TEHRAN, Iran: A popular cafe in Tehran’s busy Vanak Square is entirely run by people with Down syndrome or autism.
More than just providing meaningful work, the place is also helping break down barriers by highlighting how capable people with disabilities are.
And it’s instilling those working there with newfound confidence and self-esteem.
With the restoration of American sanctions that were suspended under the 2015 nuclear deal, and unemployment at 12.5 percent, jobs are hard to come by in Iran ? something especially difficult for those with disabilities.
The cafe is named “Downtism Cafe” ? combing Down” with “autism” ? and it’s bustling. It opened three months ago with a staff of 10 but has been so popular that 40 people, mostly teenagers and adults in their 20s, now work there. -AP