• The History of Pleins Rayons

In 2015, parents from the greater Brome-Missisquoi region were desperately seeking alternatives for their children with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder. They rightly felt that their children were not receiving enough stimulation and were not having an active role in society. These parents were understandably very concerned for their childrens’ future.

“What will happen when we, the parents, are no longer there?” The need was and still is acute. Until Pleins Rayons came along there was not interesting program for an individual over 21 years of age with an intellectual disability or an autism spectrum disorder. Autistic youth and youth with an intellectual disability face many obstacles trying to find their place in society.  The wait for specialized services is often long, frustrating and not easy to navigate. Often parents had no option but to stay home to supervise their child.

Michael Herman, one of the founders of Turkey Hill Sugarbush Ltd, started by working with his family to set up a used bicycle repair program that then distributed the bicycles to schools for children who were less fortunate. It was thus that Pleins Rayons was born. Through a local school principal, Mrs Herman was introduced to Stephan Marcoux, a trained recreational therapist, who was at the time working with Myriam de Coussergues, a specialized care counselor in Cowansville. Stephan Marcoux and Myriam de Coussergues joined Pleins Rayons and together began to develop programs with the ultimate goal being the active social inclusion of young adults with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder.

Through the refurbishing of used bicycles our apprentices develop their social vocational skills which can be transferred to a workplace environment. The apprentices then get to bring joy to underprivileged children in the community when they deliver the refurbished bicycles.

Gradually, other learning stations have been added. The parents of the young adults take pleasure in getting involved with Pleins Rayons because it gives them the support they need to develop their child’s autonomy. Together with the community; school, health care providers and employers, Pleins Rayons is always looking to developing new ways of integrating Pleins Rayons’ apprentices into society. Today, there are more than 50 weekly apprentices who attend Pleins Rayons’ program to develop their social vocational skills. 

 

Pleins Rayons is supported by private donors, foundations, local businesses and the town of Cowansville.

 

We wish to thank the Herman family founding members, our “start-up” donors, and all the parents who have supported Pleins Rayons from the beginning. Thank you to all of you who believe in the Pleins Rayons mission.

Milestones

  • December 2015 : Pleins Rayons is created as a non-profit organization

    November 2016 : À Part Entière prize

    October 2017 : Laureate at the Gala of Excellence, category : Non-Profit Organization

  • July 2018: Pleins Rayons is granted status at a registered charity by CRA. 
  • January 2019: Project creation for ¨social-vocational integration¨ in collaboration with the Brome-Missisquoi Campus.
  • March 2019: Project creation for ¨social integration¨ in collaboration with the Brome-Missisquoi Campus.