This book is a case study which narrates the history of the National Organization of the Spanish Blind (ONCE), established in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. Contrary to other affluent countries where most blind people live on welfare benefits, the Spanish blind enjoy full employment. Furthermore, the average income of the Spanish blind is higher than that of the sighted. Why is this so? Why the blind, and not the deaf mute, or any other group of disabled people? This book shows that ONCE answers these questions.
The book explains ONCE'S origins, the shifting strategies that the organization has pursued to adapt to an ever-changing environment, its original goals and the way they have mutated and been interpreted, its conflicting relationship with an authoritarian regime, its struggle to find its place in a democratic regime, and its relations with other groups of disabled people. A historical narrative, the book lies at the intersection between disability and organization studies, history and sociology.
It will be of interest to all scholars of disability studies, the sociology of work, the history of medicine and contemporary Spanish history.