Aakaar Vocational Unit (AVU)
AutismCare Nepal Society (ACNS) has started Aakaar Vocational Unit (AVU) since 2013. This unit plays significant role in adult with autism for enhancing their independence, self- reliance and confidence. Vocational Unit is a place where young adult with autism utilized their previous pre- vocational training for their work for their independence, self-reliance and better life.
Work is considered therapeutic and essential for both physiological survival and psychological well-being of person in contemporary society.
Aakaar Vocational Unit has promoted the equal treatment and equal opportunity for person with autism, including in skill development and empowering.
AutismCare Nepal Society (ACNS) belief that every individual has different interest and capacity, the ACNS Aarambha Vocational Unit support adult with autism to develop their interests in vocational and work skill to the best of their individual potential after providing Pre-Vocational Training. Autism, being a lifelong condition, developing appropriate vocational skills is very much important for their sense of self worth, irrespective of the degree of their support needs.
Before working in Vocational Unit, Children with Autism (CWA’s), aged from 12-18 were trained on vocational skills with special teaching learning procedure using the Picture Exchange and Communication System (PECS). In this training period, special educators and vocational trainers together analyze the CWA’s interests and capacity of working in different areas. Initially, the pre vocational training is started with 15 minutes for every child but later the time period is increased according with their interest and capacity of working of CWAs. In pre vocational, CWA are prepared for the vocational unit.
ACNS Vocational Unit provides adult with autism a work environment that builds on individual strengths and structured to promote independence. ACNS Vocational Unit provides following training to adolescents and adult with autism on:
- Nepali handmade paper products
- Sorting and Sequencing etc.
Products made at the ACNS Vocational Unit includes mufflers, mobile bags, tea mats, key rings, earrings, potes, anklets, bracelets, toran, envelopes, greeting cards, gift box, dairy, paper pencil and candle.
Aakar vocational unit started in 2013 in Autism Care Nepal Society. Students with autism learn vocational activities during pre-vocational period at school and then are transferred to Aakar vocational unit after age 18. In Aakar vocational unit altogether 9 adults with autism were enrolled during fiscal year 2018/2081. Among them 7 are male and 2 females.
One of the main concerns of our students’s parents is how they will face their future if they don’t have proper support. This is the reason why our organization’s mission is to support our students in how to be as independent as possible given their needs and understanding of the world around them. So, we work on health, independent living, employment, leisure skills and community inclusion of people with autism.
Our students do different types of vocational work, for example, domestic work, handicraft, baking, gardening, office work, grocery shopping, etc. We also work on work-ethics such as, work with minimum supervision, acceptance of change in schedule, complete assigned task, return to work after break, etc. For physical and mental health our students participate in various games and yoga activities. For community inclusion they participate in festive events, visit their friends’ houses, shopping mall, restaurants, etc. For independent living, we teach them personal hygiene, self-care routine, meal planning and preparation, household chores, etc.
Aakar Vocational Unit is a place where young adults with autism utilize their vocational training for their independence, self-reliance, and better life.