Disability Awareness Award Winner A Seat at the Table – Creating A Community Where Everyone Belongs
Emily Autenrieth’s bookstore and cafe is a one-of-a kind safe harbor for those feeling like a “fish out of water.”
Since 2021, A Seat at the Table has wanted people to understand the challenges facing disabled individuals. It held an awareness event this past summer. It provided job opportunities for youth and adults from that community. The store even has a quiet room so those sensitive to noise and activity can find a calmer setting.
“When it comes to disabilities, I often see that it’s one of the last groups to be welcomed into otherwise inclusive spaces.”Emily Autenrieth, A Seat at the Table owner
On October12, the City of Elk Grove’s Disability Advisory Committee recognized A Seat At The Table with the annual Above and Beyond Accessibility Award. Since 2007, the committee has recognized people, businesses and organizations that devote energy to make the community inclusive and accessible.
“A Seat at the Table does an amazing job amplifying the voices of everyone as it relates to diversity and inclusion.”Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen
Autenrieth hears from individuals who’ve attended past events who felt “deeply moved” when in the company of other disabled people.
“Everyone deserves a seat at the table, no matter their journey, experience or identity,” she said. “Being surrounded by others who understand your experience and relate to it is huge.”
A new event for Disability Awareness in the job force
The bookstore and its partner, Best Buddies, provide another chance this weekend to learn more about disability challenges. This time, it’s in the workforce. On October 16, they will hold an event at the bookstore at 9257 Laguna Springs Drive from 12 PM to 4 PM.
Best Buddies, a Sacramento non-profit, helps those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The California Department of Rehabilitation and Alta California Regional Center will review their employment services for special needs individuals. A discussion on autism in the workplace will take place. And live music and a performance by a dancer with Down’s Syndrome is also on the schedule. The event serves as a reminder of progress over the years by the disabled community.
“We want to celebrate how far we’ve come. We hope people continue to get the same opportunity as everybody else,” said Serena Durand Manager of Job Development.