About Raphael Village

Raphael Academy student and faculty member touch noses

About Raphael Village

Intersecting graphic of Raphael Village encompassing Raphael Academy, The Guild, and The Hearth

About Us

Located in the historic Irish Channel neighborhood of Uptown, New Orleans, Raphael Village is a non-profit organization that supports differently-abled people in becoming fully engaged in life and community. Inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s philosophies of Curative and Waldorf education and inclusive social development, and as as the first and only Affiliate Member of the Camphill Association of North America located in the southeastern United States, Raphael Village brings New Orleans and its surrounding areas into a long tradition of providing community to differently-abled individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

Founded on principles that integrate education, community life, life-sharing, and the arts to meet the needs of youth and adults with developmental disabilities, Raphael Village provides holistic learning programs, vocational training, and community for differently-abled people to be lovingly supported in mind, body and spirit throughout their lives, starting with Raphael Academy (a Transition Program for students in grades 9-12), The Guild at Raphael Village (an adult day program), and The Hearth (a future residential program).

Our Mission

Our mission is to support differently-abled people in becoming fully engaged in life and community.

Our Vision

Our vision is to establish an urban life-sharing community that includes a school, an adult day program, supported employment programming, and a life-sharing residential community. This community is founded on the core values of the Camphill movement , which include life-sharing, service, and spiritual nourishment. We envision this urban village as a place where individuals with disabilities can make their way into a productive adult life through a nurturing and sustainable environment.

The next big step in the materialization of this vision is the construction of the Town Center, which will expand our facilities and serve as a hub for our new urban village. This Town Center will support community integration and the arts for individuals with disabilities by providing a cafe, a catering kitchen, vocational and employment training classrooms, artist guild studios and administrative offices.

Our History

Raphael Academy began in spring of 2012 as an after school program for middle school students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, and other intellectual differences. Over time our program offerings expanded to include a Transition Program for students in grades 9-12 and an adult day program. The Guild was established in 2013 to provide post-secondary education and vocational training opportunities to young adults.

In 2016, Raphael Village was created to reflect our vision of providing an all-encompassing community for differently-abled people throughout all stages of life. The following year, Raphael Village became an Affiliate Member of the Camphill Association of North America , with the intent of continuing to expand our programs and services to provide a life-sharing community in which adults can develop greater independence and be actively engaged in their community.

Transition student does classwork with teacher

Today, Raphael Academy is a state-licensed, private school that offers a Transition Program for students in grades 9-12 who may have Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, and other exceptionalities. The Academy offers an adapted Waldorf curriculum, designed specifically to educate the minds, bodies and spirits of our students. The Guild is a program for individuals 18 years of age and older that provides post-secondary education, including vocational and life-skills training, community engagement, and artist guild training.

Guild members and employees cook in the kitchen

The Hearth, our future life-sharing program, will offer both small group and independent housing where friends will live in a multitude of individualized co-housing arrangements with or without the support of live-in caregivers. Raphael Village has secured three vacant lots in the immediate vicinity of the Town Center to serve as the location for The Hearth’s first homes.

Learn More About Raphael Village from Our WDSU Feature