While we may promote the use of digital technology, which is so effective for certain educational programmes, it is not the only answer for the complex needs of people with autism. For those with autism to integrate more easily within society, and have a better quality of life, there need to be changes to work and housing, access to culture, to leisure activities, and so on. Our selection committee has decided to support 33 new projects, 8 of them concerned with alternative housing.
What do we mean by alternative housing?
We have already funded 23 different and concrete projects under the umbrella of our “Alternative Housing” programme, launched in 2017. The initiatives take a variety of forms:
- Nursing home - extra muros
Shared independent housing for adults, managed by a nursing home (Foyer d’Accueil Médicalisé).
- “Solidarity” house share
Each person has their own room, with common areas shared. An external body provides suitable management and any personalised support.
- Shared housing
Studio or 1-bedroom apartments in a single block with some shared areas (living room, kitchen, dining room, etc.). Support is provided by independent contractors.
- “Springboard” housing
Temporary accommodation enabling progression towards independent housing.
This committee has supported 8 projects enabling persons with autism to have their own accommodation.
Because this sort of housing is not suitable for everyone, we also decided to support other reception centres to help improve living conditions and learning, for example by offering sensorimotor courses, sensory equipment, digital equipment, and so on.
In total 11 establishments working with adults benefited from our support.
Autisme Aveyron: an example of shared housing that works!
Private personal spaces and shared areas combine to create housing in an urban setting that is both peaceful and conducive to socialisation.
The kitchen plays a central role: a place for learning and enjoyment, helping to develop the capacity to concentrate, to adapt, to work in a team and to follow rules. It also offers an introduction to the world of work, through the sale of cakes, and ultimately is a way to build confidence in oneself and one’s relationships with others.
A young man who built up his independence there has just left to move into his own apartment in a totally normal setting!
Other initiatives to provide access to life’s essentials
So that integration and inclusion is complete, every individual must also have access to work, to culture, to leisure activities and more.
For this reason, our committee decided to finance 14 other projects:
- fitting out an art gallery exhibiting work by, for and with persons with disabilities,
- a package providing access to live performances,
- support for cultural enterprises employing persons with disabilities,
- financing IT equipment for professional training,
- buying adapted gardening tools...