A brief History. Democracy and modernization
Democracy and modernization
On January 19, 1982, ONCE members for the first time and in a secret ballot elected their leaders directly. The ONCE thus became a part of the democratic system that has been in effect in our country since June 15, 1977.
Ever since, ONCE members have voted for their organization’s top officials every four years. Along with the democratization of the ONCE, a process was embarked upon to revamp the institution, starting with the Cupón.
On January 2, 1984, the Cupón underwent a thorough remodeling when it became a national drawing with four figures. This change yielded very positive effects and gave the ONCE the financial breathing room it needed to commit to important social projects in later years, projects that would be funded through further modifications and new products, in particular the adoption of semi-active lotteries in October of 2004. A bit later, in May of 2006, the ONCE started selling instant lotteries, with some gaming products being offered through additional physical outlets such as tobacconists, gas stations and kiosks starting in 2010.
The goal is to enable the financing needed to sustain the ONCE’s social commitments in an extremely complex market. The last two decades have seen the creation and improvement of social services for the blind and visually impaired, intended to provide them with self-reliance, education and training, employment, access to sports and to new technologies, among other goals. What’s more, the ONCE Foundation had been created in 1988 to foster “the social inclusion of persons with disabilities”. In 1993 the ONCE Business Corporation (CEOSA) was founded, thus diversifying the ONCE’s activities into sectors like tourism and services, while 1998 saw the creation of the ONCE Foundation for Latin America (FOAL), in a sign of solidarity with the blind in Latin American countries.
Another qualitative leap forward took place in 2007 with the creation of the ONCE Foundation for the Care of People with Deafblindness, intended to provide specific and specialized help to this group of people, which was already benefitting from the ONCE’s care and who now had their own separate status.
In the cultural arena, of note is the support given to competitive sports played by the blind through a federation, founded in 1993, the Spanish Federation of Sports for the Blind, overseen by the ONCE, as well as its commitment to the Spanish Paralympic Committee (CPE), the governing body for high-level competitions involving disabled athletes.