World Autism Awareness Day

The foundation has been working on all fronts to help with the issues presented by autism for 23 years, in France, Europe, and now on all the continents where Orange has a presence. On World Autism Awareness Day, the 2 April 2014, the Orange Foundation is looking back at the main initiatives it has been pursuing in the last year in its chosen fields: digital initiatives, public awareness, support for families, for integration, and for research. Working closely with local populations, the Foundation tailors its approach to these fields to the specific context and needs of each country.

In France, developing digital initiatives that have proved their effectiveness

The Orange Foundation, in partnership with Auticiel and Unapei, has just launched, the first collaborative site that lists and evaluates applications that help learners who have autism.

The site is a collaborative platform that went live on 11 March 2014. A forum for exchanges and sharing, created with input from both socio-medical professionals and families, it enables those supporting individuals with autism to find the right educational applications.

In 2014 the Orange Foundation will support other digital projects that aim to equip, support and inform. Out of 106 projects submitted, 72 will be selected for support, with over 700 tablets distributed; to these will be added interactive “blackboards”, computers and training for the learning facilitators. These tools will help over 1720 children and adults with autism to learn. The Orange Solidarité association will also help with familiarisation with the digital tools.



The Orange Foundation is organising the second ITASD international conference on Innovative Technologies (IT) for Autism (ASD), in Paris on 3 and 4 October 2014 at the Pasteur Institute. This year the conference, which is open to the public, will address how digital resources can help those with autism in their everyday lives. Experts will present concrete solutions to help meet the challenges that people with autism and those around them face. The aim of this international conference is to bring together families, scientists, educators, professionals and carers to create a forum for dialogue and to exchange best practices (sign-up begins in June 2014 on ITASD 2014 Paris is the second annual iteration of an important event that was initiated by the Orange Foundation Spain, in Valencia in 2013.



Build awareness and change society’s perceptions of autism in all countries

These are the aims, for a second year, of the Participate! association and Mobistar (the Orange Group’s Belgian subsidiary) as they organise a special day for 2 April, when trained volunteer employees will spend a few hours sharing the activities of people with autism. By breaking down barriers, everyone involved shares strong emotions and their experiences (

In Poland the success of the 2013 “I’m unique, just like everyone else” autism awareness campaign encouraged the SYNAPSIS Foundation and the Orange Foundations in France and Poland to publish a new Polish edition of the book Maria Y Yo (Maria and Me), written and illustrated by Miguel Gallardo, that was so successful in its first edition in Spain.

This initiative, which included several meetings across the country, enabled people with autism, their families and friends, specialists and those who are aware of the issues, to come together and share their experiences. On 2nd April 2014 the Orange Foundation Poland will also release a short film online, based on ideas and scripts from primary school children.

In Mauritius more than 8000 copies of the “Unique like you” cartoon have been distributed in the last year, to parents, health professionals, NGOs, ministries and educational establishments. The launch of the cartoon is part of a wider campaign to build awareness in families and train professionals. In July 2013 a toll-free pre-diagnosis line was set up; in October a colloquium attended by 2 government ministers brought together families and health professionals, with the participation of French autism experts and others. The cartoon makes it quickly easy to understand how someone with autism behaves, helping with early diagnosis, which is crucial.

Respite for families and supporting everyday integration in France

Following its "Support for families and siblings” and “Equipment for organisations” calls for projects, the Foundation supported seven projects directly targeting families, reaching 2,500 beneficiaries, and helped 28 different organisations with various projects aimed at all age groups (adults, adolescents, children) and all activities (learning, leisure, sport, professional integration).

With its "Paroles de frères et soeurs" (Families speak) call for personal accounts, any family or friend of someone with autism was given a forum to express and share their feelings on


To help with everyday life and access to care, the Foundation financed an oral-dental healthcare programme developed by SOHDEV (Santé Orale Handicap Dépendance et Vulnérabilité – Oral health, disability, dependence and vulnerability). These tools help both with prevention through dental hygiene and with preparation for visits to the dentist, two areas that are particularly delicate for numerous people with autism. Thanks to this support, the programme is free both for families and professionals.

Continuing with research in France

Research has been one of the pillars of the Orange Foundation’s activity for 23 years, with six grants made to young scientists and five research programmes funded in 2013 alone. These clinical and neurophysiological studies address a wide range of topical issues, including language issues, genetics, social perception and more.

1 comment

Wednesday 2 April 2014 17:25 by martineau jean

je ne peux qu'adhérer aux initiatives prises par Orange. Nos besoins en équipements, en formation, en recherche sont innombrables. J'encourage tous les intervenants et/ou sympathisants à renouveler ces initiatives de rencontres toujours positives, encourageantes, créatrices de projets souvent coûteux mais tellement efficaces afin d'améliorer les accompagnements des Personnes avec autisme, et d'inover en ces domaines encore désertiques pour ce qui concerne l'engagement des services d'Etat.

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