Please watch our new video and learn more about our mission and vision to build esteem in our community. Watch our first TV interview that appeared on WRAL in September at https://www.wral.com/new-cary-coffee-shop-would-employ-people-with-disabilities-founders-say/18654302/
When I was 18 and beginning college at UNC, I started losing my vision; by age 21, I had to stop driving due to my vision loss. That was almost 30 years ago. I know firsthand what it is like to live with a disability and how challenging it can be. Even though each individual has different obstacles they face, all those living with a disability have 3 general areas of life that are impacted: obtaining employment, adapting to a job, and social engagement. Esteamed Coffee’s mission is to address each of these obstacles by providing job coaching and a supportive/encouraging environment where the employees and patrons feel they are part of a warm, welcoming community.
Since graduating from UNC in 1984 with a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, I have worked with individuals of all ages with speech-language disorders and have always loved helping people. However, communication deficits hit close to home five years ago when Angie and I had a dear friend whose healthy, athletic 18 year old son suffered a massive stroke. Austin (the young man pictured with us below) initially lost the ability to communicate as well as use of his right hand and leg. While walking through this crisis with Austin’s family, I became acquainted with a new concept that Maura Silverman of Triangle Aphasia Project, Unlimited (TAP) was piloting called a Communication Support Team. Through volunteering with TAP on Austin’s Communication Support Team, I have seen the significant impact that this type of Life Participation therapy can have on an individual’s communication improvement as well as the impact it can have on their family. And the thought occurred to me, why can’t this type of therapy be extended to the individual’s work environment as well?
Co-founders Tamara Lapsley and Angie Hudson with potential employee Austin Harrell.
Our Board of Directors (l to r:Christy Teague, Angie Hudson, Tamara Lapsley and Maura Silverman at the Charity Distance Festival 5k Race!
Co-founder Tamara Lapsley with Paul