Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Spain blind association puts disabled to work  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 22/01/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) MADRID: After completing high school, 46-year-old Spaniard Ricardo Velesar struggled to hold down a job as a degenerative eye disease slowly robbed him of his sight

His prospects changed dramatically, however, when he knocked on the door of Spain’s national association for the blind

The organization — known as ONCE by its Spanish acronym — put Velesar to work in 1990 selling tickets for its daily lottery and provided him with a seeing eye dog once he became completely blind

He has earned enough at the job to buy an apartment and support his wife, whom he met through ONCE and who is als blind, and their six-year-old daughter

“I am very grateful because thanks to the sale of the tickets I have been able to raise a family, I have a stable job that is very dignified,” Velesar said as he bantered with a steady stream of clients at his heated sales booth located by a metro exit in Madrid’s bustling Manuel Becerra square

“I have been able to have a very normal life. I don’t know what my life would be like without ONCE,” added Velesar, who has retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative eye disease

He is one of 20,000 lottery ticket sellers employed by ONCE across the country, all of them visually impaired or with some other disability

ONCE was founded 75 years ago with the goal of helping blind people work for a living and not become dependent on public support

It has since expanded its mandate to help people with any type of disability

Last year, ONCE won the Prince of Asturias Concord prize, regarded as Spain’s Nobel prize, the jury citing its “extraordinary” work, which “enhanced the dignity and quality of life of millions of disabled people in Spain.

Other international initiatives have followed ONCE’s example, the prize jury added

ONCE finances itself through the sale of tickets for its own lottery which has annual sales of about 1.9 billion euros (2.6 billion)

Half the money goes to prizes and the rest is spent on providing services ranging from employment to rehabilitation and specialized education

Aside from employing ticket sellers, ONCE owns fully or in part 29 firms that hire disabled people and it lobbies businesses to take on workers

Among its companies is a news agency, an industrial laundry, a hotel chain and temp agency that supplies cleaners and security guards to offices

ONCE created 7,100 jobs for disabled people last year even as Spain’s jobless rate hit 26 percent as the country struggled with the fallout from the collapse of a decade-long property bubble in 2008

It employs just over 65,000 people in total

“I think we have taken a great weight off of the state administration. We have based our model on being active people, of living from our own efforts,” said ONCE president Miguel Carballeda who began his career at the organization as a lottery ticket seller

The strategy aims to leverage people’s abilities, “with the idea that we should be valued for what we have and not for what we lack,” he said

ONCE also provides training to help disabled people more employable

It translates textbooks into braille for those attending university and it operates a physiotherapy school for blind students, whose graduates are in high demand

Classes are smaller than at other physiotherapy schools in Spain to give students more hours of hands-on practice

A maximum of 24 students graduate from the school each year and all of them find work in their field after completing the four-year degree



Graduates are successful not because blind people have a better sense of touch as many people mistakenly believe, but because they receive a higher level of training than those at other schools, the director of the school, Javier Sainz de Murieta, said

“They either get extra training or else the whole world will prefer someone without a disability,” he said

Isabel Chacon, who will graduate from the school in May, said the school had given her a new sense of direction since she lost her vision six years ago due to complications from diabetes

“I am really happy. Its a great feeling helping patients,” the 33-year-old said.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 May 5 2015 - Spring weather conditions forecast over next three daysJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) A rise in temperatures is expected on Tuesday and the weather will be moderate in most parts of the Kingdom and warm in the Jordan Valley and Aqaba.According to the ...

 May 5 2015 - U.S led-coalition conducts 22 airstrikes against Daesh in IraqJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Coalition military forces in a statement said it had launched 22 airstrikes against Daesh terrorist gang in Iraq during the past 24 hours.The strikes hit tactical units ...

 May 5 2015 - Israeli forces arrest 11 Palestinians in the West BankJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Israeli occupation soldiers on Tuesday arrested 11 Palestinians in the West Bank.Palestinian Interior Ministry said that the occupation forces stormed the towns of ...

 May 5 2015 - Red Cross issues 24 travel documents for Syrian refugeesJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) A total of 24 travel documents were issued recently by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to Syrian refugees in Jordan who were granted resettlement ...

 May 5 2015 - 7th Jordan AFAQ Economic Forum to be held in Amman next TuesdayJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) The 7th Jordan AFAQ Economic Forum will be held in Amman next Tuesday with the participation of economic and financial experts as well as companies from 10 nations, ...

 May 5 2015 - TAG signs two agreements to promote Italian languageJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) The Talal Abu Ghazaleh (TAG) organization and the Italian Embassy in Jordan signed a cooperation agreement Tuesday to promote the Italian culture and language.Under the ...

 May 5 2015 - IMF expects 3.8% GDP growth in Jordan in 2015Jordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) The Regional Economic Outlook Update, released Tuesday in Dubai, projected that Jordan's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow by 3.8 per cent this year and 4.5 per ...

 May 5 2015 - Specialized training course on ethical hacking concludes at RSS in JordanJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) A specialized training course entitled "Certified Ethical Hacking" concluded at the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) Tuesday.The training course, which was held by the ...

 May 5 2015 - UNFPA calls to enhance quality of midwives servicesJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) The Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, called for greater investments to increase the number of midwives and enhance ...

 May 5 2015 - VOL 1 - Companies need to balance expectations of all stakeholders: Bharat WakluKNN India
(MENAFN - KNN India) Today's companies need to balance needs, expectations and aspirations of all stakeholders. They should also have a mechanism by which if there is a tie between the expectations ...

more...


 






Google

Arab Advisors_12th convergence conf

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help