A Massachusetts coffee shop that was lauded for breaking barriers for people with disabilities has shuttered its doors, much to the dismay of the community.
The Java Jolt, located in Wellesley, was a unique venture in that it was staffed almost exclusively by individuals with disabilities. The shop was founded in 2016 by two parents, who sought to create a welcoming, supportive environment for people with varying abilities to find employment and develop social and job-related skills.
The closing of the Java Jolt highlights the difficulties people with disabilities can face in finding meaningful work. According to a 2018 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 17.9 percent of people with disabilities were employed in the labor force, compared to 65.9 percent of those without disabilities.
The Java Jolt was an attempt to bridge this gap and create a safe space for people with disabilities to develop their skills and gain meaningful work experience. The shop provided a range of services, from hiring and training employees to offering a variety of coffee and food options. The shop also provided a place for people with disabilities to socialize in a comfortable and accepting environment.
The closure of the Java Jolt has been met with sadness by the local community, many of whom have hailed it as a beacon of hope and inclusivity. The shop’s founders have vowed to continue their mission of breaking down barriers and providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The closure of the Java Jolt serves as a reminder of the difficulties people with disabilities can face when looking for employment. While the shop was lauded for its pioneering mission, it ultimately was unable to remain open due to the complex and oftentimes difficult nature of these barriers. The shop’s founders, however, remain committed to their mission, and will continue to strive to create more inclusive and welcoming spaces for people with disabilities.