The South Fork Bakery in Long Island, New York, offers full-time jobs to adults with disabilities. Shirley Ruch, a speech and language pathologist for more than 30 years, founded it in 2016 to create paid employment for people with special needs. She specializes in working with kids with autism and saw a need when lots of her former students had a tough time finding job opportunities.
Ruch says she decided to go with a bakery because she uses cooking and baking in her therapy practice since it’s “great for socialization and following directions.” Many of her former clients have worked at the bakery when other employers wouldn’t hire them. When new employees start she has them shadow and try out each position in the bakery to see which one is the best fit for their skillset.
"We make lots of goodies," Ruch explains. "Why we make it is because we provide training and employment for special needs adults. It's the gift that gives back because you're giving meaningful paid employment to people who are very disenfranchised in our society."
Source: ABC 7