Given that accessibility for all at our destination is a priority at Disneyland® Paris, it was a real honour for the company to welcome the Association des Paralysés de France on Wednesday 20 January for the grand finale of the HandiDon campaign. This huge solidarity day gave 300 disabled children and their families signed up with the APF and the Secours Populaire the opportunity to come to our Disney Parks for a magical experience hosted by our Disney VoluntEARS. We talk to President of the Association Alain Rochon.
Could you tell us about the Association des Paralysés de France and the HandiDon campaign?
Created in 1933 and recognised as being in the public interest, the Association des Paralysés de France (APF) is a national movement for the defence and representation of people affected by physical and multiple disability and their families, numbering 23,600 members, 30,000 users, 25,000 volunteers and 14,100 salaried staff. The APF fights for equal rights, citizenship, social participation and free lifestyle choice for disabled people and their families.
Held between 1st September and 1st December, HandiDon is a fundraising campaign that gives people the chance to win prizes if they purchase a donation ticket. Thanks to the efforts of the people from APF, its partners and the general public, the campaign was a massive success, attracting several hundred thousand participants. The funds collected are used to finance local initiatives for disabled children, young people and adults and their families the length and breadth of France. HandiDon had major support from its partners – including Disneyland Paris – and benefited from sponsorship of Thierry Beccaro.
What is the Disneyland Paris commitment to the Association des Paralysés de France?
Disneyland Paris committed itself to supporting the APF for the very first HandiDon campaign in 2014 and I would like to say a big thank you. For that first event, Disneyland Paris donated free entrance tickets for its parks. This year, the partnership will be going even further, with 2-day stays for 4 people at Disneyland Paris and hundreds of entrance tickets being donated for HandiDon. And, to top it all, Disneyland Paris hosted a massive APF solidarity day on Wednesday 20 January, with a large number of disabled children enjoying Disney attractions and shows. This makes Disneyland Paris an APF “Golden Partner” – one of the most generous partners involved in the HandiDon campaign!
The partnership is also a sign of the Disney commitment to the issue of welcoming disabled people to its park in the Ile-de-France region. The 300 people invited to the big APF solidarity day had a chance to try out the new attractions and shows free of charge at Disneyland Paris.
Why choose Disneyland Paris for the prize-giving ceremony for the HandiDon campaign?
Disneyland Paris did us the honour of inviting us for a great solidarity day, giving disabled children and their families the chance to enjoy a magical place! So we decided to give out the HandiDon prizes on the same day. The APF awarded prizes to the winners at a ceremony attended by HandiDon partners starting at 3 p.m. at the Bella Notte restaurant. I would like to say another big thank you to Disneyland Paris, who gave us a huge amount of support, helping to make the HandiDon campaign a great success. Through this partnership, Disneyland Paris is demonstrating its commitment to meeting the needs of disabled people.