Couple Cooks Up Plan to Help People With Disabilities Enter the Job Market


Walter and Judy Gloshinski opened Smiling With Hope Pizza in Reno, Nevada, in January, and the business has already received an incredible response from the community. Not only has the demand for their pizzas been so high that they’ve run out of dough a few times, but they are aiming to turn their eatery into a place that offers people with disabilities steady employment.

“We did it because it needed to be done,” Gloshinski told ABC News. “There are no jobs out there for these kids.”

For the last two decades Gloshinski worked as a special educator opening businesses in California, Texas and Ohio with public schools that trained students with disabilities for competitive work, according to the Smiling With Hope Pizza website.

Gloshinski says the training process is thorough, but they try to tailor it around the needs of their employees. “We try to assess their skills, and place them in a situation where they can be successful and grow,” he told ABC News. “Right now one of our trainees likes to be in the back. She does all the dishes, puts together pizza boxes, and she does the garlic knots. The other trainee is a people person, so he is up front seating people, bussing tables and waiting tables.”

The Gloshinskis currently work with two volunteer chefs and two trainees with developmental disabilities, and they’re hoping to expand. Smiling With Hope Pizza’s ultimate goal is to “become a nonprofit and provide safe housing, pension plans, vacations, for our employees,” according to its website.

Beth Sullivan, chairman, International Down Syndrome Coalition told The Mighty:

“Contrary to common belief, hiring people with disabilities is actually good for the bottom line and improves corporate culture. Technology has eliminated or lessened many of the barriers that were previously faced by people with disabilities in the workforce. Any necessary workplace accommodations are low in cost and ultimately positively impact the workplace.

As more business like Smiling With Hope Pizza showcase the talents of these workers, more people with intellectual disabilities will find employment and more companies will take the chance at hiring them.”


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Disability

Tommy Hilfiger Launches Adaptive Collection for Children With Disabilities

Now, children of all abilities can wear Tommy Hilfiger clothing. A nonprofit organization called Runway of Dreams worked with the brand to launch an adaptive version of select styles from its children’s line, which will be on sale starting Tuesday. *Sign up for The Mighty Newsletter* Mindy Scheier, a fashion designer, founded Runway of Dreams to work with the [...]
Edward Bright on the cover of the Daily Mirror

Parents ‘Disgusted’ After Quadruple Amputee Son’s Disability Was Questioned

Edward Bright’s arms and legs were amputated when he developed meningitis as a child, and after his 16th birthday last month, Bright began the process of switching from the U.K.’s Disability Living Allowance (DLA) benefit system to Personal Independence Payments (PIP), according to the Mirror. However, rather than a seamless transition, Bright’s parents were furious when the [...]

To the People Who Think There Is Always a Visible Sign of Disability

I see the looks I get when I hand a health care provider my Medicare card along with my private insurance card. I see, and sometimes hear, judgmental actions when I use a handicapped spot in a parking lot. Most people have their own interpretation of what a person with a disability looks like. They seem to think there [...]

5 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Living With a Disability

I’m not a fan of top 10 lists unless David Letterman is rattling off a good one sometime around midnight. First of all, they can come off as rather arrogant. Does anyone really know “the 10 correct ways to interact with people with disabilities?” Do we actually think there are “10 things every special needs mom can do to feel [...]