On November 14, L’Oréal Canada welcomed eight autistic adults under a partnership with the Fondation Les Petits Rois.
The mission of this non-profil organization is to facilitate the education and the development of young adults who have a mild to severe intellectual disability with related disorders.
L’Oréal Canada greeted the eight “little kings” (Petits Rois) as part of a five-year internship program with the goal of preparing them to a working life and helping them become more autonomous.
They will be at the Canadian head office two days per week, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, to carry out various tasks such as putting paper in the photocopiers, preparing various mailings, watering plants, shredding documents, picking-up dishes and washing the whiteboards in meeting rooms, etc.
They will be accompanied at all times by an educator and two specially trained attendants.
Their presence will be a source of inspiration for all
In order to be ready to welcome the interns, L’Oréal Canada employees were invited to attend a training session during which they learned through role-playing how to welcome the Petits Rois with the utmost respect.
Employees were also given practical tips and information by the Fédération québécoise de l’autisme about how to behave around autistic people. For example:
· Don’t speak too loudly or touch a person unexpectedly.
· Speak clearly, use simple sentences without innuendos or double meaning.
· If you laugh, explain why the situation may seem funny.
A step toward autonomy
Entering the work force is a wonderful accomplishment for these interns. For them, it’s a way of feeling included in a great project and finding their place in society.
Diversity, an exceptional resource
This is the start of a wonderful adventure for these eight exceptional individuals and their families. Their presence at L’Oréal Canada’s head office will surely help enrich the company’s workplace.