© Alvaro Pinel
ONCE (National Organisation of the Blind), an association with important historical roots, came, by delegation of the State, to draw attention to the problems of the blind and people with sight problems, to help them to have personal autonomy so that they could integrate into society. Over the last few decades, other disabled people have gradually joined the Organisation as workers, thus giving rise to the ONCE Foundation for the Cooperation and Social Integration of Disabled People, a state-level entity in which, in addition to ONCE as Founder, the main federations of disabled people are represented: COCEMFE (physical), FEAPS (mental), CNSE and FIAPAS (deaf), intervening in the different problems that affect them, while developing, for reasons of solidarity, programmes and actions in favour of other disabled people who are in a situation of extreme need and who are less protected or who do not have their own means to get by.
Both institutions took part in the Universal Exhibition in Seville in 1992, which has become a true international reference point, presenting a pavilion which combined the past, more than half a century of ONCE's history, the present reality, both that of the blind and that of other disabled people, and the work that both institutions are preparing for the future, in order to achieve the integration of all the collectives of this country into society and that, unlike today, they can live in what could be "a world without barriers".
With its glass facades, its 5 levels that were connected by panoramic lifts that facilitated the access of visitors to the different floors, the pavilion presented to the world the most advanced technologies that existed to eliminate barriers and integrate the different disabled communities into everyday life. There was a service for people with special needs, a whole range of assistance for people with disabilities, who could benefit from a free transport system appropriate to each disability, audiovisual and written information about the Exhibition, special visit circuits and an escort service for those who wished it.
© Official Guide Expo'92