Ben and Amy Wright own Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, proudly employing people with disabilities. The shop is named after their children who have Down Syndrome.
The Wrights are combatting the staggering 80% unemployment rate for people with disabilities + using their shop as a platform to share this truth: “We all have different abilities. There’s room for everyone; we just have to see it that way.”
Join me and the Wrights as they thoughtfully share questions (if you don’t have a disability/know someone who does) and answers (if you do) to everything you’ve ever wanted to ask or tell on this subject.
- Amy + Ben are the founders of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee in Wilmington, NC that proudly employs individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “Typically developing guests who come in experience a transformation, a new perspective. It was important to create the jobs, but even more important is that we change the way people see people with mental and intellectual developmental disabilities.”
- Video of Amy accepting her 2017 CNN Hero of the Year Award.
- Ben + Amy Wright were honored as 2017 Parents of the Year by Fatherly.
BEN + AMY WRIGHT’S LIVE INSPIRED 7
1. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
Ben: Knot on a Counting Rope, a children’s book about an American Indian child who is born blind and how his tribe loves him for who he is.
Amy: The Giving Tree, it’s a children’s book that says it all, the way to live and to give to others.
2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
Amy: Dancing more, laughing more; although at the coffee shop everyone has fewer inhibitions and just live out loud so I get a good dose of that. I wish I didn’t carry worries that I carry and danced more.
Ben: The instinct to play more. Be goofy and uninhibited. If you feel like dancing, dance. If you feel like running, run. If you feel like jumping, jump. I have so much restraint these days trying to be the father, grown up, mature person when inside I wish I could grab back onto some of the playfulness I had as a child.
3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
Amy: As many photo albums as I could carry out.
Ben: This beautiful portrait of Amy when we were married. I want family to be able to come to look at the portrait of her and realize that’s where it all started. I believe my life really started in earnest when I met her.
4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
Amy: My mom, who said “I hope this baby you are carrying has Down Syndrome just like beau.” She passed away just a few months before Bitty was born.
Ben: Amy! We’re so busy, we don’t get much of an opportunity to talk with each other. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather spend my life or time with her.
5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Ben: You are fearless and you need to stay that way.
Amy: You love your children the same by loving them differently. My mom said this. Everyone has different needs; meet people where they are.
6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Amy: You think this is good now? Just wait! The best is yet to come.
Ben: Take even more risks. Life is unpredictable. It can change in a heart beat. If there is something you believe in, don’t just think about it, do it.
7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
Ben: He broadened my perspective on what I thought was possible and gave me hope.
Amy: She loved fiercely.
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