necessarily meaningful. Most jobs were behind the scenes and lacked interaction with the public. When a small donut shop in a college town went up for sale, a dream to change this began and Maggie's & MORE was born. The desire was to create a meaningful place for individuals that might otherwise not be given that opportunity. At the center and heart of the business would be individuals with unique abilities. People of the community could see and interact with these differently-abled individuals and see their true capabilities. These opportunties have since grown to include social opportunities, opportunities to have a birthday party or be invited to one, connections to their community, and much M.O.R.E.
"My students were a square peg being asked to fit into a round hole. My job was not to change that square peg, but rather to mold that round hole so they could fit into it with success. This is the foundation behind Maggie's & MORE."
Following high school, Kelly was part of a sheltered workshop setting, but she is capable of so much more! Up until the opening of Maggie's & MORE, Kelly had been spending her days at home. At Maggie's & MORE, she handles all aspects of being a member of our Donut Team independently with just a few easy tweaks of the environment: a color coded cash register, and 3 steps to each task she performs.
Mitchell came to Maggie's & MORE when his family moved into Hiram. Previously, Mitchell has been a participant at UDS and spends his days packaging items in boxes. Maggie's & MORE has offered a more meaningful oppotrunity for Mitchell where his true abilities are showcased. He brings an incredible memory for the tasks asked of him and an amazing skill at running our categorized cash register.