As much as we’ve made strides as a society to counter various forms of injustice, we still have a long way to go when it comes to challenging stereotypes surrounding those with special needs and disabilities. Ableism is still an under-discussed topic, and that needs to change.
That’s why we’re so excited to see this woman with Down Syndrome run her own cookie business and take down naysayers who believe that a person should be treated as less than because of their disabilities.
Collette Divitto is a 26-year-old Boston native who runs her own business. Recently launching Collettey’s, Divitto has found that running her own business brings about new challenges and happiness that she would have never dreamed of before. And despite what others may say or believe, she never believed that her disability would hold her back from achieving her dreams — she has already received 25,000 cookie orders in just one weekend.
In fact, Divitto turned to entrepreneurship after a fruitless job hunt brought a shocking reality to her: people with disabilities are disproportionately unemployed (statistics show that the number is currently at 76%).
She told CBS News that this reality “is very upsetting to me. It’s very hard to find a paying job for people like me who have special needs.”
Now, Divitto is making her dreams come true, and showing everyone that disabilities aren’t enough to hold her or anyone with special needs back from achieving their dreams.