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Persons with challenges should be able to live a complete and meaningful life. They may face certain problems in day-to-day life. Here, you can find information on employment, housing and various support schemes for persons with challenges.

What are the work options for persons with intellectual and developmental challenges?

Persons with challenges have the right to be employed. They must be supported and encouraged to join a job. Work gives a person confidence, self-worth and independence, as well as providing financial stability. As is equally true for persons with or without intellectual and developmental challenges, the type of job that will suit each person depends on his/her aptitude and interests.

Preparation for work must begin in school. An inclusive and positive school environment is the first step to enabling persons with challenges to fulfil their potential. Vocational therapy can help persons with challenges identify suitable occupations and develop additional skills to facilitate the transition from school to work.

Unfortunately, prejudice against persons with challenges often bars them from the mainstream workplaces. Employers often make assumptions about what a person with challenges can and cannot do, when in reality they have a wide range of abilities.

Many adults with intellectual and developmental challenges work in sheltered workplaces, commonly referred to as vocational centres. A vocational centre provides a range of work opportunities that are tailored to the needs of each individual. Such centres provide structure and predictability that promote independent functioning for an enhanced, successful, and dignified work experience. Vocational centres may be run by the government, but in most cases in India, are run by NGOs.

What are housing and living requirements of a person with challenges?

In the traditional Indian joint family, an adult with an intellectual or developmental challenge is expected to continue living with his/her parents. Unfortunately, many such persons continue to be treated as children. This MUST change as the child grows into adulthood.

Some persons with challenges live independently, manage jobs or careers and their finances, own a house, and if they wish, marry and have children. However, this number is small. Others need a range of supported living options that provide them access to opportunities for work as well as a satisfying social life so that they are able to live a fulfilling life of dignity.

There is no study that elaborates on the future of persons with challenges in India, especially those with very high support needs, after the loss of their guardians. Despite the changing structures in family settings, India does not have the kind of social security that ensures that the State steps in when there is no one to address the needs of a vulnerable adult with an intellectual or developmental challenge. This sector is largely the domain of NGOs and parent organisations.


What kind of assisted living services are available for persons with intellectual challenges?

Assisted living means residential care facilities that provide housing, meals, personal care and supportive services to challenged adults who are unable to live independently. These units are regulated in a manner so as to encourage dignity, individuality, and choice for residents, while providing reasonable assurance for their safety and welfare.

In India, assisted living facilities for individuals with intellectual challenges is an evolving concept. Due to the high support needs of persons with challenges, additional planning and research need to go into creating assisted living options.

There are several types of residential options for people with intellectual or developmental challenges, such as in-home support providers and shared living. In-home care providers can help a person with an intellectual challenge develop and maintain independent living skills, such as personal hygiene, dressing, feeding, ambulatory needs, cooking and cleaning.

In a shared living setting, also known as group homes, people who need more than periodic support live in a supervised ‘home’ atmosphere. Group homes provide 24-hour personal care to people with an intellectual or developmental challenge. These homes help them develop self-help skills, gain work experience, and participate in community activities.

Another alternative is adult day care programs, which provide supportive services for the person’s physical and emotional well-being, healthcare, social and recreational activities. By staying active during the day and returning home in the evening, individuals developa sense of independence and yet, can remain close to their families.

A list of assisted housing facilities in India is available on our website.

Support Groups
What are support groups and how are they beneficial?

Support groups are a place for people to give and receive both emotional and practical support as well as to exchange information and thoughts. People in certain life conditions, as well as their friends and families find support groups to be a valuable resource – a place where people can share experiences, educate others, or just let off steam. Many parents of children with challenges have formed parent support groups. As all group members have been through, or are going through, similar circumstances, they can do more than sympathise with you — they can empathize and keep you from feeling alone.

Support groups can be a great place to share experiences, educate others or just let off steam. At many support groups you can also find practical tips and resources such as:

  • Information about medical treatments, professionals and care strategies through brochures, booklets, websites, telephone help lines, and person-to-person sharing in the group meetings
  • Links to professionals, institutions, care givers, etc.
  • Financial assistance and scholarships
  • Information about public policy, legal resources, privacy laws, and protection from discrimination
  • Links to researchers, policy makers, lobbyists, etc.

Find parent support groups in Amrit’s Services Bank. Remember, the group needs to be right for you so if it doesn’t feel right or doesn’t match your needs, try a different one.

State Support
Which government body in India looks after the issues faced by people with challenges?

The Department for Empowerment of People with Disabilities in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal body of the Government of India.

Its statutory body, the National Trust works to provide opportunities for capacity development to persons with disabilities and their families, fulfilling their rights, and promoting an inclusive society. The National Trust has a number of schemes for persons with intellectual challenges, ranging from early intervention for children to housing and care facilities. More information on these government schemes is available on the National Trust website.

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