Roderick Batson established two organizations to help people with disabilities in the Houston area find work and overcome the stigma they endure.
Batson told AfroTech, “It’s inspiring to see a population of people who are labeled with a disability that actually have so many abilities. Once we focus on the abilities and not the disability, we see what they are actually capable of.”
A franchisee of Howdy Homemade Ice Cream and Essential Speech and ABA Therapy Clinic, Batson and his team are working to dispel myths about people with disabilities.
“A big misconception is, because they have a disability, they aren’t able, and Howdy Homemade Ice Cream has allowed them to not only be employable but to be some of the best employees you’ll ever have,” he remarked.
“One thing we’ve done at Howdy is made all of the prices on the cash register even numbers so they aren’t having to count change. This has made it simple for them to succeed and fulfill a job that is rewarding and making them feel a part of society and the workplace,” he added.
In September, he opened the Essential Speech and ABA Therapy facility in his hometown, Texas. The clinic provides a wide range of services, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral therapy.
According to Batson, one of their objectives is to enroll kids in these programs before they start school; thus, even children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years are welcome.
He told Click2Houston, “Hearing from those parents and hearing that so many individuals with autism are on a waiting list. Then, it takes them so long to get in and get services. It really kind of inspired me to want to jump in.”
Batson disclosed that he gets a sense of fulfillment from witnessing how his companies benefit others and give people who have never had a job a chance to display their abilities. He hopes to open more of these franchises in order to reach and help more people.
“Howdy’s Homemade and Essential Speech and ABA are geared towards improving the abilities of the special needs community,” he expressed. “To put individuals in a position to win instead of using their disability as a crutch that keeps the stigma surrounding the special needs community.”
He continued: “I think by working with large corporations to hire individuals with special needs, I can really help this overlooked population by showing everyone that they are able.”