ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The owner of Brewability, a brewery and pizzeria in Englewood, says she feels her employees' safety is in jeopardy after her business became the target of offensive speech and vandalism.
Tiffany Fixter, a former special education teacher, opened Brewability to help create jobs for people with disabilities.
“I employ adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to brew and serve craft beer and pizza,” Fixter said.
Jacob Ruth is one of 18 workers at the brewery with a disability. He started serving pizza back in March.
“We do need jobs. We work like regular people. We need to make a living,” Ruth said.
He loves that every day at work is a new experience.
But not everyone is on board with the employment opportunities offered by Brewability. Fixter says her business has been verbally attacked for hiring people with disabilities at an establishment that serves alcohol.
Earlier this month, Fixter says a dumpster and an electrical box at the brewery were vandalized with messages like, "Alcohol & Autism don’t mix. Boycott sideshow Bobs," and, “Why do we want autistic people to know how to be drunk? Boycott sideshow Bobs."
“I don’t even know why somebody has the audacity to say, ‘Hey, autistic people and alcohol don’t mix,’ which makes no sense to me because I know someone who actually does drink, has autism and easily is fine afterward,” Ruth said.
“I think it’s the old perception that they should be placed away from society,” Fixter said.
Earlier this month, the business was the target of offensive comments and vandalism four times in one week. The incidents have put Fixter on high alert.
“I’m worried for our safety,” Fixter said.
Ruth admits he’s offended by the recent vandalism and wants to remind people that they, too, are human and can make their own decisions.
“The message is no matter where you come from, no matter who you are, no matter what you do... you are equal no matter who you are,” Ruth said.
This story was originally published by Adi Guajardo on Scripps station KMGH in Denver.