LEXINGTON – He loves telling jokes, superheroes and video games. Omar Masood is the owner of Omar’s Cartoon World. Omar has Down syndrome and in his store he employs other people like him who might have struggled to find employment.
“I hired some of my friends and family here. They love me,” Omar said.
“We’ve hired all kinds of students. People with autism, people with Down syndrome, we’ve partnered with the LABBB program which is a special education program in Lexington,” said store events coordinator Michael Epstein.
“I’ve spent my entire career as a special education teacher and disability advocate and often times you have to beat and beat and beat. Well, that door is open. You don’t have to beat,” said Le Omar’s teacher, Tom Brown.
WBZ-TV took you inside the Lexington store when it. They have since moved to a larger space with two floors to encourage even more fun and learning.
“So the children have more space, and we can bring more space, they can be part of the program on the first floor, they can be part of the program on the second floor,” said Sohail Masood, the father of Omar.
Before the store moved to 20 Waltham Street, Lexington, the building was a restaurant. The next step is to use the back kitchen as Omar’s Bistro, with a goal that goes far beyond selling delicious food.
“The goal is that as we do that, we’ll start hiring more people with disabilities in our bistro,” Sohail said, adding, “We hope that along with the kitchen, they’ll also learn to cook. because being independent is very important to have cooking skills so that you can live on your own.”