Triveni Goswami Vernal,
(Registered Special Educator: CRR A64010)

In my previous blogs, I had written about PRE-VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND AUTISM, Transition to Vocational Skills and had provided a brief overview of VAPS (Vocational Assessment and Programming System), a Vocational Assessment tool developed by NIMH, in the blog VOCATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND TRANSITION TO VOCATIONAL TRAINING.

In today’s blog, I will be writing about the various kinds of vocational employment available for individuals with disabilities, in the Indian context— Open Employment, Sheltered Employment and Self-Employment.

1) Open Employment: It refers to an inclusive work environment, where both neurotypical and neurodiverse individuals work together. The work profile for the neurodiverse individuals may include routine, repetitive work that they may enjoy doing and the chances of the occurrence of errors, is also less. For example, housekeeping jobs in a hotel (for eg., Lemon Tree Hotels in India employs neurodiverse individuals), jobs at chains like KFC etc., where the interface with customers is low and the individual can be employed to assemble an order, in the back end.
2) Sheltered Employment: This kind of employment is one of the most sought-after employments. It refers to a work environment, where individuals are first imparted training and then once they reach a satisfactory degree of training, the individuals are employed within the same work setting. For example, employment in a factory to assemble parts or pack products, offset printing, carpentry etc. The sheltered environment provides constant supervision and feedback to the individual.
3) Self-Employment: If the family /caregivers have the desired resources, they can also set up an independent work employment setting for the neurodiverse individual. This can take diverse forms, depending on the training that the individual has been imparted. In such a work setting, while the neurodiverse individual can do the designated task at hand, he or she will have to be amply supported by other individuals. For example, if the neurodiverse individual is imparted training on a particular skill, such as block printing and a business is set up to market the merchandise based on that skill, the other aspects of the business can be handled by the rest of the family members/people can be hired for the same. The exact nature of the employment will be largely shaped by the abilities of the neurodiverse individual to carry out the tasks at hand. Small scale enterprises are an example of this. Some options are—candle making, pottery making, art-based merchandising, block printing, handmade paper making, dry food manufacturing (with FSSAI certification), jewellery making, educational resources, handmade crafts etc.

Thus, we see the various forms that vocational employment can take, for neurodiverse individuals, in India. In my subsequent blogs, I will focus on the provisions for employment under the RPWD Act 2016, the various vocational skills available for Vocational Training under the Skill Council for Persons with Disability (a part of National Skill Development Corporation), and also focus on various self-employment options.

RESOURCES AND REFERENCES:,to%20an%20individual%20disabled%20person.,to%20employment%20or%20self%2Demployment.

Author Triveni Goswami Vernal

Triveni Goswami Vernal is an Autism advocate, registered Special Educator (CRR A64010) and an Independent Researcher. Her areas of interest include Autism, Disability Rights, Gender, Art and Northeast studies. She is a mum to an 11 year old on the Autism Spectrum.

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