This week, I had the privilege of meeting the employees at Bitty and Beau’s Coffee in Wilmington. Bitty and Beau’s Coffee is a small business with a mission to employ individuals with intellectual disabilities. It is named after Bitty and Beau Wright, two young North Carolinians who also happen to have Down Syndrome.
In 2014, I worked with a bipartisan group to write and pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience law, known as the ABLE Act. This law now lets individuals with disabilities and their families save for their long-term needs in a tax-favored ABLE account, without losing access to important benefits. My law has been heralded as one of the most important pieces of disability legislation since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
But we can do more to promote employment and independence for Americans with disabilities. Recently, I introduced the ABLE to Work Act to break down the barriers that still stand between Americans with disabilities and having a job.
A job is more than a paycheck – it’s a piece of the American Dream. A job is about participating in society, giving back to your community, and building a sense of purpose. I’m proud of what the employees at Bitty and Beau’s have accomplished, as they are inspiration to all of us on how we can overcome our own challenges and improve the lives of everyone around us.