A few years ago, I had the great pleasure of speaking to a group of parents at the wonderful, spectacular, scrumpdillyicious Puzzles Bakery in Schenectady, New York. We've often said here at Age of Autism that the SIBLINGS will change the world long after we parents are too old, too tired and just too too to toot any longer. We need Puzzles around the nation - they have a fantastic model, the menu is brilliant, the service high tech and the mission, to hire those with developmental disabilities including autism and Asperger's is sweeter than shoefly pie. Visit the Puzzles Bakery and Café here. Kim
SCHENECTADY — A three-person crew from NBC's "Today" show filmed in the back room Thursday as the lunch crowd started to make its way into Puzzles Bakery & Café in downtown Schenectady.
Owner and founder Sara Mae Pratt, 28, said the bakery's mission is to provide meaningful job opportunities to people with developmental disabilities.
"They've been shadowing all our employees throughout the day, they've been here since we opened and they're just capturing what it looks like to do what we do," she said.
A sign on the door warned patrons, "Be aware that you may appear in the background of their footage."
The crew was expected to continue filming all day.
Pratt said Puzzles was featured on National Public Radio and a nightly television newscast when it opened in 2015 at the corner of State and Barrett streets.
She is happy to have the spotlight again and recounted the call a few months back from producers of the network morning show.
"We're still here and I guess we're still newsworthy and happy that we can provide some happy stories for people in the news," Pratt said.
More than half of Puzzles' roughly 16 full- and part-time workers have developmental and intellectual disabilities, Pratt said, making it an integrated workforce.
"I just think that it's really important for all the employers out there across the country and all over the world to really consider taking a chance on people with special needs," she said. "I think they will be pleasantly surprised."
The bakery's name is taken from the puzzle piece, which is the international symbol for autism awareness. Read the whole article here.