- She aims to breaks down barriers and misconceptions of many adults
- Special education teacher playing her role in teaching valuable life lessons to those with special needs
COLORADO: Meet Tiffany Fixter, a special education teacher who moved to Denver (Colorado, US) to run a day programme for adults with special needs. However, when she saw her clients with developmental disorders engaging in time-filler crafts and activities that weren’t enriching their lives, she got frustrated.
She brainstormed to cope up with the frustration and viola! Tiffany opened a ‘Brewability Lab’ to create job opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities, including autism.
“One of the aims behind creating job opportunity for developmentally disabled persons was to break down barriers and misconceptions of many adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and puts them front and centre of the popular social scene,” said Tiffany.
Responding to a question Tiffany said that her staff is very friendly and accommodating! They love their jobs and have formed connections with regular customers. Each staff member, an adult with a developmental disability, has a strength that really stands out.
She told us that Tony is known for giving brewery tours, likes to talk about animals and Greek mythology, Nick loves to get everyone up and dancing, Patrick pours a perfect pint every time, Nathan keeps everything clean and organised, Alex claims to be the best blind bartender in the world, he can talk about all things sports and Devon is our assistant brewer who brews the beverages.
“I see their pride grow every day. When they come to work, they’re excited and they have started to know the customers’ names. They almost seem like different people to me. Their parents seem thrilled, too. At the end of most shifts, they say, “I have friends!” she said as she beamed ear to ear.
Expressing her day to day experience she said that each staff member had grown not only in their work skills but also in self-confidence and social skills.
Asked whether she would be creating more opportunities such as this, Fixter said: “We are in the middle of opening ‘Pizzability’ in Denver, where our food menu will be photo-based to make it easy for staff and customers who need additional visual supports!
Thanking ‘Pakistan Today’ for reaching out she said: “I really appreciate the opportunity to inspire businesses around the world to see the benefits of employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With a few modifications, you have a community-based business and hard-working employees.”
“Each one of us has strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your ability and how you can use it to help others. Everyone has a passion and a purpose in this life. If you are reading this, I hope you find yours,” concluded Tiffany.