An aquatic space dedicated to the multiply handicapped children and adults of the reception center of Reugny

In contact with water, multiply handicapped persons can finally sense their bodies without suffering, overcome their fears and happily rediscover human contact. The residents of the Château de Launay, in Reugny, will soon discover these benefits in their institution.

Social and Employment

Reugny, France

Sophie Gallier

30 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/12/01

Project leader

CESAP (Comité d'études, d'éducation et de soins auprès des personnes polyhandicapées)

Multiple handicap combines major motor disturbances with severe or deep mental deficiency. Multiply handicapped persons have drastically reduced autonomy. Only with difficulty do they experience the sensations that the perception of their own bodies procures. The sensation of touching, seeing or hearing is lessened. Their sensitivity and their relations with adults are commensurately limited. Effective help necessarily begins by enabling them to experience their bodies differently. Contact with water has long proved its worth as a therapeutic method. Its benefits are clearly demonstrated, when available. Thus, for the residents of the Château de Launay (commune of Reugny, Indre-et-Loire), a medical-educational institution and specialized home managed by the association CESAP (Comité d'études, d'éducation et de soins auprès des personnes polyhandicapées), having a swim resembles a fight for survival. Despite the help of the center personnel, only 25% of the residents can indulge in this activity. Because added to the transportation and time-table restrictions are those raised by their handicap.

The benefits of water finally accessible to those who want them

CESAP, which has been accompanying multiply handicapped persons and their families for more than half a century, today manages 24 institutions in France, where its teams work on various aspects of the everyday life of persons suffering a handicap such as pain, aging or palliative care. For the residents of Reugny, it has decided to build an aquatic space. The Veolia Foundation will participate in the necessary investments, and the companies of the group will contribute their skills in energy and fluid management.

Created jointly with the personnel and their families, this space will include a jacuzzi - for its relaxing or tonic virtues according to each person's goal- a wading pool - for a reassuring discovery of the aquatic environment - and a therapeutic basin that is ideally suited to the specific needs of these persons. Very shortly, 60 children and 20 adults will thus benefit from the positive effects of these new activities.