36 Companies That Hire People With Special Needs

I recently posted an article about a young man with Down syndrome I noticed working at my local car dealership. As a parent of a child with special needs, specifically Down syndrome, I’m always encouraged when I see employers hiring people with special needs. Our son Noah is only five years old at the time of this blog post, but as a father I have high hopes that my son will one day be able to use his gifts, talents, experience and passions in a job that allows him to make a contribution to his community.

companies that hire people with down syndrome

Maybe one day Noah will work on a farm. 🙂

I’ve seen several articles online about companies that hire people with Down syndrome / special needs, but I wasn’t able to locate a master list if you will, so I thought I would put one together. I will continue to add to this list over time as I become of aware of other companies / organizations that hire people with special needs.

Companies That Hire People With Special Needs

  1. Kroger
  2. Texadelphia
  3. Howdy Homemade
  4. Park Cities Ford
  5. Minyard Sun Fresh
  6. Home Depot
  7. H-E-B
  8. The Kalahari Resort
  9. The Chocolate Spectrum
  10. Hugs Cafe
  11. Publix
  12. Target
  13. Acme
  14. McDonalds
  15. Walmart
  16. Lowes
  17. Goodwill
  18. Chick-fil-A
  19. Sunflower Bakery
  20. Wegmans
  21. Furnace Hills Coffee Company
  22. Delta Sonic Car Wash
  23. Panera Bread
  24. Walgreens
  25. Ikea
  26. Market Street
  27. Schnucks
  28. Stop and Shop
  29. SuperLo Foods
  30. Lifetime Fitness
  31. Puzzles Bakery
  32. The Power Cafe
  33. Shaws
  34. Market Basket
  35. Cameron’s Coffee and Chocolates
  36. Fazoli’s

What companies have you noticed that hire with special needs? Leave a comment below so I can add them to the list!

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.

Comments

  1. Robin Tecza says:

    My son is a 32 year old with ds. He has worked at Delta Sonic car was for 10 years. He loves them and considers them his best friends. They truly are family to him and deal with his up and down moods so well.

  2. Jodi Dolbel says:

    You have probably had lots of comments but I just thought I would share an experience. I did some work experience as school kid at a School for special needs children. There was one young man there (a student) and he used to spend all his time in the kitchen. He would prepare all kinds of food for everyone, that’s all he did. He didn’t participate in games or anything else, just prepared and served food. What this kid did was incredible. He made some amazing dishes. Food was his thing, I’d imagine with a partner seeing him own his own coffee shop and not bother with employers. I don’t know what become of him, but his skills certainly impressed me. It doesn’t matter what our needs are, we all have gifts. If we can put a roof over our head using our gifts how blessed are we! Encourage Noah’s gifts as he grows, you never know where it can take him. I’m not special needs as such but always did have learning problems. My outlet was being creative, making things. I now own my own shop making things for people. It’s in the main area of town. No boss, just me, a hot glue gun and a tank of helium.

  3. Rick,

    I do not have children of my own but really enjoy reading your posts about Noah! You and your wife are so blessed to have such a wonderful son! Other companies I have noticed that hire people with Special Needs: Kroger, Market Street, Tom Thumb, and Albertsons. I enjoy going to these stores for that reason! Have a great day!!!

  4. Kenzie Deel says:

    Panera Bread! Specifically the one in Eden Prairie,MN. They have two special needs men working there, one with Down syndrome. My son who also has Down syndrome is 3 and we have no worries that he will be able to find a job here in the Minneapolis,MN area when he is of working age. We support Panera Bread 100% for that reason 🙂
    Thanks for your posts- look forward to them!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  6. Walgreens has a great program in their distribution centers for people with special needs. We live within a few miles of one of their distribution centers. http://www.walgreens.com/topic/sr/disability_inclusion_home.jsp

  7. Im not sure about USA, but in Denmark ( where I’m from) IKEA hires people with special needs, including Down’s syndrome, in the stores. They have a programme where they are employed to fulfill special tasks like helping out at the storage area, stocking up ect.
    Maybe they have a similar programme at IKEA in the US too?

  8. Market Street, one of our local DFW stores. We have met two new friends there. Last time I took my son, one of the managers said maybe someday he will work there.

  9. Dominic Huber says:

    I used to work alongside a bagger with Down Syndrome named Tyler Crose at Schnucks. He worked for them for many years. He doesn’t work there anymore because he moved back home to Florida, but we still miss him working with us and the joy he brought to us. He still calls us every Monday to see how we are doing and I love seeing his updates on Facebook. I miss seeing him in person because he was one of a kind and he inspired me to not be afraid of who I am.

  10. Andrea Reyes says:

    Thank you so much. My son is only 1 but it gives me hope for his future.

  11. Columbia Industries in Washington State

  12. Hi Noah’s dad. I work for an agency that provides a multitude of services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Our pre vocational and vocational opportunities are amazing and ground breaking. Y ou may have seen us on The Chew in December when they taped our coffee shop and home made jam process at Steamers Coffee Shop. We are located in Colorado. Check us out at http://www.parkerpch.com
    Happy New Year
    Shannon

  13. Thank you for mentioning Hugs Cafe in McKinney, Texas. We are a non-profit and our only mission is to employee adults with special needs. If you are ever in the area, please come have lunch. It will be a joyous meal.

  14. Margie Mitchell says:

    HyVee grocery stores

  15. INGLES SUPER MARKET HEADQUARTERS IN Asheville, NC.

  16. Ellen Danzis says:

    Stop and Shop grocery chain hire special needs.

  17. Sara Perez says:

    Hi Rick and Noah,

    The Cici’s Pizza in Georgetown, TX has a very nice young man with Down syndrome working there. He’s super nice and helpful.

  18. Always on the lookout too! SuperLo foods (in Memphis–not sure if they are only local?) also hires people with special needs. Thanks for this list! I agree, it is so very encouraging to see where we are now–with our children still young–and imagine what things will be like when they are working age!

  19. Lifetime Fitness in Maple Grove, MN

  20. I have also seen a gentleman with Down Syndrome working in the Panera Bread restaurant in Crystal Lake, Illinois for many years. Used to support that particular location for many years before moving to DFW area.

  21. Jewel Osco!

  22. Puzzles Bakery in Schenectady NY is an awesome place. Many of their employees have Special Needs and the food is wonderful. The bistro style atmosphere is comfortable and relaxing. Go to their website and check it out. Their mission is to break the barriers.

  23. Raylene Smith says:

    The area where I live has a sheltered workshop that hires people with special needs. It is called Laclede Industries. It is in Lebanon Missouri.

  24. In Watertown, MA, the Power Cafe (https://www.facebook.com/thepowercafe) opened less than 2 months ago. We source the coffee from Furnace Hills, and do all the staffing through Triangle Inc (http://www.triangle-inc.org). We were just written up in the Boston Globe! http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/food-dining/2016/01/12/power-cafe-serves-brunch-and-offers-opportunities/DNbVbRnFTo7XtleHF0OPIJ/story.html?event=event25

  25. Kwik Trip convenience stores in Wisconsin!

  26. Paula Hilston says:

    Two large grocery chains in New England regularly employ people with special needs including Down Syndrome. Stop and Shop was previously mentioned and Shaws. A smaller grocery chain in this area which is family run, Market Basket, also employs people with special needs and is often praised by their employees as being a great place to work.

    Love to you and your family.

  27. Heidi Thorpe says:

    Cameron’s Coffee and Chocolates, Fairfax, VA and Wildflour Catering, Chantilly, VA.

  28. Walgreens has a corporate program to hire people with special needs with great success.

  29. I know that our local (Indianapolis, IN) Fazoli’s does as well as Meijer Superstores.
    I love that these businesses give special needs individuals the chance to work, gain some self-esteem and learn to contribute to society.

  30. There are several on Cape Cod: Stop and Shop, KMart, Tedeschi’s, Dunkin Donuts, Centerville Pie Co., Whole Foods, Cooke’s Seafood, Cape Abilities Farm, Mc Donald’s and I know there are many more.

  31. Oh my goodness! Culver’s!!! Every Culvers I have been to without fail has someone with special needs working there. This means so much to me and my husband ! our youngest ( 2 yrs 7mos old) has d.s. doesn’t it just give you hope! It is so exciting! Think where our young ones may get to since there have been so many strides made as of now! Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, I believe had a lot to do with where we are now! Ptl for them!

  32. Great collection!!

  33. Special Kneads and Treats, Inc.
    138 East Crogan Street
    Lawrenceville, GA 30046
    (678) 237-7147
    Located in Historic Downtown Lawrenceville Square
    http://www.specialkneadsandtreats.com

  34. This one…opening next week!

  35. I’ve seen several special needs adults working in various Wendy’s restaurants. 🙂

  36. Frank Phillips, Jr. says:

    The Olive Garden in Turkey Creek in Knoxville, TN. employee’s my son who is twenty two years old and has D S to roll silverware in napkins for their customers.

  37. Angels of Care Pediatric Home Health

  38. Reasors grocery stores in Tulsa, Oklahoma hire special needs kids! i would get a warm hug and an I love you from a young man every time I shopped there!! Love it!

  39. My son is high functioning autistic and teaches swim at the Y . 1st he learned to not be afraid of the water as a young child there and grew up with the aquatics program and decided he wanted to teach other kids to not be afraid. He gets so excited when a parent tells him their child is on the spectrum. Our YMCA has had other special needs staff or volunteers in the past as well.

  40. Hi Rick, I have a daughter who is 27 and is on the Spectrum. She too is higher functioning. She works two part time jobs for Pizza Ranch and Panera Bread. She aksovattends an arts class one day a week in the crossroads district of KC. I loved it when I came across your website. I also have a 501C3 organization that is currently under development to assist in academics and life skills for those with special needs ages 22-25. I also want to integrate a couple of businesses as separate entities off the school to offer employment opportunities as well. My goal is to reach all 50 states. The name of the organization is Desire 2 Learn, Inc. Thank you for this website and sharing your story.

  41. Here in Moses Lake, WA our son Ben, 22 with DS, is employed along with over 20 others with special needs at Safeway. Our local JoAnn Fabrics also hires people with special needs.

  42. You forgot about Stride, Inc. in Albuquerque, NM! 50% of our employees are special needs and we have been hiring adults with intellectual delays for 35 years!! To top it off, two of our special needs employees have been with us since Day 1 🙂 – Marie (Developmentally Delayed) and Peter (Autism Spectrum) still come in to work everyday and are valued members of our team. We have the best people in the world working @ Stride.

    http://nistmep.blogs.govdelivery.com/manufacturers-remarkable-things/

  43. missbeedc says:

    I live in Maryland near Washington DC and I know both Marshalls and TJ Maxx hire adults with special needs and they are employed among many roles in the store.

  44. Growing up, our Food Lion employed a guy with Down syndrome. He always talked to my mom (who teaches children with special needs) when we were in there, and I always wondered if he appreciated the fact that she treated him like any other employee – with respect and kindness.

  45. Lisa Olson says:

    I love this, I am actually a job developer that specializes in finding employment opportunities for individuals with different abilities. It is amazing how many companies are out there supporting people

  46. How would you go about letting the employer know your child has special needs? My son is 18 and looking for his fist job, he is Autistic and I don’t even know where to start

  47. Hello Mr. Smith
    I am a Director of Supported Employment for an organization in Pennsylvania. I have worked in this area for 19 years and appreciated you list. It is encouraging to see so many people sharing the names of employers that hire individuals with disabilities. I have a few more to add to your list if you wish. We have worked with Staples, CVS, AMC Theaters, Petsmart, Burger King, Giant, Weis and Taco Bell. Thank you for taking the time to create the list and inspire this discussion. Bless you and your family.

  48. My son is 20 with Asperger, ADD and learning disabilities, i pushed through high school and college he graduated both but it is hard for him because where he got a job to me its like he gets picked on so he tries to go faster and gets hurt every time. He is afraid if anyone finds out they will send him home and loose his job. We are in Philadelphia. If anyone knows of any restaurants hiring that will work with him this would be great. He graduated from a culinary school and is smart given then chance. I am also willing to move with in reason to help him. if anyone has any info

  49. Halfmoon Works in Clifton Park NY hires those on the autism spectrum.

  50. YOU NEED TO TAKE WALGREENS OFF THAT LIST MY SON WHO IS AUTISTIC AND TOURETTS PUT IN APP AND PASSED ASSESSMENT AND WAS TOLD THEY WOULD TELL HIM EITHER WAY ( VOC REHAB IS INVOLVED ) BUT THEY DO NOT ANSWER CALLS NOR RETURN CALLS SO WALGREEN IS NOT HIRING DISABLED

  51. Bright rose says:

    Hi, I’m someone that just loves what you are all trying to do, I think over all it would be amazing to have lists like this for everyone with a Disability or handicap to get a look at as so many parents lose hope or don’t get a look at the amazing things going on in the world.

    I lost my vision in my late teens, and before that I was a care giver, I know what you are doing is helping so many people and I just wanted to say that XD

  52. Target you should take off because they told me that they would not hire me because of my disability and you need to Add Best Buy and CD Warehouse

  53. Karen Mezatasta says:

    Love this site! My daughter is epileptic and has cerebral palsy. Does anyone know of any employers in the Cleveland, OH area? She is 18.

  54. Michelle Finn says:

    Roth’s Fresh Markets near me not only hire kids with Developmental and physical disabilities but they encourage and support them as well. My son is a high-functioning autistic child with ocpd as well as many physical disabilities including multiple spinal and leg surgeries. Roths has offered to let him work there as an intern once he is ready. This company forever has my business!

  55. Brookshires in Texas also hires those with disabilities. They are an amazing company. I love that you have done this page.

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