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INDEPENDENT ADULT LIFE: PROTAGONISM, CITIZENSHIP AND AUTONOMY
Unprecedented in Brazil, the independent housing of the JNG Institute brings a new look at adults with intellectual disabilities and autism, focusing on protagonism, empowerment, autonomy and independence. After an intense process of inclusion and education since birth, there is a gap in the transition to adulthood of this generation of adults with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder – ASD, which is more active, long-lived, empowered and aware of Your rights. Often, these young people are infantilized, even seen as incapable and prevented from making choices and decisions.
The first house for independent living in Brazil is located in Rio de Janeiro, in the ULiving building in the Flamengo neighborhood, with a wide range of services, commerce, leisure and public transport, facing the tree-lined Aterro do Flamengo. Each resident has their apartment, their privacy and their own routine, in a common building, where people with and without disabilities live. No isolation, no segregated residences, with privacy, freedom and autonomy, as guaranteed in the UN Convention and the Brazilian Law of Inclusion.
“This is only possible when we can offer adequate support. Support that comes from the certainty that people with disabilities should, and can, have autonomy to live as they are, even with limitations. The main function of JNG’s support is to respect the dignity and integrity of the person, whoever they are”, says Flávia Poppe, director and one of the founders of the JNG Institute.
An innovative project based on the social model of disability, the JNG housing allows adults with disabilities to continue their process of developing skills and competences throughout their lives, with security and professional support. Its exclusive methodology makes an in-depth analysis of the uniqueness of each resident, taking into account their rights and choices, and has goals, evaluations and quality control.
Housing for independent living is transformative, it changes the dynamics of social interaction in communities, buildings and neighborhoods, breaking barriers and deconstructing the culture of capacitism. It stimulates and favors the interaction and learning of people with disabilities, and their full access to society’s resources.
I want to apply for independent housing at JNG.
The first step is to carry out a Profile and Autonomy Assessment, an x-ray of the abilities and autonomy of the disabled adult, based on interviews with him/her and his/her family (mother, father, siblings) conducted by our multidisciplinary team of specialists. . In these interviews, routines, activities and aspirations are mapped in different areas of life: health, leisure, security, finances, food, etc.
It is not an assessment of being able or not, but rather to define the second fundamental step towards independent housing in the JNG: the Personalized Support Plan (PPA), which maps out the necessary support for an adult with a disability to live with autonomy and as independent as possible in your home and in your day to day life. Even though they are highly dependent, adults with disabilities must exercise their autonomy of choice, even if they do not have the independence to perform tasks. From the simple fact of having your own home, your privacy, there will be many stimuli for you to expand your practice of autonomy.
Today housing is fully financed by families and sporadic donations. The JNG Institute does not have private sponsorship, and unfortunately public policies still do not contemplate independent housing, but we are in constant dialogue with governments and the Public Prosecutor’s Office to make it a reality for everyone!
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