Haute-Marne is designated as a land of experimentation to test the panels imagined by Iléna Caye and her parents. Fresh, positive, they aim to change the way people look at disability.

Her name is Ilena Caye. You must have heard of her before. This 10-year-old blonde girl has a big heart like that and charisma to spare. Ambassador of Haute-Marne, Iléna is not exactly a teenager like the others. Brilliant, quick-witted, endearing, she moves the lines from her wheelchair. We have seen her alongside celebrities, local or national, with whom she poses and whom she interviews like a budding journalist.

Benefiting from the unfailing support of her parents, Stéphanie and Jonathan, this time she lends her first name to an adventure that leads her to economic lands. Finally not only. This new project, baptized “Ilena Tech”, after the name of the company that was created, was presented on Friday, December 17 to all the elected representatives of the Department. The president, Nicolas Lacroix, had announced a surprise at the end of the session.

Why only an armchair?

The project was born during the first period of confinement. Iléna’s dad, Jonathan Caille, returned to the genesis. “When she was 7 years old, Iléna asked us why parking signs had a wheelchair as their only symbol. » This seems a shame because 80% of disabilities are not visible. The idea caught on between March and October 2020. “This blue H sign is known. We would like to make it a means of communication to show the world of disability with color, joy and smiles. We have seen it: people who have worked with Iléna since daycare are more comfortable with a disability. It’s about inclusion.”, observes Iléna’s dad.

All disabilities

These panels displaying colorful graphics and symbolizing all types of disabilities could replace the current panels. The State has given the green light for the experiment to be launched in Haute-Marne. The path was strewn with pitfalls for the Caille family who knocked on the doors of ministries and administrations. But the hard work paid off! Present at the presentation on December 17, the prefect, Joseph Zimet, warmly congratulated this initiative which he encouraged. Ditto for Anne-Marie Nédélec, vice-president of the Department and representative of the Association of Mayors of France 52, who will promote these facilities which potentially concern all municipalities. “The goal is to produce these panels in Haute-Marne, then to hire disabled people, but not only”, added Jonathan Caille.

A project with many values. In addition, the Caille family has imagined a (free) application that would allow you to geolocate the places reserved for the disabled and to say if they are available. Smart!

Sylvie C. Staniszewski

[email protected]

Accor and Avia Partners

In their efforts, Jonathan and Stéphanie Caille took care to seek out private partners. Avia and Accor responded present. “It’s a project that we found brilliant. The first orders have been placed. This comes in the run-up to the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.”, commented the representative of the Accor group. “Iléna’s project is close to our hearts. It is a universal language”, completed the representative of Avia.

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