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Autism Can Work

SERVICEPLAN FRANCE, Paris / ANDROS / 2018

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Overview

Background

There are over 500.000 severe non-speaking autistic people in France. Mistreated. Isolated. Cut off from society. Each one represents a 100.000 Euros yearly cost for the state. Not to be treated, just to be parked in “care centers”. Recently, the EU authorities have called out France on the topic of Autists mistreatment and exclusion.

Idea

What if we were all wrong about Autism ? What if Autism was just another form of intelligence, misunderstood and left unexploited ? Could autistic specificites, well-employed, be valuable work skills ? Work, as everybody knows, is the first factor of social insertion. Based on that strong belief, Andros - one of the main food leaders in France - and its partner agency decided to change the way people look at Autism.

Where society sees autists as compulsive people, we see compulsively focused people. In their obsessional behaviors, we see obsession for precision. So how can we turn these “inhabilities” into capacities ? By creating AUTISM CAN WORK. A care program that is a career program.

Strategy

1. Proving that this belief actually works.

Andros took a bold risk: hiring severe autistic people in its factories, in the same terms as any worker. It turned out they were as productive and efficient as any worker. With a job and a salary, like any citizen, they became much happier and independent in society.

2. Turning that successful experience into a program

To help other companies do the same, Andros and its partner agency launched a digital toolkit platform where recruiters could find information about the Andros experiment, search for the right autistic candidates’ profiles and get a full package including a place to live and professional coaching for the autistic workers.

Execution

We presented this game-changing platform to the CEOs of major companies, HR departments and main autism associations. Through this one-on-one digital tool, job offers were matched with the perfect autistic candidates.

As the 4th national plan on Autism was launched by the French government, we triggered a nationwide PR campaign aiming the medias and journalists, based on Andros’ bold experiment.

Outcome

This pioneering initiative started a wide debate in national media, that pushed the French government to endorse and support AUTISM CAN WORK. Our program helped cut down the yearly cost per Autisic person from 100.000€ down to 35.000€, generating precious cost savings for the community.

Health workers and autism specialists acknowledged the virtues of our program on autistic people’s well-being.

To this day, two other major companies are already involved in AUTISM CAN WORK, and many more showed a significant interest in Andros’ program, proving that we need people with Autism as much as they need us.

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1 Cannes Lions Award
AUTISM CAN WORK

SERVICEPLAN FRANCE, Paris

AUTISM CAN WORK

2018, ANDROS

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