French bodies involved

Today many French bodies are involved in the process of fostering accessibility for people with mental disabilities by displaying the pictogram S3A.

The services which are indicated by the pictogram can be the following: listening and welcoming ability on behalf of the staff, availability of simpIified information, ad hoc visits (in museums and other tourist places), support to the person, etc.

In the tourism

In France the S3A pictogram is part of the symbol “Tourism and handicap” created by the French Ministry of Tourism in order to:simbolo Tourisme&Handicap

– offer reliable, descriptive, objective information regarding the accessibility of places, services and infrastructures

– offer an adequate and integrated tourist service.

The presence or not of the pictogram corresponding to a type of disability (motor, visual, hearing or mental) informs the tourist with disability about the presence of specific services and it is proof of the tangible commitment in order to guarantee an adequate and efficient support.

In the culture

Cultural workers were among the first ones to become active on the topic of accessibility for people with mental disabilities.

Some tourist places committed themselves to the project of the symbol “Tourism and handicap” and started offering ad hoc individual and group tours.

Other tourist places like the Centre for national museum or the City of the sciences and of the industry have put at disposal information tools for specific languages.

In the means of transport

The French national state-owned railways – SNCF (Société nationale des chemins de fer) are strongly committed

The pictogram S3A is displayed in many railway stations in France above all thanks to the Accès Plus service which offers a targeted support.

Paris airports and many others, thanks to their trained staff, ensure an adequate support to people with mental disabilities from the moment they arrive till when they leave the terminal.

The initiative was developed after the implementation of a European law concerning the rights of passengers with disabilities which came into force on the 26th of July 2008 in all EU countries.

For further information read the text of the European regulation concerning the rights of passengers with disabilities.

In shopping malls

The Unibail group has organized, in its shopping mall « St Sever » in Rouen, in cooperation with Unapei and the association Les Papillons Blancs of Rouen and of Pays de Caux, a training and awareness course on mental disabilities for its staff. Also the city of Rouen and some local stakeholders took part in this initiative.

The Hypermarket Cora di Sainte-Marguerite, in collaboration with ADAPEI from the Vosges department and the IUT of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, has committed itself to this mission since 2007. It trained its staff and proposed several tools like a paper catalogue, adequate signs and the use of colours to allow its customers with mental disabilities to be more independent doing their shopping.

In the local communities

Unapei associations are strongly committed to making local stakeholders aware. In Rouen for example some associations started some awareness actions and information and training courses. Other associations instead acted on a provincial level, for example: the local department of Nous Aussi di Dunkerque, Apei de Maubeuge, AEIM 54, Apei de l’Aube, Adapei 04, Adapei 88, Udapei de Bas-Rhin, Adapei du Rhône and many others. These tangible actions, already implemented or about to be implemented, allow to improve the support to people with mental disabilities.


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