June 23, 2018

Job skills Training for People with Developmental Disabilities


Delivering on its mission to provide the tools needed to become employable, Farming Independence, a non profit 501(C)3, will launch “Go Wild,” a nature-based Saturday summer program that begins July 7 in Agoura Hills, for participants 16 and older who have Autism and/or other developmental disabilities.

The “Go Wild” program will operate on a farm in July and August for four Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Partnering with local businesses from the Westside, West San Fernando Valley and Ventura County, the program will be filled with hands-on business and employment experiences, physical activities and social interaction.

“Our goal is to teach job skills, life skills and social skills to prepare our participants for employment and independence," Sheila Mayfield, President of Farming Independence, says. "We focus on their abilities, not their disabilities, and it is wonderful to see their self esteem, confidence and skills improve from our individualized programs.”

Hands-on business and employment activities will include making handcrafted products and packaging them, which they will have the opportunity to sell to the public at local farmers markets at the end of each month. The physical and social activities will include nature walks, volleyball, yoga, music and dance, playing horseshoes, animal husbandry, organic gardening and more.

"In addition to improving the quality of lives of our participants, we aim to educate the public, specifically businesses, about the enormous opportunities available by employing this talented and untapped population," Mayfield said. "It is our responsibility as a nation to drastically improve the minute percentage of American Companies that hire people with disabilities.

“In addition to our 'Go Wild' program we are also developing a five-day career academy and our own business enterprise system, the first being a bakery that will hire participants from our programs.”

More information on Farming Independence and the 'Go Wild' program can be obtained by visiting farmingIndependence.org or calling (818) 865-1415.