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Making History

The ONCE is the result of the iron will of the Spanish blind, who, in a particularly difficult moment for Spain, decided to remain on the sidelines no longer but to contribute to the society of the moment, procuring for themselves a dignified way of life.  The first raffles organized by the various associations that arose in the decade of the thirties of the last century, mainly in Andalusia, Catalonia and Levante, are the forerunners of the present-day’s Cupón. Their unification and common goal formed the foundations of this Institution.

Much is owed to those “forefathers” who, on 13 December 1938, saw the birth of an Organization with room for all the Spanish blind. A government decree endorsed its foundation and granted the then National Organization of the Blind the right to exploit the so-called “pro-blind” cupón or ticket, so as to provide members with a decent livelihood, with the first draw being held on 8 May 1939.

At that time, the cupón had only three digits, draws were organized on a provincial basis and, to a large extent, the institution’s management was in the hands of the State Administration, which appointed the person in charge, denominated “national leader”.  More than 40 years had to pass before the Spanish blind were able to assume responsibility for the ONCE.

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""Training and work centres created in the sixties”
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Work for All

This initial and underlying aspiration - decent work through the sale of the cupón for all the Spanish blind - was overwhelmingly fulfilled but further professional opportunities needed to be explored. Thus, in the sixties, entry into the labour market was tackled through pioneering centres, such as the Telephony School, the Professional Training Centre and the University Physiotherapy School, veritable milestones in the path towards equality and social and professional integration, which knew no bounds.

Based on these plans, educational centres were created to guarantee good training from the bottom, giving rise to cultural initiatives, such as libraries with Braille and audio supports, and essential services were set in motion, including rehabilitation.

At the same time, Spain was living its so-called Spanish Miracle, with tourism, emigration and foreign investments boosting its strides towards modernity. They were the happy sixties. 

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