Saturday, April 1, 2017

AkzoNobel celebrates World Autism Awareness Day by giving NASOM’s vocational centre in Jalan Ipoh a facelift

To commemorate World Autism Awareness Day observed annually on 2nd April, AkzoNobel, producer of leading decorative paint brand, Dulux celebrates the significant day by transforming National Autism Society of Malaysia’s (NASOM) vocational centre in Jalan Ipoh.

The collaboration is part of AkzoNobel’s Human Cities initiative committed to help the world’s urban areas by delivering a strong sense of community purpose, pride and happiness through its three key strengths – essential ingredients, essential protection and essential colours - to further make people’s lives more liveable and inspiring.





“At AkzoNobel, we care not only for the community we operate in, but also people living in these communities. Care is in the DNA of our company and everything that we do. It means we aim to make life more enjoyable, more inspiring and more comfortable. As the colour expert, our aim is to help cities identify, recover and preserve the colours that bring out their unique character and speak for itself. We are proud to bring life in a new light to students in NASOM’s vocational centre, by using the power of colours as an enabler to develop new skills, and prepare them to be independent”, says Indra Laban, General Manager of AkzoNobel Decorative Paints Malaysia.

Speaking more about the partnership between the leading paint and coatings company and NASOM, Mr. Indra thanked Malaysia’s renowned colour therapist, Evelyn Leong on her collaboration with AkzoNobel working alongside Dulux’s Colour Consultants to provide the colour schemes to create a better learning environment for both students and teachers. Mr. Indra further elaborated that there are visual, symbolic, synesthetic, emotional, physiological and psychological effects of colours. AkzoNobel strongly believes that colours are vital in uplifting mood and will bring positive effects to people’s lives and the importance of the right environment in the vocational centre to bring out the best in students and teachers.

Ms. Evelyn Leong, colour therapist explains, “It is great to see a global organisation such as AkzoNobel constantly striving to improve the communities and people through the power of colours. Colour influences people’s attitudes, grabs attention, and evokes feelings. Colour can have such transforming and uplifting effect on people and places that is beneficial for autistic children as it can promote both physical and mental relaxation as well as reducing stress. Inspirational colours can be very effective in learning settings.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or commonly known as Autism is one of the fastest growing [1]and life-long developmental disability that affects the functioning of the brain, thus impairing social interaction and communication skills, which makes it difficult for them to relate and communicate with others. People who have Autism are also more likely to experience sensitivities in the five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.

“Our students spend an average of eight hours a day in the centre and it is important for us to provide a conducive environment for them to learn and grow. We are thankful to both AkzoNobel and Evelyn Leong to help transform our vocational training centre, to assist in livening up using the power of colour to provide a better learning space for our students in the centre”, adds Feilina Feisol, Chairman of NASOM.

As an autistic person, they tend to be more sensitive with their senses and the colours used in the vocational centre are mostly in shades of pastel with low stimulation. Each of the rooms in the centre is painted with a different colour to create different moods. For instance, the staff room is painted light pink to further harness loving and compassionate teachers and personnel; orange is used on the walls near the kitchen and dining area to stimulate creative activities.

Leading to the upper level is a rainbow staircase for a slightly playful yet subtle mood where Denim Drift (also known as Smoke Grey), AkzoNobel’s Colour of the Year 2017 is applied on the walls. Denim Drift is a versatile and well-balanced light blue-grey colour that will bring fourth the soothing effect of blue and the cool, neutral characteristic of grey that will create the calm and subtle mood. For the living hall, upstairs, it is painted with green and blue to create a calming yet balance environment; and for the creativity room is painted with yellow in combination with a soothing colour such as violet that will encourage students to keep calm while learning new skills.

“‘Life in a new Light’ is the overriding theme and driving influence for 2017and with that we hope to encourage people to take a new look on the simple things that make life worth living. We want to bring life in a new light not only to the students in NASOM Jalan Ipoh, but also the teachers, parents and the community here in Jalan Ipoh. Jalan Ipoh is an area filled with so much of heritage and a tightly-knitted community, we hope this will bring about a breath of fresh air to the community”, concludes Laban.

To help support autism education, awareness, advocacy, research and families living with autism, everyone can contribute and make a difference to the autism community. Find out more about National Autism Society of Malaysia at http://www.nasom.org.my/. For more information on Dulux, please visit http://www.dulux.com.my

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