Photo & Information: Courtesy of Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
Bixby, OK -
A blind woman has opened a coffee shop in Bixby with her family.
Christie Knipp opened OMC! Oh My Coffee along with her husband, Phillip, and her daughter Sarah. Sarah is also legally blind.
Knipp has not let anything hold her back. "Blindness is not an excuse or a crutch," Knipp said. "You can do a barista's job by touch and timing and hearing the way the milk is steaming," Knipp explained. "As long as everything is in the right place and doesn't get moved around, it's a fairly blind-friendly job. I just can't drive. That's the only thing. And you don't have to drive to make coffee."
Knipp wrote up a business plan which caught the attention of her counselors at the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. ODRS is in an employment program focused on helping people with visual disabilities.
"I'd rather be a working part of society. I don't want to be on government assistance. I want to be a normal person like everybody else," Knipp says.
She says it's truly a family effort. "My husband is getting the hang of it, but there's a lot to memorize - the number of recipes we have on the menu, how many squirts of each syrup and so on." Knipp said. "It's like bartending. You just replace alcohol with caffeine."