This Houston, TX, entrepreneur is using his platform to give back in the best way.

Roderick Batson has not only one but two organizations committed to serving people living with disabilities in the local Houston area. Through his businesses, he is able to provide them with employment and help break the stigma that they experience.

Breaking The Stigma

“It’s inspiring to see a population of people who are labeled with a disability that actually have so many abilities,” Batson told AFROTECH. “Once we focus on the abilities and not the disability, we see what they are actually capable of.”

As a franchisee of both Howdy Homemade Ice Cream, which provides people with jobs as they transition into adulthood, and Essential Speech and ABA Therapy Clinic, Batson and his team are on a mission to put an end to common misconceptions surrounding those living with a disability.

“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 explained. 

Batson continued: “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.”

Using Entrepreneurship To Serve Others

What’s more, Batson shares that using both businesses to help others as well as seeing people who have never worked before gain the opportunity to show off their skills has been the most rewarding part of his journey as an entrepreneur.

“Howdy’s Homemade and Essential Speech and ABA are geared towards improving the abilities of the special needs community,” he said. “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.”

On Sept. 18, Batson opened the doors to an Essential Speech and ABA Therapy clinic in his Texas community. In the future, he hopes to franchise more locations across the nation to help even more people.

“I would like to scale Essential Speech and ABA because the population of people living with autism is only growing, and if we can provide a safe space for them to learn and thrive, we will set them up to be successful,” Batson said. “I want to create a golden standard for all ABA clinics so that these individuals are receiving the best therapy.”

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.”