650,000 people are affected by autism in France (1). At the Orange Foundation, we have been committed to helping these people and their families since 1991. After many years during which we have supported research, organizations, and associations, we’re innovating to make everyday life easier for people with autism.
Since 2012, we’ve promoted the use of digital technology for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).
Digital technology driving progress
Digital technology provides valuable help for communication, learning, social skills, and more. Tablets have greatly increased this phenomenon.
Since 2013, we have helped professionals and families to use these tools and we now are introducing a digital program focused on three main actions: informing, equipping, and guiding.
To help carers and families find the most suitable tool, in 2014, we launched the collaborative platform Applications-Autisme.
This website provides a large number of apps, sorted by learning areas, and scored by users, professionals, and parents alike.
In 2012, we organized the second international conference (with nine countries in attendance) on innovative technologies to support autism (ITASD), to share what new digital technologies contribute to the knowledge of autism in families’ everyday lives.
In 2016 we funded TSARA, the first online game to learn how to support people with autism and adopt best practices and the right responses.
Tsara is free and available in French and English in the Android and Apple stores.
Informing and helping
On April 2, 2019, the first free, national online information and support program was launched in France to help and guide people with autism, their families and friends, and medical and social work professionals.
By telephone (+33 800 71 40 40) and online (www.autismeinfoservice.fr), Autisme Info Service responds to any of these people who are facing serious difficulties today.
We support autismeinfoservice.fr.
The Autisme Info Service experts answer key questions concerning diagnosis, administrative procedures, education, training, and professional integration... all the key stages in life.
It’s the single point of contact and guidance for autism
Content to help carers and families:
Many applications are available to support families, people with autism, and professionals.
Ben the Koala
Available on a digital app, the character Ben the Koala helps children with everyday themes such as hygiene, dressing, or motor skills.
Santé BD (Health comic) offers educational tools designed for all, to gain a better understanding of health. This app enables people to prepare, feel less afraid and communicate better during medical appointments.
The “2 minutes to live with autism” videos to support carers everyday with scenes from everyday life.
Two minutes to live better with autism offers free videos that portray scenes in everyday life. They provide practical tips and advice to support carers of children with autism.
Our mission is also to improve access to equipment and new technologies.
Since 2013, each year we have launched a call for projects to equip people with autism with digital technology.
To date, more than 400 establishments have been equipped and more than 5,000 tablets or interactive whiteboards have been funded. The results are surprising and professionals tell us they have “discovered capabilities in their residents they were unaware of.”
The projects supported must be designed upstream, integrated in the establishment’s project, and adapted to the educational project.
These tools promote learning and can also be used to help people with autism open up to the outside world.
Guiding professionals and parents
At the same time, to help professionals and parents get to grips with digital tools, our employees on skills sponsorship schemes in the associations support them.
To involve families, the Orange Foundation has supported the project Aidants 3.0 (Carers 3.0) which is training 600 families on digital tools.
Online training is offered, as well as three individual parental guidance sessions.
Supporting experimental projects:
New technologies offer an unlimited field of exploration.
We support experimental research projects, such as the use of immersive virtual reality, augmented reality, FabLabs, the “Le Cube” project in Tours, and more.
Our other programmes
(1) Source: Pasteur insitute 2018.