[jaws-uk] Re: Gates Signs Deal On Software For The Blind

  • From: "Nigel" <stoppard@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <jaws-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 12:38:16 -0000

Jane, Don't worry as with the rest of that email I was only joking.  I am not 
really into gambolling!
Hope you have your computer sorted now?
Happy Christmas,
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jane Sellers 
  To: jaws-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 12:43 AM
  Subject: [jaws-uk] Re: Gates Signs Deal On Software For The Blind

  Hi Nigel,
  I feel i have to reply to you about this, no i am not emigrating just yet. 
But I am going to Spain for 10 days and yes it was a really interesting 
article, I had been drawn to the attrention of this by RNIB 's Lorraine Brown 
who is a emplioyment person at Judd Street so i knew a little about the 
organisation but it would be nice to go and have a look on their web page and 
if anyone has the url to the spanish association it would be interesting to see 
if their mobil phone called Oasis is on the site although that is another 
  all the best for Christmas and the new year 
  all the best
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Nigel 
    To: jaws-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
    Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 12:22 PM
    Subject: [jaws-uk] Re: Gates Signs Deal On Software For The Blind

    Thanks for this Barry.  This explains why Jane has gone off to Spain for 
ten days, did she say anything about emigrating while she was there?

    It sounds like we could learn a lot from this organisation, even if we 
aren't a nation of  gambolling addicts.  Now what's the URL for that Ladbrokes 
site again?  I want to put a ten a on "Dead Dog" in the three thirty at New 

      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: Barry 
      To: Jaws list 
      Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 7:09 AM
      Subject: [jaws-uk] Re: Gates Signs Deal On Software For The Blind

      Do you know why Bill Gates is developing the software in Spain? It might 
have something to do with the Spanish association for the blind running a 
national  lottery and, therefore, being one of the richest companies in Spain.  
Bill Gates may give a lot to charity but he is still a business man and has to 
look after his shareholders.

      Here's an article from the Spanish National Federation of the Blind that 
I wish all governments would adopt :






      Editor?s Note: The following article is re-printed from the Associated 
Press, May 29, 2000.


      MADRID, Spain (AP) - The Spanish Civil War killed and maimed hundreds of 
thousands of soldiers and civilians and left much of Spain in ruins. Yet, for 

      disabled group, the war's legacy has had advantages.


      No one knows how many people were blinded in the 1936-39 conflict, but 
eager to rid himself of the problem, dictator Francisco Franco ordered them to 

      a national organization and take care of themselves. To encourage them, 
he granted the right to create a national lottery. Six decades later, with 

      long dead and democracy fully restored, the National Organization of 
Blind Spaniards has blossomed into one of Spain's most successful businesses 
and one

      of the world's most dynamic disabled support groups.


      "There's no doubt about it, if you're going to be blind, be Spanish," 
quips Miguel Callejas, a blind man who has sold lottery tickets the past 28 

      for ONCE, the Spanish acronym for the organization. Lottery drawings, 
staged every day except Saturday, bring in the equivalent of dlrs 2.3 billion a 

      Profits enable the organization to guarantee employment for nearly all of 
Spain's 60,000 blind.


      "I know of nothing even comparable to the ONCE in the entire world," said 
Edwin Vaughan, a blind sociology professor at the University of Missouri who has

      studied how countries view and treat blind people. "In nearly every 
country, the United States included, blindness is associated with begging and 
the blind

      are virtually totally dependent on welfare assistance with employment 
opportunities severely limited," he said. "In Spain, it's the opposite."


      In the United States, unemployment among the blind rarely falls below 70 
percent, while in Spain, it's hardly ever above 5 percent, Vaughan said. The 

      Blind Union says its latest figures, for 1995, showed that out of 41,000 
blind adults available for work in Germany, only 9,000 had a job. In France, 

      7,000 of the 18,000 working age blind were employed. ONCE receives no 
government subsidy and its board is independent and elected every four years by 

      members, all blind or sight-impaired. The growth of the lottery allowed 
ONCE to gradually build up a business empire with stakes in everything from 

      to construction. In the 1980s, it branched into the media, founding a 
private national TV channel, a national daily newspaper and a popular radio 

      But sensing expansion was tarnishing its more-important image as a caring 
group for the disabled, ONCE sold off its principal media holdings -- at a 

      Nowadays, ONCE is as Spanish as bullfighting, sidewalk cafes and soccer. 
Vendors wearing dark glasses and carrying canes pace the streets in nearly every

      village, barking out, "Lucky numbers for today!" In the cities, single 
vendors sit in enclosed ONCE kiosks, selling tickets through glass windows.


      The lottery has thrived not only because Spaniards love to gamble, but 
because of clever marketing and slick advertising. Midweek coupons sell for 200 

      (dlrs 1.25), offering a chance at 500 daily top prizes of 5 million 
pesetas (dlrs 33,000) each and thousands of smaller winnings. The No. 1 prize 
for the

      Sunday lottery pays dlrs 58,000 a year for 25 years.


      Totally independent since 1982, ONCE plows its profits into serving its 
members. It runs Europe's biggest guide dog school, a factory whose products 

      canes, children's Braille sets and portable speech-activated computers 
and social rehabilitation centers. It also works with other companies, such as 

      to develop systems and technical innovations for the blind. On a more 
public level, ONCE runs a touch-and-feel art Museum for the Blind. In 1998, it 

      an international competition in Madrid for blind athletes. In recent 
years, ONCE has supported projects for the blind abroad, including in several 

      American nations, notably Chile and Argentina.


      ONCE estimates there are 150 million blind people in the world, but many 
poor countries do not keep records on who and where they are. "The ONCE's idea

      is that the blind should care for the blind. In most countries, nobody 
looks after them at all," said Rafael Mondaca, the organization's director of 

      relations. ONCE recognizes that even though it is private, it has a 
privileged position and the government could withdraw its lottery rights or 
grant licenses

      to other causes. "Fortunately, it wouldn't make business sense for the 
Spanish government to do so because it knows that if ONCE crumbled it would then

      be responsible for looking after the blind itself," said Pedro Zurrita, 
who heads the World Blind Organization, which is based in Madrid.


      "For the Civil War authorities, it was a load off their mind," he said. 
"Back then no one thought the lottery was ever going to be so successful. It's 

      that any government would do it today."


      Barry H


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