Presently, adults with special needs seldom have an opportunity to live by themselves, because they are under the care of their parents / families for most part, if not, for all the time. Unless something is done to address this situation, they will not be future-ready and the question ‘what after us’ shall for ever, loom large.
Considering the issues on hand, the surest way that adults with special needs can be equipped towards independent living is to let them experience it for brief periods initially and extend it gradually over time. Better still if it takes place in an environment away from home, where they learn independent living skills under due care. This is exactly what the 'Experiential Living Programme‘ aims to achieve.
During their stay at the farm, the young adults go through a structured programme which focuses on equipping them with as much independence as feasible in their activities of daily living while simultaneously training them in essential life skills. The programme is designed to improve peer group interaction, facilitating group learning and activities. At the same time, individual focus is given with a clear IEP, to further hone the strengths and work on areas of improvement of each person as an individual and as a member in a group. This apart, the special persons will have the opportunity to work with soil, plants and animals, which is therapeutic in nature. They can roam around in the sprawling space, breathe fresh air and be one with nature.
Usha has been working with adults with special needs, as the Head of the Vocational Training Unit of V-Excel Educational Trust run in association with ESVI Sarada Foundation since its inception in 2006. With her in-depth understanding of and expertise in dealing with adults with special needs, Usha has been involved in every aspect of the programme – from ideating the concept, through drawing up the details and overseeing the implementation.
Rishi has closely worked with adults with special needs as a co-worker & workshop leader for 4 years at life sharing community for adults with special needs near Bangalore. Additionally, he is trained in curative education & social therapy based on anthroposophy. At Sreyes Farm, Rishi, under the guidance of Usha, implements the programs along with a dedicated team of special educators and care givers.